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News and Comment.

17th June 1909, Page 12
17th June 1909
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 12, 17th June 1909 — News and Comment.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

This journal is exclusively read by the principals of many wealthy commercial houses, by the heads of important Government and Colonial Departments, and by numerous officers of Local Authorities. It has a certified and genuine circulation.

Mechanical transport in the Colonies calls for attention on pages 290 to 292.

The Thomas transmission gear, the abridged specification for which was published by us on the 17th December last, has now been undergoing road tests. A few impressions about this invention are given on page 298.

Fire-brigade Matters.

Forms of tender can now be obtained from Mr. 0. Claude Robson, M.Inst.C.E., engineer to the Willesden U.D.C., whose offices are at Dyne Road, Kilburn, NW., in respect of his council's requirements of a motor fireengine combining hose, tender and escape. Tenders, accompanied by a £10 note, have to be delivered on or before Tuesday next the 22nd instant..

The Royal Show.

Further to our announcements on and since the 27th May, we would advise readers to look out for our " Royal Show " report of next week, to order that issue in good time for themselves, and to send out extra copies to any friends in the Colonies or abroad. A brief forecast is given by us this week (pages 305 and 306), but no report from Gloucester can appear until next week as the exhibits will not be assembled until Monday next. The show is to remain open from the 22nd to the 26th instant.

The Finance Bill.

Resolved, by the Council of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, on Thursday, the 10th instant : " That, in view of the fact that the new duties upon motorcars will be a heavy tax upon motorists and will considerably hamper the industry, the additional tax upon petrol is unreasonable and will prove a serious blow to the trade, and the Society hereby calls upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer to withdraw it." We hope all individual motorists, motor owners, and motoring institutions will support this attitude, which, in respect of commercial vehicles with internal-combustion engines, has had our undivided support since the first day—issue of the 6th May—upon which we had the opportunity to explain the inequity of Mr. Lloyd-George's proposals. If there is to be a tax at all on road transport, let it be a tax upon axle-weight, and let it be of universal application. It is interesting to note that the Board of Customs and Excise is not yet prepared to publish anything in regard to the machinery affecting the rebate on motor spirit : its instructions, whatever they may be, are, we learn, "only intended for the personal use of the officers of this department." The Swedish Trials.

The Swedish international commercial-motor trials began in Stockholm on the 7th instant, when 12 of the 14 vehicles reported in our issue of the 3rd instant (page 258 ante) faced the starter, the Turicum wagon having failed to come from Berlin, and the lighter of the Lorraine-Dietrichs being disqualified on account of the narrowness of its tires. The roads between Stockholm and lipsala proved to be in wretched condition, and loud complaints were heard from the foreign drivers, some of whose heavily-loaded wagons sank up to the axles in the tracks. At one period, the trials had to be suspended, while two of the bridges on the line of route were strengthened, as the strain of the selfpropelled traffic was more than they could hear with safety. The Aspelin and Kjellberg wagon had a number of mishaps on the opening day, owing to the inexperience of the driver, and did not continue the contest, whilst on a later day a Gaggenau was seriously delayed by the overturning of a cart loaded with timber, the horses of which had taken fright at the unusual sight of a motor. The mechanical difficulties and breakdowns were only of a temporary character, and the reliability of the vehicles has made a favourable impression on the public.

The judges' report is awaited with interest, and this will receive notice in our columns, but it is again made very evident that Swedish roads and bridges do not—in their present bad state—assist this traffic.

Prospects in Brazil.

An English correspondent of this journal, who has been commissioned to watch commercial motor developments in relation to further purchases for Brazil, with a range between load capacities of from two to five tons, has forwarded some interesting notes in regard to conditions of use in that country, and we quote them verbatim :— " (1).—Petrol vehicles are practically useless, except in the large sea-ports : this is due to the fact that there is no regular supply of petrol. In this connection, I may say that I scoured London attempting to get quotations for the delivery of petrol at Santos in large quantities, but with no success. The British firms, apparently, did not care to take the trouble to find out the means of shipping. In justice to one firm, I must say that it offered to send out occasional shipments, but it would not guarantee a monthly supply of 2,000 gallons or so, which was what I required. This order has gone to America, where they do manage to surmount difficulties. " (2).—The use of the petrol vehicle up country ' is confined to the country bordering the railways. " (3).—There is an excellent opening for steam vehicles, not necessarily for use in towns, but on the extensive coffee estates where they most certainly will eventually usurp the place of the thousands of mules at present employed. "(4).—As regards the sea-ports, they are much the same as sea-ports the world over, and, therefore, steam vehicles can be used there just as well as they can in any English town.

" (5).--I have been particularly struck by the fact that the British manufacturer does not attempt seriously to get into touch with the class of Brazilian merchant who would buy commercial vehicles. What the manufacturer should do is to find out the names of the big coffee planters, coffee exporters and other big merchants, whom he should circularise direct, and with catalogues, if possible, printed in Portuguese. The Brazilians are well circularised by Continental firms, and these understand the advantage of putting catalogues and specifications of their goods before their possible customers in their own language."

Some of our trade supporters may take the hints offered. The Auto-Transport Co., Ltd., with its registered office at 70, Queen Victoria Street, E.C., and an authorised capital of £30,0.50, has been formed to establish motor services, for the carriage of passengers and goods, in Eng land, France, Belgium, and elsewhere, and to adopt an agreement with MM. Henri Pirol and Andre Roust.

Mr. L. A. Legros, of Melbury, Clarendon Road, Watford, again asks the support of readers of this journal who may have votes for election to the London Orphan Asylum. He is supporting the case of Alfred John Codling, and already has promises of about 300 out of the 700 votes required. Others may be sent to the address named.

A Business Note.

The Business Department of this journal particularly requests that advertisement instructions intended for our issue of next week, in which the " Royal Show " report will appear, should reach the office in Rosebery Avenue not later than first post on Saturday, in order that our programme for delivery of the issue in the showyarcl at Gloucester during the early afternoon of Tuesday may be facilitated.

Light Railway Applications.

During the month of May, there were ten applications, in the United Kingdom, for light railway orders. These came from the following parties : Clayton West and Dayton Light Railway Co. (extension of time and amendment); Headcorn and Maidstone Junction Light Railway Co. (extension of time); Padstow, Bedruthan and Mawgan Light Railway Co. (amendment and extension of time); Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Light Railway Co. (amendment); Southend Corporation (revival and extension of time); Ventnor Urban District Council (Ventnor funicular) ; Wolverhampton and Ca n

neck Chase Railway Co. (extension of time); Mawddwy Railway Co. ; Messrs. E. Hughes, D. Roberts, and J. Owen (South Anglesey); and Falkland Light Railway Co. (extension of time). It is pretty clear to us that some of these proposals might well be replaced by road-transport schemes.

An Early Lancashire Wagon.

When at the works of Leyland Motors, Ltd., earlier in the month, the writer was much interested to observe the gold-medal Leyland steam lorry of the third Liverpool Trials undergoing a metamorphosis. This vehiele was purchased by Mr. William Birtwistle, of Preston and Blackburn, and of T. and It. Eccles, Ltd., Darwen, and was run on steel tires until a. few weeks ago. With approximately 100,000 miles of travelling by road to Its credit, it now seems to be ready for a new lease of life, and we illustrate it—upon a set of ShrewsburyChalliner solid-rubber tires in the glory of its new paint and fittings. Mr. Birtwistle's decision to go to the expense of equipping it with new wheels and rubber tires is the outcome of his recent experience with a five-ton,

rubber-tired, Leyland petrol lorry, which particular machine does its 96 miles a day. We should say that the capital outlay will be amply justified by the additional daily earnings.

Stronger Bridges.

Concrete and steel are to replace the arch of the old bridge of Balnauld, at Fortingall, County Perth, and this flattening of the viaduct, coupled with its strengthening, will be much appreciated by up-to-date users of the highway in question.

Another Turkish Report.

The British Consular report on the trade of Adana (Turkey) states that (at the time of writing) there were three proposals for motor services put forward, namely, Mersina to Selefke, Adana to Hanaidiell, and .E1amidieh to Ayes. The latter two depended very largely on the trade of the railway and whether or no it constructed a light line to Ayas, but., as motor-service projects, they were all dependent on the state of -the roads, which at present was execrable for motors. The road tax is now collected, and the new provincial councils created under the Constitution have declared that the improvement of the roads will be their first business.

Checking Weights and Measures.

The latest evidence of the utility of the motor vehicle comes from Durham, where the County Council has been employing a Darracq car to aid its chief inspector of weights and measures, Mr. F. Scott Elder, in the discharge of his duties. No less than 78.5 per cent. of the whole of the weights, measures and weighing instruments stamped in the county have been inspected and checked, during the past five months, compared with a prior average of 54.5 per cent. As the new regulations of the Board of Trade require an inspection to the extent of 100' per cent, per annum, it certainly would seem that the utility motor provides the best solution.

The Wilful Disorganisation of Traffic.

From London Bridge to the Bank, during the past ten days, it has been almost impossible to make way by road. At one and the same time, road contractors have set to work to pull up the granite setts of the roadway o'er the bridge and to relay great stretches of the wooden road paving from King William Street, past the Statue, right up to the northern end of the bridge. This combination of obstruction has quickly thrown the whole of the traffic, within half-amile of the Monument and London Bridge, into a state of chaos. The average speed of the road vehicles in this zone of trouble can be no greater than one mile per hour, and the effects of the congestion are felt half over the City. It occurs to us to ask.

why, simultaneously, four distinct upheavals should be commenced; why work should be started on them all at breakfast time on Monday morning, and, finally, why the bulk of this repair work of main thoroughfares cannot be done, in suitable areas, at night-time and on Sunday—even at the cost of a few hundred pounds a year extra to be expended in wages and lighting? Why not insist On the Italian asphalters' working at night?

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