WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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• The wheel of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transport at whatever points arising, as a carriage is by the roughness of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crosier.
Wallace New Issue.
The issue of 400,000 shares at par is being made by Wallace (Glasgow), Ltd., Whose total capital is £1,000,000 in £1 shares. In addition to the shares already offered, 450,000 Shares are being issued in part payment of certain aseets, leaving 150,000 for future issue. The company is taking over the business of Wallace Farm Implenient's, Ltd., manufacturers of the G-laagow tractor. The proceeds of the present issue will be applied as to £30,000 towards part of the purchase price of the vendor company, £153,000 towards the purchase of the Naticinal Projectile Faotory at Cardonald, and £75,000 as part of the AAA, portion of the price of tho Burt,M'Collum sieeve-valve engine patents, leaving £142,000 for working capital, subject to expeesee of the issue.
The subscription list opened on Monday last, and will, if not already closed, close to-day.
Travelling Showrooms and Shops.
With the increased railway fare. s there is likely to be a -oonsiderable expansion in the use of travelling showrooms. There areas, mumbler of light vans,l-with• pneumatic tyres, ai.n.c1 provided with sample easesawhich travel from towel to town, now kn use. Another important development is the"thavelling motor-shop, from. which all classes of articles. Sr0sn fresh fish to alrapery goods, are sold by the roadside. This development is now becoming • of such 'importance that endeavours are being made to form a trade union for drivers: of travelling showrooms and shops, and it is stated that there are over 400 professional drivers of this class of vehicle already employed.
Overseas I rade.
It may interest anany manufacturers who are possibly not alive to the excellent trade openinga which exist in the Netherlands East Indies to learn that of the 3073 motor vehicles imported into Java and Madura during the year 1919, some 2,900 are stated to be of American origin.
The islands of Java and Sumatra, possess from fair to good roads. The demand, for commercial vehicles for transport purposes is -fairly brisk. Prier to the outbreak of war-one of the largest and most go-ahead tea plantations in Java furnished a leading concern of motor manufacturers with specifications on which to base the design of motor lorries for the transport of• green tea from outlying .districts to their main factories in substitution .for antiquated 'methods prevailing in the shape,of bullock carts-and ponies. This-innovation proved so'succesefisI thattheentire costof' the lorries' was more than repaid by the saving in transport and!'000lie hire within two years.
At the present moment very few British lorries areeinmse in Java and in the neighbouring islands: America is making strenuous efforts to maintain her firm foothold, and it behoves British manufacturers to keep in-minel'this overseas market for the -absorption of part of their output.
C2 Arrangements are being made to hold a motorcar exhibition in the Netherlands East Indies in 1E121. In this connection the British Chamber of Commerce for the country is making arrangements for its members to receive advance and detailed information. Special shipping facilities have been secured.
Convincing evidence of the reliability and durability of Laere commercial vehicles is afforded by a letter, entirely unsolicited, received by the company from the Falmouth and District Steam Laundry, of Penryn, Curnwall. It runs as .
. . . The laundry van chassis, No. 1,019, which we had from you 10 years ago (it, was then the first cornmanual motorcar in the County of Cornwall) is still 'going strong,' with promise of giving -much useful service still. lip to date it 'has done 36,796 miles, and in maintenance it has cost comparatively little. This is nomean performance when it is borne 'in mind that the roads in this part leave Much to be desired, and it speaks extremely well for'Laura dependability' In the last few years -our journeys have been greatly restricted owing to various . • ceases, otherwise the Mileage done by the van would have been about 150,000," This vehicle is one of the company's 'model 0, 2-2i ton chassis, similar to that which is in considerable demand by municipal authorities, 'both at home and overseas, whigt it is the chassis used for the company's combined tipping wagon water-cart, which is so popular arectigst certain classes of users.
H.R.H. the Duke of York has graciously consented tabecerne president of the "Safety First" Council,
,A. new national asseciatlen of lorry owners has been formed in Chicago under the name of the. Motor Truck Association of America.
The question is being discussed of establishing. a motor. lorry works at Bilbao, and it is said that them RiepanoSuiza Co. is interested in the enterprise.
The secretary of the Northwestern area. of the Commercial Motor Users Association informs us that since the division has been reorganized there has been an accession of new members.
Tractors have displaced horses in the lumbering industry at Maine. Experiments have proved that they effect a saving of 5 dollars a ton in the cost of moving supplied to the lumber' camps.
In our last weeks issue, on page 722, we-.published a letter concerning the Mersey Transport Muddle. Owing to a typographical error, this was inserted as being received from the Daimler Co., Ltd. As a Matter of fact this should have been the Diamond Motor Co., Ltd., of Warrington, of which company Mr. A. J. Bailey 38 a director.
well-known Labour leader, in addreseinga meeting of transport workers recently, Is reported to have made the following statement :—
"Road transport firms are telling trade you can distribute goodsby road cheaper than by rail. If that is true it proves, that the men we represent have not received, said are not getting, the same advance, Or the same payment for the same value of work, that the railway men and others are getting. We are not going to be a party to the railway men and the road transport men being pitted against one another. We believe our interests are one."
On the same occasion the, speaker is alleged to have said :— " Remember when you axe cut in strike you suffer. When yon are in on strike, the boss pays your wages."
It wookd be. difficult to -conceive amoreabsurd'statement than the first mentioned, which betrays either an utter disregard or a profound ignorance of transport economies. The second. admonition quoted is so olevieusly mischievous as to render cement unnecessary. It is high time that steps were taken to combat the effects of such 'xidiculou.s and dangerous -nonsense.
Tractor Work in Nottingham.
In no-part of the Midlands has tractor work, carried out under the direction Of the War Agricultural Committee, been attended with greater success than in NettinghainShire. The widely-varying nature of the soil has afforded scope for the utilization. of a great diversity of appliances, and whilst practical utility for ploughing and other operations hae formed the main test of efficiency, •oloso regard has 'been paid to the cost of motive power, as to which a groat deal of valuable information has been' collated.
The high position occupied from timeto time in the list of comparative returns applicable to most of the largo agricultural areas, has indieated the worth of the work accomplished in Nottingham-Aire, and at the last meeting of the committee, on Tuesday of last week, under the presidency of the Duke of Portland's agent (Mr. T. Warner Turner), some interesting information was forthcoming as to -the expense involved. It was shown that in connection with thetractor ploughing scheme there had been receipts, during-the past year, amounting approximately to £25;455, and payments of £23,690, so that the operations have represented a, paying proposition, whilst being of eminently practical service-to agriculturists.
Continuity of useful work is to be maintained by an arrangement under which, when the authority is merged in the new cialtivatien committee, the various district cotamittee-s will be retaieed.
The 23rd edition of "The Motor 'Manual,' the recognized and standard book of instruction, is now on sale, price 3s, 6d. net, post free 3,s. 10d., from these offices.
S.T.D. Motors, Ltd.
A meeting of Darraeq shareholders was called on August 13th at noon at Winchester House, for the purpose of approving the policy of the irectors in bringing about the amalgamation with the Sunbeam Co., by passing a resolution for increasing the capital of the company to enable the exchange of shares to be carried through. The resolutions propose that the capital be increased to £3,300,000 by the creation of 300,000 preferred ordinary shares of £1 each, ranking in all respects with the existing 1,600,000 preferred ordinary 'shares of £1 each, and by the creation of 500,000 ordinary shares of £1 each, ranking in all respects with the existing 900,000 ordinary shares of £1 each.
Gold Coast Requirements.
Dealing with the local cocoa trade and the railway's capacity to clear the present stocks, a Gold Coast correspondent in The Times says that a large number of American motor vehicles are in use in Kumasi. Until the KumasiTamela railway is completed, he says, there will be plenty of work in that region for light lorries, and even after the railway is working they will be required on feeder roads. A British light lorry, to carry about 20 cwt., selling at E250, would find a ready sale-an opinion very like thet Which 13rigadierGeneral Guggisberg expressed in an interview with a representative of The Commercial Motor.
The sole concessionnaires of the Traffic lorry for the Tinited Kingdom, North Western Motors, Ltd., removed on August 9th from Mersey Chambers, Covent Garden, Liverpool, to the new premises specially builtfor them at 35, 37, 39, Norton Street, Liverpool.
We visited the new building•last week, and found it to be equipped in every way for easy manipulation of spares replacements, and efficient handling of new lorries on arrival from the docks. There is an exceedingly large floor space, and a good overhead system of trasisrniesien. The front of the building is devoted to showrooms with offices for get eral organization on first floor. The whole building has the fullest supply of daylight, and will be equipped with electric lighting so arranged as to give e daylight effect when the dark days come along with the accompanying cold period, which will be oonnterected by eeatral steam heating. The exterior •appearance of the building is riot only pleasing but imposing.
A World's Market in Paris.
The Federation of British Industries has undertaken the direct representation for Great Britain and the Dominions of the Paris " Marohe du Monde."
The idea of establishing a "World's Market" in Paris was conceived in 1919, and front the first received the close at end approval of the Federation. After a year's work the scheme has now come very close to practical realization. The site for the building is being cleared, and contracts for its erection have been placed. Already a very considerable number of American, French, Italian and other Continental, as well as some British, concerns have reserved space in the " Maiche du Monde" when completed. At this stage the Federation of British Industries has decided in the interests of the British manufacturer to give active support to the scheme. It is meat important that the industry of this country sheuld be fully represented at this great gathering place of trade. It is with the object of assuring that an ade
qu.ete share of space 61-hou1d be _allotted to British concerns in the "Marche du Monde" and that their interests should be properly protected that the F.B.I. has decided to take over its representation here and in the Dominions overseas.
Transport in Fez.
A motor transport company has been formed in Fez with a working capital of £5,000, which will be increased in the event of the company's activities proving successful. The members of the company are all British subjects, or under the prttection of the British
Government, Manufacturers who may possibly. see a potential market in this part of the world should forward cataogues of their products to H.M. Consul, British Consulate, Fez, whenet.hey will his ferwarded to the company in question.
Major W. E. Simnett, M.B.E., Assoc. Inst. C. E. (late R. E. ), has retired from the direction and editorship of The Technical Review on his appointment to direct the Intelligence Branch of the Ministry of Transport.
Mr. Sydney Oxon has recently been appointed to the sales managership and also as a director of the Goodyear Tyro and Rubber Co. (Great'. Britain), Ltd. Mr. Oxon is well known in motor trade circles in view of his activities le the past as assistant to the managing director of the Goodyear Co.
Mr. John N. Willys, President of the Willys-Overland Co., of America, is now in England on a visit to the Britieh Overland factory at Manchester. We reproduce his portrait on this page. In nine years, between 1907 and 1916, he turned a borrowed 350dollars into 80,000,000 dollars. His rise to power is sensational, even for America.
Jr. R. Jackeon Jones, whose portrait; appears on this page, has recently arrived, in England as the European representative of the Traffic Motor Track Corporation. Mr. Jackson Jones, who has been -assistant general sales manager of the Traffic Motor Truck Corporation at St.. Louie, has had a wide experience in the metor world, and is well known in the comniercial-vehicle trade in U.S.A. He was in England for some time whilst serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, and has studied the motor trade in this country. Mr. Be Jackson Jones has temporary headquarters at the. British Empire Hotel., Kensington.
Mr. 0. D. North, A.C.G.I., B.Sc. London, A.M.I.M.E., A.M.I.A.E., chief engineer to Straker-Squire, Ltd. and-the talented designer of the Stra.ker-Squire post-war A type chassis, is a man of exceptional ability. He has a quiet but forceful character, and is to be seen frequently at the meetings of the various engineering societies, such as the I.A.E. At these meetings, if the subject be par. ticularly interesting, he semetimes joins in the discussion, and though he does not speak at any great length, what he says is so authoritative that few are venturesome enough to offer any criticisms. Mr. North has had a most varied training and career. He took a four years' course in mechanical engineering at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, and thence entered the shops of the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co., Ltd., at Adderley Park, leaving there to enter the, drawing office of John Holroyd and Co., of Milnrow, where he designed a number of large and small machine tools. After 18 months he joined the designing staff of the Pump and Power Co., where the patents of the Humphrey internalcombustion pump were beinedeveloped. His work there included the design of the big Chingford reservoir installation of Humphrey pumps., After a short period. in the engineering section of the National Physical Laboratory, chiefly on designing plant for aeroplane testing, he entered the commercial vehicle design office of the Daimler Co., at Coventry, whence he migrated to hie. present position, where. he is responsible for all design.
Making Money. Fast.
At one day's police court sitting at Sale, in Cheshire, the fines imposed on char-a-banes proprietors amounted to £70, the largest single fine -being £10 for exceeding the speed limit. The euspeusion of licenceswas threatened by the Bench.
The annual report. of the Planter's Association of Malaya for the year 1919 shows an increase of 32 per cent. in,,production of crude rubber on Malayan plantations. During the past 11 years preduction has been as follows :-1909, 3,340 tons; 1910, 6.504 tens; 1911, 10,782 tons; 1912, 20.327 tons; 1913, 33,641 tons; 1914, 47;006 tons; 1915, 70,214 tons; 1916, 99;063 tons; 1917, 129,923 tons ; 1918, 133,364 tons; 1919, 176,839 tons.
According to World's RAber Position, world production of plantation rubber last year was estimated at 285,225 tons, Brazilian' and wild:Tubbers at 41,635 tons, and!thes amount afloat on December 31st, 1919, at 47,340 tons, making a total of 374,200 tons.
Lorry Market LI China.
Dealing with motor transport...in China in his official report for 1919, Mr. H. H. Fox, C.M.G.,. Commercial Counsellor at Shanghai, predicts that there will undoubtedly be a big market in China for motor vehicles for commercial purposes, as "their use is already developing very rapidly wherever the existence of passable roads admits of their employment. During the last few years American cars have almost monopolized this market, but there can be no ques tion that British motorcars would command a ready sale if procurable." The Commercial Counsellor adds that it is greatly to be hoped that British manufacturers with an eye to the future will endeavour to get a tooting in the China market, "even though it may entail a temporary sacrifice of more profitable or easier business in other quarters."
Leicester Garage Accommoda tion.
Great growth of commercial and °flier motor traffic in Leicester is emphasizing the necessity of urgent attention being given to the provision of enlarged garage 'accommodation. Much has been aone' to meet the needs in recent years, but provision is still quite inadequate, and in a recent case before the magistrates the defence to a charge' of causing obstruction by leaving a motor vehicle in the street was that endeavours made to obtain garage room, had proved
entirely unsuccessful. The plea, howeaer, was unavailing, fines being (.74
imposed, but it is obvious that public or private enterprise must be forthcoming to remedy the admitted deficiencies at Leicester if further irritating experiences upon the part of owners of vehicles visiting the city is to be obviated.
Spanish Petrol Importation.
The agricultural and other industries in Spain are urging thatapetrol should be exempted from customs duties on importation. The Minister of Finance does not deny the reasonableness of the demand, hut asks for safeguards against the use of free petrol for other purposes, such as' for example' running touring
cars. It is hardly thought that the petition will meet with success.
Motor Transport in Burma.
One's sympathies go out to the Burmese correspondent who, writing to a contemporary, deplores the lack of roads and adequate transport facilities in his part of the world. " In most. civilized countries," he says, "motor transport would have come to our aid, and partly made up for want of railways, We have motor tractors in Burma, but no roads on which traffic could • have been established, for motorcars cannot run on mere jungle paths, or cross ma bridged rivers, or the ravines through which, in Burma, they often run."
Lancashire Traffic Census. '
Alderman Aspen, chairman of the Main Roth3 and Bridges Committee of the Lancashire C.C., states that a recent census of motor vehicles counted on five main roads for seven days was as follows: Preston-Blackpool road. 17,355; Preston-Lancaster road, 14,081; Garetang-Blackpool road, 3,409; LiverpoolPreston road, 1,870; Liverpool-Manchester road, 6,309.
He adds that in the next few years the County Council will have to ask sanelion for „loans for very considatable sums in order to effect improvemenIS in the roads, which must be sufficiently good for motor traffic, both for industilal and pleasure purposes.
The voluntary liquidation of Tudors (London), Ltd., is announced. This company is entirely separate from Tudors (Northern.), Ltd., of North British Buildings, East Parade, Leeds. This latter company is in no way affected by the affairs. of the former concern,
French Petroleum Control.
Le. Comite Gauen.] de Petrole haa just settled its programme for-the import of petrol and petroleum during the second half of 1920. It is stated that every measure has been taken to meet. the needs' of the people for heating and lighting during the winter. The measures adopted by the Commissariat General to grant-priority of distribution to farmers, doctors, and veterinary surgeons have been .approved.
The committee insists on vigorous proceedings by all public bodies against speculation in the retail trade.
New wholesale prices have been fixed as from August 1st for both commodities. These prices include the duties recently voted by Parliament.
The Echo de Paris states that, thanks to the favourable contracts made, as a result of the fall in the exchange, by the State, the authorities have been able to relieve the consumer almost entirely from title effects of the new duties on mineral oils.
Le Comiti General has expressed a
hope that. the.Government will follow up very energetically the provisions of the Peace Treaty relative to the delivery of benzole by6eirnany.
.Village. Pump Politicians.
Parochial politics have been rudely disturbed by the approach of the motor coach, and the village pump agitators have been swept aside to focus attention on the manners of the motor-coach tourists.
In their indignation the Helsby (Cheshire) Parish Council has passed the following resolution, which has been passed on to the Runcorn Rural District, Council : "that the attention of the Chief Constable of Cheshire he called to the increasing nuisance in the village, and particularly at week-ends, created by the ocenpanta Of chars-a-banes, and he be informed that the committee complain of the disgusting and obscene language, the riotous conduct, and the personal nuisances which are continually occurring." Truly, the char-e-banca tripper has something to answer for.
The shareholders in W. H. Dorman and Co., Ltd., of Stafford, have recently had addressed to them an invitation to visit the works and see practical demonstrations of wave transmission as applied to rock drill, riveting, and caulking.
Blackburn Smoke Case.
In a recent issue Div. Commercial Motor recorded the Prosecution at Blackburn of two Liverpool steam wagon drivers for using locomotives which did not consume, as far as practicable, their own smoke. Defendants' solicitor, it wilt be recalled, contended that in a recent appeal case it was said that a driver could not be convicted if the cause of the blaek smoke was accidental or temporary. The magistrates adjourned the case for a few days to consider a decision, which has now been announced, They upheld the defendants' contention and pointed out that they accepted the statements which had been made that suitable fuel could not be 'obtained at
the presenttime. In both cases the summonses were dismissed.
A Time-saving Road.
One of the most time-saving roads in Liverpool is that of Queens Drive, s, thoroughfare ' planned almost semicircularly, circumventing the city from
north to southCommercial vehicles from St. Helens, Gersten, and Widnes in the south, and from Ormskirk and • Solithport and the south-west Lancashire district in the north, invariably use the " Drive" to miss the city traffic, and to avoid the uneven stone setts. This thoroughfare connects up the extremities of the highway whiph runs from Walton to Aigkeirth. • In some parts the carriage-way is 50 ft wide, and is paved with pitch macadam 3 ins, thick. It is, without doubt, the finest motoring highnay in Liverpool. Grass plots on either, side are left to allow for future Toad idening.
David Brown v-. Buffoline.
A motion came before the Court in on action of David Brown and Sons (Huddersfield), Ltd.,' against the Buffoline Noieeless Gear Co., Ltd., the action r being for the infringementeof the plaintiff's patent No. 1,103 of 1915, for improvements in or relating to worm gearing. Counsel fo'r the, plaintiffs were Sir Arthur Colefax, K.C., and Mr. Cripps, instructed by Messrs. Ramsden, Sykes and Ramsdell, solicitors, Hudders
field. Courieel for the, defendants was Mr. Whitehead. instructed by Messrs. Ravenseroft, Wcodward and -Co., London.
Sir Arthur Coiefax, K.C,, for the plaintiffs, said that this was an action to restrain the defendants from infeinging a patent, No. 1,103 of 1915, for improvements in or relating to worm gearing. The present motion was for an interim injunction until the trial of the action or until further order. Mr. Whitehead was instructegl for the defendants, and, he understootl, would consent to an order that this be treated as the trial of the action, and that a perpetual injunction be granted against any further infringement of the patent. There had been an isolated infringement only, and it was, therefore, unnecessary to have any enquiry as to damages, but the order would Tao for a perpetual injunction. Cests were not asked for.
Mr. Whitehead, on behalf of the defendants, agreea to an order being made in these terms, and his Lordship made the order accordingly.
Electrics for Mails.
Electric -mail vans for the (Retribution and collection of local parcel -post, between the various sub poet-offices are being put on the road at Liverpool by Mesas-s. J. Blake and Co., to supplement the existing petrol vehicles. .
Liverpool MOtor Parade.
The Liverpool branch Of the Commercial Motor "[Jeers. Association has almost
completed its arrangements for the motor parade to take place in September. It has been suggested that there should be a route parade as well as an assembly for judging. There is a viery handsome prize list, including a silver challenge cup, and several of the leading makers have seiji; along donations.• Thornycrofts in India.
The illustration which we publish on this 'Sege shows a fine array of 40 h.p. type J Thornyeroft chassis, which are pert of an order recently received from India. The vehicles are for delivery to the Gwalior Motor Service Co., of Delhi.
These chassis were shipped from the Basingstoke works or the company to Calcutta, where they were re-assembled at the works of the subsidiary company Thornycroft (Teelia), Ltd., and subjected to-run-nine tests before delivery. All the vehicles eee to be equipped with bodies for passenger service us Delhi, principally for the transport of the clerical staff between the Government.. offices and residential quarters.
India has already absorbed a large number of Thornycroft ex-service vehicles for passenger and goods transport, in addition to the very large number of Thornycroft 2 teimers, which were used by the Indian Army during the war and retained in the Colony for commercial use.
Whitefield (Lancs.) U.D.C. requires motor wagon.
A motor lorry to cost £395 is to be purchased by Merthyr T.C.
The purchase of a motor fire-engine is being considered I,y Bideford (Devon) T. C.
£1,440 is eequired by Peterborough T.C. for the purchase of a steam tip lorry.
For the purchase of a motor fire-engine, etc., Colchester Corporation is to borrow £2,070.
£360 is to be spent on the purchase of a farm. tractor, and £60 on a furrow plough, for the Tunbridge Weds T.C.
Wallasey Corporation has accepted the tender of Messrs. Drake and Gorham for two eleetrie tippingwagons at £2,882.
Shildon (Durham) U.D.C. wants to borrow £1,497 for tho purchase of a two. ton electric haulage wagon for dust collection.
The United Lancashire Tramways Co are negotiating with the Hay-dock U.D.C. with reference to pre-pose's to inaugurate a service of motorbuses from Haydeck to,Earlstown.
Motor Transport in India.
Mr. F. H. Addie, who recently retired from the position of carriage and wagon superintendent of the Bombay, Bareida and Central India Railway, stationed at Ajmer, told the writer the other day that the people of India are going ahead in the matter of motor transport. Just before he left the country a short time ago. Mr. Addis was offered the post of manager of a new motor transport company being formed in Bombay, for which, of course, his experience at Ajmer peculiarly qualified him.
He says his experience as a locomotive officer goes to prove the well-known fact that the Indian can copy or make a. good bit of machinery, but is very careless in
keeping it in repair. The Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway is one of the largest railway systeins in India, comprising a total mileage of 3,871 miles.
During the war the company turned out an enormous quantity of munition, locomotives, hospital and armoured trains, and uiscellaneous items. For-the motor transport 231 ambulance bodies and 1335 box bodies were manufactured.
OIL IN THE MIDLANDS.
A Notable Project which Promises Far reaching Results.
I NTEREST having for a long time centred upon the production of oil from Derbyshire strata in the vicinity
of Chesterfield, it is quite in accordance -with the fitness of things that the neighbouring county of Nottingham should provide the locale for experiments of rare interest, which are destined to exercise a Potent bearing in relation to the
use of a new form of oil fuel for maimfact-tiring and motive purposes., in which the necessities of commercial and other mechanically propelled vehicles must play an importatit part.
Supported by valuable expert opinion, a echerne was some time ago propounded for producing vast quantities of eleetrie energy by utilizing countless tons of " jacks" or bastard cannel coal, DOM
lying derelict in the Notts. and Derbyshire mines, or upon the pit banks' and incidentally to make use of large volumes of oil which. might be de
veloped in the preceSs of conversion. It was estimated that in that way very con. siderahle supplies of valuable motor spirit
might become available, but -whilst nothing hascome of the more am. bitioes scheme -which was p/anined to supply light and power to towns within a radius of 40 miles of Nottingham, a project which. promises far-reaching results is now being set on foot for establishing an experimental station for national use at Kirkby-in-Ashfield, in furtherance of the plan reeoirmiended by the SWAT time Ciamsaiikee on the Production of Oil from Indigenous Source,"
Situate in the Leen Valley of Nottinghamshire, in the heart el one of the rieltest areas of the Midland coalfield, in which many notable exploitations of mineral wealth have been witnessed in recent years, no more fitting site could have been selected for the purpose of examining upon a comprehensive basis problems which have Lang exercised scientific minds. -Thug, although -the aim of rendering Nottinghamshire a centre of great oil manufacturing production may not -be realized upon the lines originally foreshadowed, the county may contribute in a valuable measure to the elucidation of matters affecting the utilization of resources which are indigenous to the soil, and in this way no inconsiderable quantities of material, at present possessing very little market vabae, may he found to serve an eminently practical purpose. It may be recalled that the final report of the committee, which had long had the subject under consideration, recommended the establishment of an experimental station, and through the agency of a company privately formed, with a capital of £100,000, the new :centre of work is to be inaugurated for national use next month, marking the opening of a new chapter in the history of the coal and oil industries. Although there will be an ample field locally upon which to draw for raw materials of widely varying qualities, the arrangements are deeigned to provide means for examination of coal and other bituminous 'materials froth whatever part of the British Isles they. may be sent, the laboratories, moreover, not being limited to dealing alone with insular products, but being open to receive samples from any quarter of the world from which they may be forwarded for the purpose of scientific examination. Thus the widest range is C6'
being given for investigation which cannot fail to have marked influence upon considerations relative to future supplies of oil for motive or other purposes. Opportunely, the schemeis: being launched at a period when there seems reasonable hope of ale project for the establishment of a university for the East Midlands being realized, so that supplementing its own resources the new experimental station will have close to its quarters the Nottingham College, upon. its broadened basis, where much minute research work may possibly be undertaken in furtherance of the general plan.
In consonance With its large interests in oil production-, -liberal support is being accorded to the. undertaking by the British Petroleum Co-, Ltd., which is an offshoot of the Anglo-Persian Oil Co.,. the rest of the capital being forthcoming from coal owners and companies interested in the production of electric power and the utilization -of by-products. In regard to the latter, the immense field which still appears to lie unexplored in relation to the aniline dye industry is of special importance in Midland -centres of textile produaion, such asNottingham and Leicester but, as indicated, it is upon its wider ground of national importance and -particularly as to themotor industry, that the results of the work, shortly to be entered upon at Kirkby, will be awaited with the keenest interest.
From its direct connection. with the Midland, Great Northern, and Great Central Railways,-the new experimental station is most favourably placed for dealing with raw materials from whatever part of the country they-may be sent. Five retorts are now in course of erection for the Midland Coal Products Co., for the undertaking, for which machinery of the most up-to-date type is being installed, will, it is anticipated, ibe in fell swing -before mangweeks have elapsed.
A Manchester Conference Considering Rates and Traffic Arrangements.
IMPORTANT developments are pated from the 'conference that is now sitting pretty frequently in Manchester and in Liverpool to consider rakes and traffic arrangements for road transport.
When Mr. Howard Robinson (who, by the way, 'had previously had 14 years' experience in the organization of railway and canal traffic) took over the secretaryship of the Manchester Team -Owners' Association a year ago, he found the position somewhat chaotic so far as
motor transport -was concerned. But now the various district associations in the North have been brought together for mutual -conference, and the adoption of their policy tothe changing needs of the business. Several meetings of the joint committee have been held, and it is expected that their cogitations will result in a scheme that will give the public absolute confidence in consigning goods "by road rather than by rail.
The institution of clearing houses in various towns and the development of Inutnal interests' among owners of vehicles available for public haulage will probably become necessary. But, meanwhile, the fixing of rates, the evolution of district time tables, and the general co-ordination of the work of the various transport contractors, is furnishing a series of problems that is being tackled in a thorough and practical fashion.
Mersey Congestion Causes £1,000 to be Paid Each Week in Overtime.
W HEN a deputation of ' Liverpool traders waited on Sir Eric Geddes at the Ministry of Transport to ask for assistance in order to relieve the congestion in the cross river goods (vehicular traffic) services, a member of an important produce firm pointed out that the present method of handling goods traffic had -become a positive scan
dal. Quite apart from the difficulties the congestion caused in the conducting of theirebusinesses, the cost in. overtime aieree would, without any exaggeration,exceed £1,000 a week.
The truffle during the mid-summer months is never se great, and although the situation at the present time is a little easier, yet when the winter s,pproaches—and there is reason for believing that from autumn onwards—there 'will he -big imports at Liverpool, and the numbers of idlu vehicles waiting for a passage. will be greater than ever. Many of these traders who have diverse
interests are big users of commercial motor vehicles. The deputation has evidenced a keen foresight in endeavouring to get the dtuation somewhat ameliorated before the winter months arrive. The delay at the -present time ie bad enough, but later on, when commerce at. the port reaches its height, and weather conditions are inclement, 'loss of time will be particularly irritating.
In introducing the deputation, which was composed of representative Liverpool :traders and representatives of the Birkenhead Corporation, Mr. R. P. -Houston, M.P., a Liveipool shipowner, urged the fact that the Mersey ferries were a national highway, -and contended that the Ministry of Transport should -give assistance in regard to the provision of a bridge or a tunnel to cope with the traffic.
Theea-se for the Birkenhead Corporation was that the whole probleni resolved iitself into one of cost, and fully £500,000 would eventually be required 'to put thematter right. Unless the _
Corporation could guarantee the interest, the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board would not provide the capital outlay., and they thought the time had arrived when Liverpool should shoulder part of the financial burden. The delays which had been encountered in getting traffic across the Mersey were fully admitted.. They had consulted -ikith experts, and
had the necessary remedies, but the question was one of cost.
Replying to the various arguments put ?orward, Sir Eric Geddes admitted that to call a ferry a national highway was no exaggeration. He thought a oase had been enuade out, but as Minister of Transport, he had not the power to compel -the -Liverpool Corporation or the Mersey Docks and H.-arbour Board to act. The problem was really one for the traders. His power over roads was limited, and his supply of money mere limited, but in view of the importance of the Mersey in connecting up other towns and roads he would see how far he could be of practical service. He would use his influence, and endeavour to bring the question before the Liverpool authorities. Regarding cost, he could not recommend. the Government to arrange a subsidy, and the more he considered the subject the more convinced was he that the Ministry of Transport could only help in a frrendly way