OPINIONS and QUERIES
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A PLEA FOR MORE UNITY AMONGST HAULIERS
A S one of many thousands of small. hauliers who feel `—k that the Road Haulage Association is endeavouring to work in the best interests of the industry as a whole and not Only of the big•people, I must confess to some surprise at learning from your issue of July 27 that you are disposed to offer some sort of support, even if of rather ,a luke-warm character, to the disruptive policy af Mr. J. A. Dunnage.
Mr. Dunnage comes out into the open as an advocate, of -fratricidal strife among road hauliers at a moment when the greatest possible unity is more urgent than it has 'ever been before if we are to have any hope of successfully combating a great menace to the very life of our industry. Mr. Dunnage casually suggests that hauliers should not bother about such trifles as thi proposed nationalization of their industry. To do so is, in his opinion, an indication of a desire to draw. red herrings across the trail.
Mr. Dunnage says that opinicins differ on whether nationalization be imminent. I _suggest that he holds one opinion and everybody --else holds the opposite one. His argument is that-this proves that all the others are lishonestly betraying. the interests they are charged to protect.
Personally, I do not think it would matter tuppence what Mr. Dunnage thought on this question, were it not that in your leader in the same issue you at least indicate, without making any definite statement, that there is quite a lot to be said on his side, although, possibly, it is being said rather too soon. You mentioned that the British people have always preferred to die fighting rather than to live as slaves, but personally, in preference to such alternatives, I would prefer to continue to live as a free man. This I see no possible hope of doing unless' our industry unites solidly to oppose the principle of nationalization of transport, even if this involves temporarily working side by side with people who, in other respects not connected with the question of nationalization, may hav-e' interests
opposed to our own. : I suggest that, at the moment at least, the less said attout bringing into existence new organizations of road users, to quarrel with those already in ezdstence, the better. LEONARD V. WARD, Director London, S.E.1. (For L. V. Ward and Co., Ltd.).
ROAD AND RAIL TRANSPORT CONDITIONS IN GREECE
" ECENTLY I wrote to my former representative in
Greece. Hadji-Diarnandi, asking how he had fared, and for particulars of transport conditions generally. In reply I have received two letters, and althoughl cannot, of course, vouch for the accuracy of all the statements, I can say that the writer is a clever man of great integrity. The following are excerpts from these letters:— .
"My wife and 1 -stood the ordeal and the utter privations diming the black years of triple occupation by ruthless .enemies and emerged pocirer, older, but -still healthy. Our property in Pie.,Tus collapsed during. an Italian air raid in November, 1940, whilst in 1941 the Bulgarians invaded Macedonia and my house in Serres was occupied and everything in it plundered.
" We could not enjoy our liberation at first, because of the rising of the Communists, who -murdered thousands of our loyal cifizens, and but for the British Forces they could have come to power and slaughtered the rest of their opponents.
"Superficially, Athens looks like a prosperous town. Hence the erroneous and misleading reports to the Allied Press by various correspondents, but the majority of the people starves.
" Transport is in a terrible state. That for passengers and foodstuffs and other commodities is being done largely by the State, mostly by vehicles ceded to us by the British Army. Private enterprise also plays a big role, but its communications are served by almost obsolete vehicles. Lorries, buses, cars, etc., which saw the war in Albania and were then requisitioned by the enemy, are now on the road again. Railway transport has almost ceased to exist.
" In connection with the latter, these particulars , may be of interest :.—Material destroyed includes the following : Rails, sleepers, 25 per cent.; bridges, 75 per cent. ; tunnels, 10 per cent.; rolling stock, 80 per cent.; of 45,000 wagons, only 150 remain, an'd out of 200 locomotives, only seven are left; , 85 per cent, of the water stations have also been destroyed.' The Corinth Canal Bridge has been blown up and the canal filled •with lorries, engines, etc.
" Information regarding transport in the future is. contradictory. A little while ago it was semiofficially reported that the Anglo-American Committee for the Reconstruction of Communications in Greece was in favour of abolishing railway transport and using only that by road ; next day this was denied. Road vehicles left by.the Germans to the number of 5,000-7,600 are being repaired. The President of U.N.R.R.A. said on July 20 that -it was hoped that between then and the end of the year 20,000 vehicles would be ready for shipping to Greece, Yugoslavia, Albania, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Italy."
It will be understood from these letters that the reconstruction of Greece depends almost entirely upon road transport, for it will take many months, if not years, to bring the railways into reasonably good condition. J. LOVELL BROWNE, A.M.Inst.Mech.E., M.I.R.T.E., Managing Director, Cuthbert Machine Farncombe Hill, Surrey. Tools, Ltd.
'SUGGESTION FOR HAULAGE TRADE APPRENTICES
T"past few editions of your valuable paper have contained remarks on the question of whether or not haulage contractors should carry out their own repairs.
Without wishing to join this discussion—which will, of course, be settled-by individual concerns in accordance with their own policies—I would like to draw attention ta an important point. That is, the personnel who are to carry out the repairs.
Most of yOur readers will know the value of really efficient repair men, andthe motor trade has, through its National Joint Industrial Council, formulated a scheme for the training and certification of it apprentices. You have already, outlined it in your columns. • What of the " haulage trade's " apprentices? Are
they to have a similar scheme, or are the old methods to continue? This .is a long-term problem, and personally, feel that knowledge imparted to youngsters is a really good investment.
There is also the statement to be borne in mind that motor-trade fitters and maintenance fitters need different qualities. Be that as it may, I would like to see some firms take the initiative, and either link tip with the motor trade's scheme, or, better -still, get the roadtransport organizations to work on a really compre
hensive scheme. H. M. HOUGHTON, Manchester, 16.
THIS JOURNAL DESCRIBED AS AN INVESTMENT
MAN Y thanks for your very helpful letter of July 3.
I have noted your sample rates, and they are very, close indeed to my own. The articles by S.T.R. in "The Commercial Motor" have been invaluable, and I must admit that they have brought forward points I had not foreseen, which again proves what a good investment
the journal iS. SATISFIED. St. Helens.
SHOULD HAULIERS REPAIR THEIR VEHICLES?
WHEN An I.R.T.E. Member," writer of the article " with the above title in the August 3 issue of " The Commercial Motor," discloses his identity I will fully and fairly deal with the points he raises. It is my rule never to reply to anonymous letters or articles. Meantime, however, I suggest that other hauliers might very well take up the cudgels on their own behalf. They should -write and state their views. A useful purpose would be served by ventilating this very important subject in your editorial -columns, especially if that discussion were to be spread over a wider area.
Alternatively, I suggest that the Editor might arrange to take a Gallup poll on the subject, to asc&tain which is the procedure more favoured by hauliers. Whether they prefer to carry out their own maintenance and repair work, exc-ept, of coufse, specialist operations such as crank.-;haft grinding and cylinder reboring and relining, or prefer to entrust all the work to the pro
. fessional garage proprietor. E. B. HowEs. Harpenden, Herts.
DESIGN, FAULTS AND REPAIR COSTS
WE read with keen interest the letter from Mr. E.-B. Howes included in your issue dated July 20We are in complete agreement with his remarks regarding faults in vehicle manufacture, and the cost of repairs by the service agents, but, in fairness, we would point out that there is a small number of agents who do try to meet the criticisms made.
In conclusion, we wish "The Commercial Motor" every success, and thank you for the help, that we have received from it in the past. W. T.,SEauLE, Transport Manager
Surbiton, Surrey. (For C. H. Coates; Ltd.).