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 riens."=,fohn Beattie Crozier.
The International Motor Congress.
At a recent meeting in Paris of the International Motor Congress, when the automobile industries of Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy and the United States were represented, the following resolution was passed unanimdusly :— " In view of the production during the present war by the automobile indus
tries of the Allied countries of war material of all kinds, and cd the services veridered by automobile transport of the highest importance to the Armies; and in view of the fact that motor transport of passengers and goods is now an indispensable condition in modern life; that motor transport generally has long ceased to be a matter of luxury, and has become a necessity for commerce and industry; recommends that the internal taxes and duties of all kinds direct and indirect, which fall heavily on automobilism in most of the Allied Countries, be largely diminished in order to permit normal and progressive development of 'automobile communications ; and that the product of these taxes and duties be applied to the upkeep and improvement of the
roads." . .
In forwarding this resolution the Motor. Legislation Committee desire to lay emphasis •upein the following points in connection with the taxation of 'motor vehicles and petrol in this country :— I. It has been stated that there is an ample supply of motor spirit in this country ; indeed, the import is only limited by storage capacity.
2. The, special, duty of .6d. per gallon was imposed by the Finance Act, 1916, as a temporary measure for restricting the consumption of Petrol. This special duty, together with the expensive and unnecessary machinery of the Petrol Control Board should therefore be immediately abolished 3. The revenue derived from the proceeds of taxation of motor vehicles and motor spirit was paid to the credit of the Road Improvement Grant under the Finance (1909-10) Act, 1910. The Finance Act, 1915, doubled the duty on motor spirit, but, however, diverted the annual Road Improvement Grant to State purposes. 4. The proceeds of these duties should again be " earmarked " for the improvement of roads and be administered by a special Board or Department within the new Ministry of Communications.
5. Development of road transport is entirely dependent upon the import of motor fuel. The question of the encouragement of home-produced fuel is one of vital importance to the commercial and industrial prosperity of the country.
So great is the stodk of motor fuel now in this country, that petrol importers find it difficult to store the fresh supplie.s coming in. Under sound economic conditions the price of motor fuel would rapidly fall in those circumstances, and consumption would be stimulated. But Government control of B26
the fuel and the continuance of the petrol super-tax restrict the demand. Millions of Londoners have been taxed recently by a heavy increase in omnibus fares, and the bus companies have put forward the plea that the increase is due in part to the high price of petrol. The national revenue does not derive full benefit from the taxation of motor fuel, as the costly Petrol Control department must be paid for. Vigorous efforts are now being made by the Motor Legis, lation Committee to bring about the immediate abolition of the pernicious system of petsolocontrol, and -the removal of the extraor sper-tax on teal.
Lamps and Omnibus Widths.
Camberwell Borough Council has had some correspondence with the Commissioner of Police as to street lamps and the public footways of main thorough fares which are omnibus routes. Some of these lamps are said to project over the roadways, but the Council consider that any difficulties are caused through the manner in which the motor omnibuses are constructed, and suggests that the Commissioner should not license vehicles it the top decks overhang the wheels.
In connection with the article entitled "A Brewery Concern Enters the Trade," which appeared in our issue for April 10th, Hancock and Co., Ltd., wish us to state that South Wales Commercial Motors, Ltd., which has been formed for the purpose of handling Cornmer Cars in South Wales and Monmouthshire is an entirely independent company, arid. that the business is in nowise connected with the hrevfery concern except that the principals of Hancock and Co., Ltd., .tre actively interested. It was intended that our article should convey this impression.
The Westminster City Council invites tenders for the supply and maintenance of one or more, but not exceeding ten motor tip wagons, to be used with interchangeable dust and water bodies. Tenders must be delivered by April 30th.
Public Admittance to Slough' Inquiry.
The committee of five lords appointed to join a committee of the Rouse of Commons to inquire into the conditions under which the Government works at Cippenham are being carried out, the cost involved, and the responsibility for the advice on which the scheme was undertaken, consists of the following peers i—Earl Russell, the Earl of Kintore, Lord Clinton, Lord Denman, and Lard Faber. The Commons committee consists of Mr. Britton, Sir Joseph Davies, Mr. Davison,Mr. Rogge 'and Mr. Gerslican Stewart. To consider the question of procedare the first meeting was held last week of the joint committee, when theEarl of Kintorie was elected as chairman, and it was decided that the inquiry should be open to the public. The next ineeting will be held on May 2nd •in Committee Room C of the House of Lords at 11 a.m., after which the sittings will take place on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Italy's Motor Feeders.
The use of motor vehicles as feeders to the railroads is believed to be more extended in Italy than in any other country in the world. This is owing to the fact that 'Italy is a mountainous country in which railroad lines can only be built at considerable cost and labour. The total length of normal track railroad linesin Italy is 8,700 miles, while the length of routes over which motor services are ruo with a fixed time-table is 8,070 Miles. There are 400 of these lines over which regular public services are run.
Glasgow and Modern Methods..
A special sub-committee of the Glasgow Corporation has been 'going into the question of new and improved vehicles and plant for cleansing purposes, and has now decided to send a deputation to inspect the haulage plant and appliances in operation in London, Birmingham and Sheffield.
At King's College last week was showa a large map of London prepared by the London Society, to show how it would be possible to improve the great arterial roads of London in accordance with the proposals suggested by the Traffic Branch of the Board of Trade, and agreed to in principle 137 the local authorities concerned. This plan gives an excellent idea of the disposition of the projected new roads, which, if constructed, would greatly relieve not only the congestion in the heart of.Londons but at many suburban centres, and thus lessen the excessive cost of transport in the Metropolis. The proposed improvements would also provide better means of access to the new housing schemes in course of evolution, and would introduce a vast park system of :waterside reservation for Greater London', -which the Society holds to be eminently pi-a:aka That is if a general development is undertaken as soon as possible. If the authorities wait until sanction has been given to the various town-planning schemes already in preparation for the encircling of London, then the new roads might probably neverbe made. .
Belgian Army Returned Lorries.
The Belgian Army, which possesses some 5,000 commercial vehicles of various sizes, is turning over these lorries ta the various Belgian manufacturers for overhaul and repair, with a view subsequently to putting them on the open market. In this manner labour will be absorbed and works activities rehabilitated.
Government Lorry Sales.
By direction of the Ministry of Munitietts Surplus Government Property Disposal Board, a series of auction sales is being held at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, N. 1, during the months of May and June,. when large numbers of lorries and vans of all makes, sizes and descriptions will be brought under the ha-miner. All the vehicles are being Sold without reserve. Applications for
catalogues, which, when ready, will be Is: each, should be made to the joint auctioneers' Goddard and Smith, 196, Piccadilly, W. 1, and J. Trevor, F.A.I., 2, Coleman Street, E.G.
House organs—not Of the mechanical order—otherwise works journals, first sprang into being, we think, in America. Following the example of our American cousins many large motor manufacturing concerns in this country now 'publish, mostly at monthly intervals, a works i magazine. There s no question that these little publications have accomplished much in securing co-operation between employer and employed and have assisted the worker in no small degree to an active interest in his job..
One of the latest members of the industry to open arr-,editorial office of its own is the Coventry Chain Co., Ltd., and the first issue of their little journal— aptly called The Litifss-has made its bow to the employees this month. It is a very good first effort, and contains much bright matter for all classes of readers. The new little journal will, without doubt, be a strong link in the chain of progress at Coventry.
At a recent meeting of the Staffordshire County Council, Sir Reginald Hardy, in sulmitting the report Of the Main. Roads and Bridges Committee, said that the estimate of the expenditure on main roads for the coming year was the largest during the time that he had been chairman of the Committee. The total estimated expenditure on the main roads by the Council for the year was £190,000 against the last year's estimate of £57,445, the large increase being accounted for by the enormous rise in the cost of material and wags increases. Of the sum of £198.000 it was hoped to receive a Government grant of £118,000, leaving £80,000 to be provided for by the county ratepayers, which would mean an increased road rate of 12d in the £1. An Edison two-ton electric vehicle was recently subjected to a test extending over a period of four weeks in and around Birmingham. Some of the roads traversed were in a deplorable state, and the gradients were numerous. The Weather was typically English, and some snow was encountered. The following results will be of interest to our readers: Total working time, 225 hours; total load transported, 849.2 tons ; distance covered, 761.6 miles; total gross ton-miler (weight of vehicle plus loan), 3,320; average miles per hour over whale working period, including standing time, 3.34; average load on vehicle over total distance covered,1.115 tons; ampere-hours per vehiclemile, 8.55; ampere-hours per too-mile, 1.96 ; units per vehicle-mile, including battery losses, 0.825; units per ton-mile,
on same basis, 0.189. With electrical energy at 1.625d. per unit, cost of power per vehicle-mile, 1.34d., and per ton mile, 1.241. of load transported. The vehicle ran without a hitch, and covered a distance equivalent to 9,-900 miles per annum.
, Atlas Buys Bayard.
It is stated that Messrs. Ateliers Atlas, the well-known French commercial vehicle manufacturers, recently purchased the works and plant of the Clement-Bayard CO. in France .in order to increase their manufacturing output considerably.
Loss of Power.
' A frequent source of trouble with motor engines In connection with loss of power is a leaky induction pipe. In the majority of cases this is the result of bad fitting of the flanges. There is only one way of isocreaming this serious complaint, and that is to use a proper packing and make a special paint of treating it with a suitable preparation. One of the best compositions of the kind on the market is.' Universoline, manufactured by the well-known firm of Sterns, Ltd., who market the Sternol brands of lubricating oil and Ambroleum for transmissive purposes.
New Lorry Builders.
The board of the Co-operative Wholesale Society of Manchester have decided to purchase the designs and patterns of the Bell Motor Commercial 'Vehicle _ Works at Dewsbury, and to establish motor works at Crumpsall, Manchester. The contention of the Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd., ie that the C.W.S. vehicle (the name by which ii is to be known, although except for a
few changes the general characteristics of the Bell design will be xetaine,d) will by that means be sold at a considerably lower price than could he done if . distributed through the ordinary channels. It is stated that a, one-tonner is to be built in the first plaiie and that a three-tourer will also receive coasideration.
New Renault Factory.
The Renault Co. are about to build in France a new factory for the construetion.of commercial vehicles. It is stated that a model village is to be erected in connection with the projection, and that
it will houss 5,000 workers. In consideration of the social side of the workers a theatre, picture palace, restaurant and tennis courts are to be included in the scheme of construction.
• Tyre Standards.
The Solid Tyre Committee of the S.M.M. and T., of which Mr. H. Shank
land, of the Shrewsbury and Challiner Tyre Co., Ltd., has, as we mentioned last week,, been elected chairman, will consider the question of internationalization of the British tyre standards. This will be done through the Inter-Allied_Bureau at Paris, on which the Society represents Great Britain.
In this connection it May be mentioned that the Pneumatic Tyre Committee brought about in the same way the internationalization of the rim standards for pneumatic tyres for motorcars.
Road Material Freed.
The control by the Army Council of road stone quarries, including slag dumps and slag works producing road materials has now ceased, and the Road Stone•Control Committee will be dissolved accordingly. Steps are being taken to revoke the Order of the Council dated August 7th, 1917, taking •possession of all road stone quarries in England and Wales and the Road Stone Transport Order dated August 31st, 1917.
Electrics in Germany.
Dr. E. Valentin, in a recent issue of .Der Motorwagen, dismisses the advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles, more especially in relation to prevailing German conditions. Before the war a number of electric vehicles were in use in Germany, and this country was second in the list of countries using this particular type of vehicle, the 'United States being at the head, of the list. The principal uses of electrically-propelled vehicles are summarized by the author as follows :—Fire brigades (34 brigades use this type of vehicle in Germany. Berlin itself had 50 electrically-propelled engines) ; street cleaning cars; cabs (of -which 475 were plying on the Berlin streets); buses and hotel cars. Many delivery vans and lorries are in use in Germany, of a carrying capacity of from -4 ton to 5 tons. The Berlin postal authorities use electric vehicles to a. large extent, including electrically-propelled trioars for clearing; letter-boxes. For ambnlance vans the electric vehicle is peculiarly adapted owing to freedom 'from vibration. Six German firms are occupied in. the manufacture throughout of electric vehicles, and another eight firms with the manufacture of various components.
Ford Tractor Works.
At the Ford tractor works in Cork, recently, the Laid Mayor of Cork and party marked the completion. of the great factory,his lordship making the first casting in connection with the manufacture of agricultural tractors. Steady progress is being made towards the completion of the huge stork-s.