WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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"The whoa of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transport at whatever points wising, as a carriage is by the roughness of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crosier.
The Passing of Sir John Macdonald.
With very sincere regret those concerned with motor transportiehave learned the news of the death of'P-the Bt. Hon. Sir John H. A. Macdonald, G.C.B., Lords:Justice Clerk of Scotland: and President of the Second Division of the Court of Session for 27 years. fie died at Edinburgh on Friday last from heart failure. After a visit to London he felt fatigued, and kept hisdoed for a week as a precautionary measure, as he was soon to be presented with the freedom of the City' of Edinburgh.
Despite his great age (he was December 27th 27th last) he was hale .and active, although of recent years his great stature wá diminished by a stoop, and in mind he was as virile as ever. The curious thing about Sir John was that, mentally, he showed so little of the "old ' man" for he was always level with the times, closely in touch with any important new movement, and a. busy man every moment of his day. His work for the motorcar community has been invaluable—in fact it is doubtful if it can eier be accurately appraised —and it covered all phases of the movement. He was a valued occasional contributor to this journal and a constant correspondent to the Press.
Government Lorry Sales.
As stated a few weeks ago in our_ columns, the. Ministry of Munitions Surplus Government Property Disposal Board is holding a. series of auction sales at 'the Agricultural Hall, Islington, N. 1, during the months of May and June. The first one will take place on Saturday, May 24th, at. 11 a.m., and on this occasion Goddard and Smith have been initructed to sell a number of motorcycles without reserve. At this particular sale no motor "vehicles are being offered, but at subsequent sales a large variety of types and makes will be brought under the hammer. Applications for catalogues, which will be ready about. a -week in advance of the sale at one shilling each, should be made to the auctioneers at their head office, 196, Piccadilly, W. 1. In view of the keen demand which exists at the present time for motor vehicles of all capacities these sales are bound to be well patronized, especially in view of the fast that many new as well as war-used, vehicles, are to be put up for disposal.
The Kempton Park Scandal.
In the House of Commons Mr. Forster, in reply to Sir F. Hall, who put a number a questions relating to the transport depot at Kempton Park, stated that the total number of vehicles of all kinds at. the Mechanical Transport Depot, Kempton Park, at the date of the signing of the Armistice was 16,931. The number now is 13.177. Many of these vehicles have of necessity remained in the open, owing to, the absence of covered accommodation. Depreciation is undoubtedly taking place, hilt where possible it is reduced to a minimum by the use of tarpaulins and the greasing of vulnerable parts, The War Office have notified large numbers of vehicles to the
Disposal Board* of the Ministry of Munitions as available for sale, and sales have; been taking place now for some time, at as frequent intervals as possible.. Payment for the use of the land and buildings is now being made at the rate of £1,700 per annum, inclusive of rates and taxes, a.s from October 1st, 1915, in
accordance with an award of the Defence of the Realm Losses Commission. A further claim' for expenses incurred from the said date has been recently submitted in consequence of a later ruling by the Commission in a similar case, but the investigation of the figures has not yet been completed. The exact date of the termination of the tenancy cannot at present be stated.
In the debte in the House of Lords on the Government's agricultural policy, Lord Ernie said that the transport facilities wanted by the farmers were not in the form of light railways, but of a motor service, and theBoard of Agriculture had already submitted a proposal of that kind to the Treasury ; but that particular plan would be taken over by the Ministry of*Ways and Communications when it was established. In addition to a motor service on a considerable scale, a treneh*railway scheme, cliffs-Ting from a light railway .c scheme, would be extremely valuable.
A.A. and Petrol Licence Refunds.
The Petrol Control Department has authorized the Automobile Association to receive applications for refunds in the case of 'licences, which after May 16th (when thelicence system ceases) still contain unused vouchers. The licences, complete with all unused. vouchers, should be forwarded preferably by registered post to the A.A. and M.13. at the Head Offices, Fanum House, Whiteimb Street, London, W.C., and must be accompanied by a short letter requesting the return of the duty paid on theamused vouchers. Refunds are not obtainable in respect of loose vouchers. It is-hoped to despatch the refunds within a day or two after receipt of the licence.
Roads and Transport Congress and Exhibition.
The County Councils -Association has decided to organize a Roads and Transport Congress and Exhibition at the Agricultural Hall, London,. in November of this year. The arrangements will to a large extent follow the lines of the successful Roads Congress and Exhibition organized by thei Association in 1915, but, in view of the important develOpments in regard to transport, it has been decided, on the forthcoming occasion, to pay special attention also to this branch of the road problem. The organizing secretary of the Congress is Mr. S. M. Johnson, the Secretary of the County Councils Association, and the exhibition will be under the management of Mr. A. F.' May, the managing director of the Municipal Agency, Ltd., 13, Victoria Street, S.W.
Arrangements.are being made with a view to securing the attendance of representatives of the Home Government -and the Governments of all the British Dominions, which invitatione are also being extended to the various local authorities and to all professional and commercial bodies and societies connected with the administration and user of the roads.
Hertfordshire CountyCouncil reports that it would cost 2357,000 to put the whole-of the roads in a satisfactory cog-dition, and the sum does not include any provision for the repair of the 50 miles of arterial roads included fn the Road Board scheme.
Sir Arthur Steel Maitland to Retire.
It is rumoured that Sir Arthur Steel Maitland is retiring from the Department of Foreign Trade, of which he is the able chief, in order to take up an important post in the City. The news will come as a. surprise to many who had thought that he was destined for a long and useful political career.
Rushmores, Ltd., Peterborough Road, Parson's Green, London, S.W. 6, inform us that they have appointed as sole selling agents for the British Empire for: 'the Rushmore electric starting and lighting sets, Aecol House, 125, Long Acre, London, W.C. 2, and that all inquiries relating to these accessories 'should be sent thereto.
The Industrial Reconstruction Council.
A conference on "The Industrial Life of the Coal Miner" will be held under -the auspices of the Industrial ReconPAsuction Council on Tuesday, May 20th, at 6 pm., in-the hall of the.-Institute of Journalists, 2 and 4, Tudor Street, EC. 4. The chair will be taken by Sir Herbert Morgan, and the opening address given by Mr. James Walton, M.P., after which will follow questions and discussion. No tickets are necessary.
Encouraging information is to hand direct from the Ford Co. as to the likelihood of a good supply of parts being forthcoming in the near s • future The same cannot, however, be said of complete vans. At the present time it takes from 10 to 12 weeks to get delivery after the order has been placed, and unless restrictions are abolished it is -still more likely that the waiting period will even be lengthened.
In the House .of Commons last week Major Glyn asked the President of the Board of-Trade whether there is. at present in the country an abnormally large stock of petrol; whether it is anticipated that difficulty will be soon experienced in providing tank storage accommodation for the Government stocks of petrol that -are still on order for delivery in this country from the :United States, and whether it is contemplated at an early date to remove thevarious restrictions imposed on the petroleum distributing
trade in this country, with a view to reducing the cost of petrol to cOnsumers7
Sir A. Geddes : So far as the Board of Trade is aware there is not at present in the country an abnormally large stock of petrol imported for civil consumption. Tho Government still hold large stocks of petrol imported for military purposes' but these are being gradually reduced. All motor spirit .purchased by the Government for civil consumption has already arrived and has been handed over to the distributing companies.
Birmingham Buying Electrics.
Birmingham Corporation has purchased three electric vehicles-for the col` lection of house refuse at a cost of £1,304 each, and intends yearlyto displace horses by the purchase of further vehicles.
Scottish Road Improvement Schemes.
Elaborate reports with respect to highway improvements have been prepared by the various road surveyors in Perthshire. The Central District Committee is advised that the probable cost of reconstructing the Perth and Stirling main road will amount to £24,318, the Perth and Crieff. road to £21,250, and the Muckhaat and Stirling road to 29,001. In the western district of the county the first project to receive attention provides for the surfacing of 20 miles of the main arterial roads at a cost of £28,274.. Of this sum it is hoped that the Road Board will furnish four-fifths (£22,819). The work is to be spread over a period of five years. The Kan road improvement scheme of 1914, which was suspended in 1916, is to be proceeded with. . The estimated cost now is £36,767, as compared with £11,.530 on pre-war calculation.
The Forfar District Committee has decided to make application for a Govern-. ment grant of £10,064 towards the improvement of main roads. It has, also, agreed to purchase a steam wagon, a• steam tractor, and a' stone breaker for work in connection with road repairs. It is reported that nso offers had been received for the usual repair contracts.
'London Bus Fares.
• Mr. Shorta stated in the House of Commons last week that he had obtained full details from the London General Omnibus Co., as to the .reaeons for increased omnibus fares, and that be proposes submitting them to an eminent accountant to report whether the increases are justified.
On and after May 17th motor spirit may be purchased without the produc, tion of a motor spirit licence.
Motors and Mud.
In connection with the complaint of the Northampton Town Council about mud splashing by motor omnibuses, the Wellingborough Motor Omnibus Co. has given instructions to drivers that the speed along the Wellingborough Road in the narrow part mast not eXteed six miles an hour.
Non-ferrous Metal Stocks.
The following particulars are published of the stocks (exclusive of old metal and scrap) in this country in poia session of the Minister of Munitions on May 1st, 1919 :—Copper, 51,130 tons; speller G.O.B., 26,912 tons ; spelter refined, 7,057 tons; aluminium, 11,542 tons ; soft pig lead, 109,012 tons ; 2,567 tons; antimony regains, 4,461 tons.
G.M.C. Capital Increased.
In announeing that shareholders will be asked at a special meeting on June 12th to approve increases in the General Motors Company's debenture stock from $150,000,000 to $500,000,000 (£100,000,000) and in the common stock from $200,000,000 to $500,000,000 (£100,000,000), President Durant denied current reports that his company intended to acquire the Ford Motor Co. He asserted that no acquisitions were at present being considered, and the proposed increase in capital was merely a provision against • the tuture,. In interested quarters it is intimated that the company is planning a wide intee national organization.
According to the latest plans announced by the -Ford Co., assembling plants are to 'be erected, at a cost of £60,000 each, at Cadiz, Copenhagen, and Bordeaux, in addition to offices in Paris. It is stated that the neW plants at Cadiz and Copenhagen will be able to handle about 500,000 cars each year. It is hoped to be able to supply Poland, Scandinavia, and Russia, when conditions become more settled, from the Copenhagen office. It is also stated that rights have been obtained to sell Ford cars in the Belgian Congo.
Repayment of Licence Duty.
Any holder of a full-duty or half-duty motor spirit licence who has mat been supplied with the total amount of motor spirit authorized, to be supplied by his licence may apply to the Petrol Control Department for an • appropriate repay'Dent of duty, and such application must be accompanied by the licence in respect of which repayment is claimed. Repayment will not be made in respect of loose vouchers. Applications for repayment should be made as soon as possible after May 16th, 1919, and addressed to the Petrol Control Department, 19, Berkeley Street, London, W. 1.
Vibration in Worthing.
The Worthing Town Council has had several complaints of noise and vibration caused by one of the motorbuses on the West Worthing route, and asked the hackney carriage inapecto; to investigate and report.
West Riding Roads.
"Roads and Town Planning Schemes : with special reference to the Industrial: Areas in the West Biding " is to be the title of an address to be given by Mr. Bees -Jeffreys at the Philosophical Hall, Park Row, Leeds, on Thursday, May 22nd, at 3 p.m. at a conference of the West Riding local authorities that has been organized by the Yorkshire (West Riding) Branch of the Roads Improvement Association. A public meeting is to be held in the evening at 7.15 p.m. in the large roam of the Great Central Hotel, Leeds, at which an address will be given upon "The Development of Road Traffic in the West Riding." Councillor StringerHinchcliffe, chairman of the Highways Committee, Leeds City Council, will preside at both meetings. Admission is free and all road users are invited. Further details can be obtained froin the local hon. secretary, Mr. Arthur Blakebrough, 37, Reginald Terrace, Leeds, or from the general secretarY to the R.LA, Mr. Wallace E. Riehe,• 15, Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, S.W. 1.
Buying a Lori), in Germany.
Apparently the difficulty of purchasing motor vehicles at the present time is not confined to this country, according to an account sent by a correspondent to the Vossisch.e Zeihing of his effort to buy "one of the thousands of motor lorries the Germanrerovernment is offering for sale." Hoisays he went first to the central office for the sale of war material. There ho was referred to the Potsdarner-street, as his inquiry referred to lorries suitable for agricultural purposes. Thence he was sent to the depot at Weissensee, where there were certainly some hundreds of lorries, but the official in charge told him that they had all been sold. On further inquiry in tho Potsdamer-street, he was directed to the artillery depot at Spandau. There he was shown a number of useless wrecks, but, on insisting, he found in another part of.Spandau a large supply of lorries in good condition. He was informed, however, that the Potsdamerstreet office had no authority to sell these, and that he must go to "the Hotel Monopol in the Friedrichstrasse.
Next day -he went to the Monopol and 028
ascertained that the department had been moved to the other end of Friedrichstrasse. The new office sent him 'back to the Monopol, and assured 'him that it was the other place, and after some further dispute between the two, both agreed that he ought to go to the central office again, from which he had originally set out.
After a fresh series of efforts, which it required another paragraph to set forth in detail, he finally discovered that the'only suitable wagons that could be
traced had been sold to a private firm, which, however; could oblige him with what he required at an increase of 50 per cent.
At the invitation of the Royal Institution of Great Britain., Vislok, Ltd., recently exhibited and demonstrated the working of their Vislok lock nuts at its conversazione. It is believed that. this is the first occasion on which the proprietors of a safety lock nut had been in
vited by a representative body of the scientific world to demonstrate the claims of their device,
Canadian Export Trade.
Canada's manufacturing industries extended to such an extent during the war that now the demand for war materials has ceased it is desired to create an export trade to Europe in goods for normal consumption. To help in this object the well-known London weekly newspaper Canada, published at Craven House, Kingsway, is starting a monthly "Export Trade Supplement," and will be pleased' to give any assistance to British imparters if they will write stating the class of goods in which they are interested. The Dominion is in a position to supply a .variety of commercial motor vehicles. _
After many difficulties and delays, we are given to understand that Brame°, Ltd., 1, Ellys Road; Coventry, are once again delivering 15-cwt. and 1-ton converting units, this time of the British. built models to the new (patented) design. The company is making These not only under their own patent covering the new design, but also under licence from the American owners of the " Basal " patents.
Devon Bus Services.
At a conference between a sub-committee appointed by the Devon County Council and representatives of the highway authorities concerned with the applications for opening up omnibus routes between Exeter and Torquay it was decided to recommend that the commencement of the new routes should be sanctioned on the condition that the receipts from the omnibus companies be apportioned between the authorities according to the mileage of road traversed in each highway area, and that the work of checking the monthly returns and collecting the moneys be carried out by the County Council, and that they be allowed 5 per cent, of the grass receitts to cover the cost of this.
Mr. A. E. Collins has been nominated to represent the Institution of Munici pal and County Engineers on the Electric Vehicle Committee for the year 1919-20.
The little book to hand from the Firestone Tyre and Rubber Co., Ltd., is really a list of testimonials put into a convenient form. We have read through a few of these, and they speak in high terms of the qualities of Firestone tyres and the mileages obtained iron them : many, we noticed, had given 20,000 miles. A few facts are embodied, giving some idea of the works and its organization, and some of these will not he without interest to our readers.. The company employs more than 15,000 hands; 35,000 pneumatics are produced a day ; they have established an employees' £25,000 pension insurance fund; they have built a £14,000 clublatinse for their employees; and have factories covering 60,000 acres of floor space. These few facts will give some idea of the size of the Firestone organization.
Transferring Kempton Park Derelicts.
Derelict and unfit motor vehicles which have been standing in the mire at Kempton Park are being towed to the Cippenham works for repair. The objects of this removal are to enable the racecourse at It empton Park to be evacuated at an early date and also to accumulate at Slough all the vehicles which will eventually be repaired there.
In the House of Commons last week Lieut.-Col. A., Murray asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware tfiat the Board of Agriculture for England has invited the Kent Farmers' Union to submit claims for the inauguration of motor transport services for light railways for assisting agriculturists and others in rural districts in disposing of produce ; and whether it is in contemplation that the Board of Agriculture for Scotland should act similarly in respect of those districts in Scotland where better communications and more efficient means of disposing of agricultural prodia.* are urgently needed?
Mr. Munro: I am aware that the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries are conducting certain inquiries as to possible improvemenjs in rural transport. The question of rural transport facilities in Scotland (including motor facilities) has been considered by a special ,Cornmittee appointed by me. Their report is now in any bands, and it will receive my consideration in consultation with the Scottish Board.
Reporting on desirable reforms as affecting public highways, the Roads Committee of the Institution of Municipal and County Engineers declares that for the purpose of dealing with dangerous earners, speoial powers should be conferred upon highway authorities as lows
To Prevent the Formation of Dangerous Corners.—(a) Power to require an additional setback of all new buildings at junctions or intersections of roads or streets beyond the general lineof frontage to such extent as the authority may deem necessary for the purpose of providing a view of approaching traffic. (b) Power to prescribe the height and character of the fencing enclosing land at junctions or intersections of roads or streets, or of an-v erections thereon.
Icor the Purpose of Improving Existing Dangerous Corners.—(c) Power to acquire any necessary land. (d) Power to require the removal, pulling down, or setting,,back of any buildings, erections, trees, hedges or fences, or lowering any banks Which obscure the view of approaching traffic. (e) Power to require \the owners or occupiers of land at the junctions or intersections of streets er roads to keep down all live fences and trees to a prescribed height, and prescribe the character Of fences to be erected or maintained thereupon. Failing agreement between any road authorities concerned in the application of the foregoing powers, the Local Government Board shall act as arbitrators, •
With regard to trees and hedges upon and adjoining highways, the committee is of opinion that Sedition 65 of the Highway Act of 1835 should he amended in
the direction of giving power to the highway authority to require the pruning or removal of trees, hedges or other obstructions to the full and safe use of tiler highway.
The committee is of opinion that the law of extraordinary traffic needs simplit fying and amending, particularly in the method of recovering damages.
Sonthwark B.C. proposes to purchase, a Government motor lorry for £570.
Chelmsford Corporation has appointed a sub-committee to inquire about motors for cartage purposes.
Willesden "[Lac. has accepted the tender of Leyland Motors, Ltd., for a tipping wagon at £1,000.
Kendal Corporation has appointed a committee to visit towns to see some new and second-hand fire engines.
Leyton U.D.C. has purchased a 2-3-ton Straker-Squire type U 28 h.p motor chassis from Mr. S. V. Dunn for £430.
Deptford B.C: has authorized the purchase of . three 3-4-ton Halley petrol lorries at an estimated cost of £500 each from the Government. .
Manchester Corporation Gas Committee has purchased two coke tipping wagons from the Sentinel Wagon Works, Ltd., Shrewsbury.
Glasgow Corporation have appointed a committee to consider the purchase of improved vehicles and plant for the Cleansing Department.
Leighton Buzzard T.I.D.C. have been informed ' by the Local Government Board that they may korrow £1,200 for the purchase of a motor fire engine. "
Bournemouth Fire Brigade, Cam-_ mittee recommends selling its ancient horsed appliances and purchasing motor equipment from Dennis Bros. Ltd., at a cost of £2,383.
Fulham Borough Council's Works Committee suggests the purchase from the Road Board of two Halley petrol four-ton lorries, with tipping gear, at a total cost not exceeding £1.040.