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17th January 1918
Page 19
Page 19, 17th January 1918 — GAS-DO IT NOW!
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Why You Should Convert to Gas Without Delay Owing to Pending Withdrawal of Petrol Supplies.

Circumstances may at any time arise uhich will make it necessary that in those areas uhere gas is plentiful and easily available it shall be substituted for petrol for driving motor vehicles, and due regard will be had to this contingency in regulating and adjusting the issue of petrol licences and gas permits. THE FOREGOING is the concluding paragraph to the Board of Trade announcement concerning the motor spirit restriction order and the use of gas a précis of which, in so far as it affects the commercial vehicle, we publish on another page. We commend. it to the earnest, studious attention of every reader. We may remark that no more momentous official intimation bearing upon the motor fuel situation of to-day has ever been issued, since it strikes directly at the heavy-wagon and lightvan interests. It is a timely warning of which the wise man cannot be too strongly urged to take advantage right now.

In brief, we are within measurable distance of the day when our petrol supplies will be insufficient to go round ; when motor vehicles engaged in essential • traffie, like the members of the community, will have to be rationed compulsorily. Our own opinion is that this day is far nearer than the commercial-motor user imagines. • There is no need fOr alarm. The situation is perfectly explainable. With aeroplanes and military motor wagons being turned out literally by.the hundred from the workshops of the Allies., a huge petrol demand is inevitable. However severely we may be fuel-rationed at home, the Services at the Front must have plenty.

But the heavy vehicle is better oft than its owner. Whereas the last-named is deprived of a substitute for bread, meat, and other indispensable commodities there is a proved efficient substitute for petrol-coal-gas. It is doing good work in carrying on to-day in every ramification of trade, and it has proved to be only slightly inferior to its petroleum contemporary as a fuel servant.

As the latest official announcement explains, gas will only he forced upon the motor users in those districts where supplies are readily available. By so doing, vast quantities of motor spirit will be released to be distributed where it is able to fulfil more important service.

"But," remarks the perplexed motor user, "how am 1 to know whether the necessary supply of gas will• be forthcoming to allow me to make the conversion?" There is no difficulty in this connection. The user' knows the radius through which his vehicles operate. He should consult the list of gas-supply districts published in our issue of 0th December last. A perusal thereof, although incomplete, will help him over the first stile. Should this be insufficiently conclusive, he should approach the gas companies in the territory he serves, and ascertain on the spot whether or no gas fuel to satisfy his needs will be forthcoming.

Conversion should be carriedout without a moment's delay. The respective claims of the flexible container, high or law compression cylinder system, • and other expedients to the common end can now be thoroughly investigated from every point of view, and their respective merits and demerits compared, as well as differences in initial cost, maintenance charges, depreciation, and efficiency. It is also possible to decide precisely which method is likely to meet the prospective user's individual requirements to 'the most advantageous degree. The necessary facts and figures are now available. Undoubtedly many contemplative gas users have been awaiting the .manufacture of the fabric bolsters or cylinders. We have made investigations concerning these contributions to the compression system and have received the following reply from Wood.Milne, Ltd.


Sir,—We beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 9th inst., and also wire with reference to our position in connection with the gas cylinder. We regret, however, to inform you that we have decided to suspend operations, as in. view of the latest issued order which brings the use of coal-gas for traction purposes under the same restrictions as that of petrol, we do not see the advisability of proceeding further with the development of our scheme. The entire problem, right from the start, presented enormous difficulties, and although the preliminary tests gave very satisfactory results, we are now inclined to the belief that compression is purely a post-war problem.

Of course, we believe that if gas has come to stay as a motor fuel, the only satisfactory proposition will be found either in our idea or something very similar. We also feel that the work of finding a satisfactory substitute for petrol could lay claim to national importance but the number of obstacles which the would-be! solver encounters renders it too strenuous under the abnormal conditions that already prevail.—

Yours faithfully, J. T. MAGEE.

Manchester. For WOOD-MILNE, LTD.

We have also been advised, following an inquiry we made of Mr. Leo Swain, of Geo. Spencer, Moulton and Co., Ltd., 237-239, Deansgate, Manchester, that his company is not yet in a position to supply the gas cylinder which it contemplates manufacturing.

At the moment firms specializing in the carrying out of the necessary work for converting to gas fuel are in the position to cope with orders promptly. Ample materials are available, while the labour at command is adequate. So far as the flexible containers are concerned, we understand that there is plenty of fabric to hand to meet the situation and to assure steady output if orders are placed at this juncture. With regard to the compressed cylinders the situation is somewhat different. In this instance the number of cylinders is strictly limited, inasmuch as the bottles are in urgent demand for the storage of acetylene, oxygen, hydrogen', and other gases for divers purposes. Even the low-pressure cylinders or drums are not forthcoming in big quantities owing to the circumstance that such vehicles, after having fulfilled their designed duty, are being sold as scree for which they command as high a price as it 801.1 second-hand for further gas service. Obviously, if decision is delayed until the nettle]: issuance of the order compelling the use of gas in lieu of petrol throughout certain areas, exasperating inconvenience, if not actual disappointment, is likely to be incurred. A rush at the last minute must provoke congestion, and impose an insuperable tax upon the slender available labour and stocks of materials, both textile and metallic, for fittings. Lastly, do not forget that the military are trying out the compression system and are eminently satisfied with the results achieved. Should the. War Office decide to convert Home Service vehicles to compressed as the plight of the private user will become harder.* Therefore we say do not delays Convert to gas at once!


Organisations: Home Service
People: Leo Swain
Locations: Manchester

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