Answers to Queries.
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Petrol:Rebate for Hotel Buses.
[1,765], "GUESSED RIOHT writes:—" We have a motorbus which conveys passengers from the hotel to the station and vice versa. I have made application to the local Inland Revenue people for the rebate on the petrol consumed, but without success. I have also applied to the head authorities in London and have received a letter from them also declining to allow the rebate. A copy of this letter is sent herewith.
" My point is that in the House of Commons, Mr. Hobhouse declared that an hotel omnibus would be entitled to the rebate if they fulfilled the conditions, which ours does, namely, travel backwards and forwards from the station to the hotel.
" You will observe in the copy of the letter from the Custom House herewith that the statement is made that the omnibus is kept for hire in the hotel garage. This is untrue. The bus enters upon its duties at 7.30 a.m. and plies between the hotel and the station until 11.45 p.m. each night—two drivers dividing the duty. " I shall be glad to know, if in your opinion, we are entitled to the rebate and if so how to proceed."
1COPY OF LETTER FROM EXCISE AUTHORITIES.] Custom House, London. Sir, In reply to your letter, I am directed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to inform you that they are unable to allow rebate in respect of the motor Spirit used in propelling the omnibus in question, which is kept for hire in the hotel garage, and is not a hackney carriage standing or plying for hire in a public place.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
(Signed) J. P. BYRNE, Secretary.
ANSWER.— The reference to Mr. Hobhouse's reply to which you refer appeared in our issue for 21st July, 1910. This issue is out of print, and we are therefore unable to forward you a copy.
The substance of Mr. Hobhouse's statement, which was made in reply to an inquiry by Mr. Peto on Wednesday, the 13th July, was to the effect that motorbuses used for private-hire purposes by hotel proprietors and others were not classified for purposes of taxation, etc., as publicservice vehicles that " ply. for hire."
It appears from the particulars which you give in your
letter that your motorbus is a private-hire vehicle solely. The fact that it runs to a schedule of times which you have arranged in no way alters this classification. The one point of importance is that you do not ply for public hire, neither are you licensed so to do.
As Mr. Hobhouse remarked in the House of Commons on the occasion to which reference is made, a motorbus whirl is used for private-hire purposes only is not exempt from the carriage taxes, as was suggested by Mr. Pete. has now been held definitely that petrol that is consumed while a vehicle is engaged in private hiring must pay the full 3d. tax.
Is there any reason why you should not secure a publicservice licence, for your machine to ply for hire, from the
!opal licensing authorities at ; then allow it to stand for hire in some place accessible to the public. You would by this means have a legitimate claim to the 4d. rebate. If you can satisfy the local assessors that your machine actually does ply for hire, it would seem that your claim has every chance of success, and from this point of view we would inform you that we know of instances where small taxicab fleets which have actually been refuse:1 licences by the local authorities to ply for hire, are kept at the disposal of the public, on open, but private, ground, and we have every reason to believe that
he petrol used on these machines secures the rebate.
We quote below the second paragraph of the -Finance Act, which deals with this rebate:
" Rebate of motor spirit duty. Motor spirit used for the purpose of supplying motive power to a motoreab, motor omnibus, or other vehicle being a hackney carriage within the meaning of section 4 of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act of 1888, if is standing or plying. for hire."
In order to emphasize the point of view which we have endeavoured to demonstrate to you, we would remind you that duly-licensed cabs and motorbuses which are used for testing or for salvage work, are not allowed to claim the Vid. rebate, as they are not standing or plying for hire during such service.
For Steel Wheels.
[1,766] " SEMPER Ewen " writes :—" Two firms named : Dentscher Kaiser Works, and Rombacher Hilttenwerke, Germany, were mentioned in the " Engineer " as being large producers of steel castings, but the addresses were not given: We shall be much obliged if you could supply us with these or refer us to someone who can."
ANswee.—The addresses of the makers in question are: Gewerkschaft Deutscher Kaiser, Bruchheusen. Rheinland, and Rmnbacher Hfittenwerke, Rombach, Lothringen.
Stearn-wagon and Tractor Trailers.
[1,767] " CARRIERS " write Would you kindly oblige us with addresses of a few of the best makers of trailers with artillery wheels and steel axles? Would you also give us the address of the maker of the trailer chassis that was exhibited at the Manchester show, two or three years back ? "
ANSWER.—WO think you will find that the trailer chassis to which you refer was constructed by Stagg and Robson, Ltd., of Selby, Yorks., but excellent trailers. are also constructed by Leyland Motors, Ltd., of Leyland, and William Foster and Co., Ltd., of Lincoln.
The Leading French Makers.
[1,768] " HINDOO " writes :—" We shall be obliged if you will let us know the names and addresses of three or four of the leading French firms who manufacture commercial-motor vehicles."
.ANSWER.—The leading makers include the following :— Berliet, 12, Chemin des Quatre-Maisons, Lyons. Panhard and Levassor, 19, Avenue &Ivry, Paris. De Dion-Bouton, Ltd., Puteaux. Vinot-Deguingand, 29, Quai National, Puteaux. A. Cohendel. et Cie, 106, Quai de Jemmapes, Paris, Delaug'ere, Clayette at Cie, 16, Faubeurg de la Made leine, Paris.
De Dietrich, 4, Rue de l'Arcade, Paris.
Touring Car as Taxicab.
L1,769] " OWNER-DRIVER " writes:--" I shall be glad if you will let me know if you think it would pay to run a 20-30 h.p. ---as a taxicab. The car is about five years old, but it has not been in use more than three years. I have only .100 capital and my reason for considering this car is that I can make terms with the owner which would not be possible with an ordinary business concern. The car appears to be in good order, the tires being almost new. I think it would be good value at £250. I should run the car myself, and, of course, handle all the extras, etc. If I could make from 30s. to £2 per week for my labour, clear of depreciation and expenses, I should be satisfied," ANSWER.—The type of car whieh you suggest, would, we fear, prove to he uneconomical, in respect of tires, petrol and general maintenance, if used for ordinary taxicab work. It is probable, too, that the coachwork is far too elaborate for such rough-and-ready employment. The known capacity for speed of this model also renders it unsuitable. You would secure much-better results with one of the standard taxicab models which are now on the market. Perhaps you can pick up a secondhand one Youshould watch our " sundry " advertisement pages.