Conflict Between the Associations
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" unity in the industry is A.THOUGH the need for as great to-day as ever before, the gulf between the Associated Road Operators and the Commercial Motor Users Association appears to be widening, rather than narrowing. Before the Road Haulage Association and the Motor Hirers and Coach Services Association amalgamated, all right-thinking operators were striving for unity ; now some of them have been disillusioned and have decided that at present, at least, the ideal is impracticable.
The reason for this change of attitude is that ambition seems to have created a race for membership, and a measure of bad feeling has obviously been engendered between the two organizations. Aspiration to power has overridden discretion, and what is generally known as a 4` mud-slinging match" has commenced. When the project for merging the three associations failed, we consoled ourselves with the belief that a degree of rivalry —Which, we hoped, would be friendly—would encourage the two national bodies to improve their service to members, thus furthering the cause of the industry. We did not foresee that methods of competition, not far removed from a "dog fight," would be introduced.
If lost dignity is to be retrieved, the principal officials of the associations must draw up an agreement enumerating sacrosanct areas in which competition is banned. Where a body already adequately serves the needs of a district, no rival organization should be set up. Furthermore, the two associations should actively assist one another in securing members in those localities. The present conflict must be stopped at once, otherwise the good work of the past few years in making operators unity-minded may be nullified. More important, perhaps, is the effect upon Government circles which petty bickering between national organizations must inevitably have. Power cannot be achieved by deriding the activities of a contemporary, and the body that conducts its affairs in a constitutional, but determined, manner will be successful and authoritative.