Will This Report Secure 'Unity?
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A Precis of the VoluMinaus Report Prepared by the Road Transport Organization. Joint Conference and Issued to Constituent Bodies of the Standing Joint Committee of Rod Hauliers' National Organizations,:
T.13.0USANDS of people in our industry must have been awaiting with great interest the .report on the organization of mail transport prepa'red, recently by the Road: Transport Organization Joint Conference for presentation to the constituent bodies. It will be remembered that Lord Perry, K.B.E.; LL.D., agreed to become the chairman of the Conference, with Major R. A. B. Smith, M.C., as his deputy, and•Mr. G. W. Quick Smith, LL.13., as secretary, the members being executives of the leading transport associations and federations. The following is a precis of the report, which was unanimous.
The need for a greater measure of unity in road transport has long, been ,.recognized, and various efforts have been
, made to improve the position, the latest resulting in the setting up of this Joint Conference. The first meeting was conVened by the S.J,C., representingA and B licence holders of the seven national road-transport organizations, and at a meeting of the executive committee held on May 26, 1942, the chief executive officers were requested to • prepare a yeport on-long-term policy. This was presented to the executive committee on July '15, approved in principle, and issued to the full committee-with a covering report, dated July 16, later being remitted to the constituent organizations for their observations. These vere received and considered at a meeting of the full S.J.C. on Cictober 27.
Up to this point, the matter had, so far as joint deliberations were concerned, received consideration by only the representatives Of public road carriers, but if the proposals were to embrace all the intereets of the seven organizations the scope would obviously need to be wideiaed, and steps to this end were taken on October 27.
How the Scope was Widened
At that meeting the proposals in the first report were annroved in principle, and it was-decided that the con.; stituent bodice' should be invited to nominate their representatives to form a committee which, in turn, became the above Conference. This has held four meetings, whilst
a sub-committee has held five. •
Sufficient progress has been made to enable plans .to be submitted to the organizations, this report being prepared with that object.
Special attention is drawn to "certain major .difficulties, upon which agreement has been reached without sacrificing the fundamental principles of those concerned.
These are:—.1,a) The special position of the National Road Transport Employers' Federation, which consists of loci'', old-established autonomous and independent associations. It is suggested that all Ideal associations 'should continue to do the same work as hitherto, but function et's sub-areas under the name of the appropriate new association, whilst. retaining the old name as a sub-title.
(b) The position of the National Association of Furniture Warehousemen and Remcivers.„ the interests Of which are not confined to transport. Provisidn id to be made for it by means Of a functional group within the new Road Haelage Association, with two sections, one for furniture-removal specialists, the other for operators who undertake removal work intermittently: The group as a wholewill deal With all rojaer-transport matters, whilst the N.A.F.W.R.will continne to deal with those other than road transport. Certain 'general recommendations will need to he adapted to meet circumstances arising from the special provisions -for the N.A.F.W.R. (c) The cleavage, of 'opinion' bet4en those who desire the Federation to te pre-eminent and those who insisf on complete independence and autonomy for all constituent members of the new Federation. All .recognize the value of unity of action in matters of comma!' interest; this is provided by recognizing the independence and autonomy of each association, but providing for prior-aonsultation on all matters of • divergent interest.
' Oee of the outstanding features Of the proposals is the
provision made for a .road transport secretariat, which would procure and record facts, figures, statistics., and minutes of. meetings. This will be attached to thF Federation fo serve the needs of all constituent associations, and should in no way detract from their independence.
It is proposed to create four new bodies, three -of which ' will be independent and atitonomous. They are:—(a) Rbad Haulage Association (i.e., firms, persons or companies carrying goods by road for hire Or reward, whether by power or horse-drawn vehicles, clearing houses and freight brokers), (b) Traders' Road TransportAssodiation (i.e., ancillary users with power or horse-drawn vehicles); (c) Passenger Vehicle Operators' Aseociatibn (i.e., p.s.v. operators and those providing private-car hire services).
Members of all existing aesociations should be transferred to, one or other of these bodies. The three will combine to form a National Road Transport Federation with the main object of promoting combined action and co-ordinating the work of the_ new bodies wherever it is practicable and desirable. Whilst certain provisions are made for consultations, in practice coaoperation will be dependent
upon good will ratherathan rigid rules. •
Local matters of.common interest will be dealt with by local liaison ,committees 'set up in each area by the three associations, each to consist of not more than three members from each body, with a chairman non:dilated from amongst'
Every member' .of the existing organizations vill be entitled to membership of the appropriate association Without entrance fee, and will not be' called upon to pay zt subscription until his current one to the existing body 'hae expired. After that, each will become subject to the regi,. letions of the new association as to entrance' fees, annual subscriptions and other conditions. Each of the existing organizations will pay to the apPropriate new assoCiation an amount equal to the unexpired Portion of the subScription of each of its members who becomes a member of the new body. After provision is made for this, the existing organizations may be left with financial reserves; they will retain power to ,decide (at the time of adoption of these proposals) as to the disposal of such funds. Any outstanding liabilities will be a matter for the organization concerned.
Scheme for Finance and Fees •
It is proposed: (a) that each new association shall have responsibility and autonomy in respect of its own finances, subject to its financial obligations to the Federation; (b) that the national council, of each will determine the entrance fees, subscriptions and other payments in respectof its member's; (c) that subscriptions shall be collected by the areas, a percentage specified by the national council being retained, and the balance remitted to the association hedquarters; (d) that each area shall he responsible for its own finances and answerable therefor to its national council; (e) that areas shall be empowered to accumulate reserves, which shall be the property. of the association; (f) that.all entrance fees shall be treated as capital reserves.
The governing body -of the Federation will 'consist of the chairman of each association and two members of the national council of each. The chairman will be elected • annually by the governing body irom,amongst its members, and will not have . a second. or casting vote. Provision should be made' for the appointment of a president.
The chief executive, officers of the three associations (and other permanent officials, -where dekirable) may attend all meetings of the governing_ body, unless, owing to • the nature of a matter to be discussed, the chairman considers it to be inappropriate for. wie or more of them to be present while this matter is ,under consideration.
The Federation will be able to admit to associate membership any -.other road transport association outside Great Britain with similar objects, upon terms and conditions' it may think fit. Constituent organizations should be required to give one year's notice of their desire to leave the Federation, this not to be earlier than the end of the fourth year from the inauguration, thus giving a minimum of five .years' membership.
It is necessary to determine the question of finance under • three headings:—(a) Capital and reserves, (b) administrative expenditure, (e) .spetial expenditure. Contributions to cover capital expenditure and reserves should be made by the 'constituent organizations in proportion to ordinary subscription revenue. AdministratiVe expenditure should be budgeted for annually in advance, supplementary budgets being introduced when necessary, so that commitments are known to' the constituent bodies and approved by the governing body of the Federation before ekpenditure is incurred Administrative expenditure should, in principle,. be covered in proportion to subscription revenue, subject to suitable adjustments if necessary. Special expenditure, such as a publicity campaign, should be specially authorized before being incurred, and allocations equitably shared by reference to the benefits likely to accrue to each organization Financing the Now Federation
It is proposeck—(a) That the Federation shall have adequate funds in its own name; (b) that it shall be empowered to accumulate reserves for common purposes; (c) that the funds shall be provided by, contributions from constituent bodies on an equittble basis; (d) that contributions be proportional to subscription revenue, subject to suitable adjustments when necessary; (e) that contributions to cover special approved expenditure shall be allocated in advance to theY constituent bodies in proportion to the benefits likely to accrue to each.
The articles of association of the Federation should provide that in national matters each organization, without derogation from its independence,, shall inform the governing body before taking any independent action affecting the interests of any other constituent body,. provided:—(a) that in matters of urgency the. Federation chairman may, with the agreement of the chairman or vice-chairman of each of the associations affected, dispense 'with this proviso, the President acting as a referee in case of failure to agree; (b) that notwithstanding this, any constituent body shall be free to take independent action affecting the interests ot any other constituent body if a meeting of the governing body of the Federation to consider the matter has not been convened within 10' days or, held within 21 days of a request to that effect made in writing to the secretary.
Eachassociation will be organized in areas substantially corresponding with established Traffic Areas, subject to the qualifications that: (a) the war-time Southern area shall be additional; (b) the following areas may, if they desire, be permitted to have two area eommittees or double representation on the national counc11:—Metropolitan, Scotland, Western, North Western, Yorkshire.
Matters regarding boundaries, area offices, etc., shall he left for local settlement, subject to the approval of the governing body. Every member of each n ew association will be a member of the 4area in 'which is his registered address. Where a member has branches in other areas his representatives from there will be eligible to serve on area committees with full voting rights, but not more than two representatives of one member may serve on the natidnal council without the approval of the latter, and in no case shall two representatives of a member bo eligible as area representatives of the same area.
Each area committee will be empowered, subject to the direction of the appropriate national council, to deal with local affairs, and may, without prejudice to principles of national importance, make representations thereon to local bodies and authorities. They may initiate discussions on national matters, but not make representations thereon other than to the national council.
National executives should combine principles of democracy and effective representation. Whilst every Traffic Area must be represented, it is necessary that every important section of the industry should have its chosen representative on the Council. Within prescribed limits, the services of eminent persons who can make contributions Of outstanding value should be utilized, but such persons should have no voting powers.
It is suggested that the national council of each associa
tion should comprise not more than 60 representatives, as follow:—Irea representatives, 34; functional, representatives, maximum, 20; additional members, maximum, (3.
Subject to later transitory provisions, each area committee of an association may elect two representatives to the national council. In each year half these representatives shall retire, but be eligible for re-election if qualified. All functional representatives, additional members and 50 per cent, of elected members of the national council to retire -annually, but be' eligible for re-election if qualified.
It is impracticable for existing national council or sections thereof to combine to form national councils of the new associations. The national council of each, therefore, will consist, at first, and for a period of six months, of six members, nominated by each existing organization. Following this, all the members will retire. .During such period a first area committee of the Road Haulage Association will be elected in each area, and should elect two members to serve on the national council, the first area committee to consist of reprqsentatives of local haulier boards of each' existing organization which functions in the area, the number being such as the national council may prescribe, not exceeding 21. Similar procedure should be followed in connection with the Traders' Road Transport Association and the Passenger Vehicle Operators' Association.
The national council so constituted should have OCAVCT to elect additional members to correct any inequality of representation as between existing organizations ' Within about two years after the constitution of the new association, all members of the national council should retire, but be eligible for re-election.
Each area committee will, subject to the direction of the national council, organize sub-areas and set up sub-area committees on an elective basis, these forming the basis of the democratic structure 'on which the permanent organization is to be built.
It is 'proposed:—(a) that the national council of each association should be empowered to create and recognize functional groups concerned with special interests, e.g., express carriers, furniture removers, clearing houses; . admission to membership to be regulated by the Council; (b) that in the case of each group, operators interested be invited to apply for, registration as members, with or without additional fee; (c) that the groups be organized into areas and provision made for the election of functional group area committees, which would elect representatives to serve on a functional group national committee; (d) that the national council be empowered, in appropriate cases, to permit one or not more than two representatives elected by each of these committees to sit on the appropriate national council as functional representatives, provided that
the number shall not exceed 20. • .
-Functional Group for Removers
The furniture removers' functional group should have two sections, the first composed of removal specialists nominated by the 'National Association of Furniture Warehousemen and Removers, and the first committee should be appointed by that Association; the second section. to consist of those who undertake removal work intermittently. Alt road transport matters affecting furniture removers will be dealt with by the new Road Haulage Association. Contrariwise, the R.H.A. would not deal with any removal matters other than transport.
The winding up of the National Conference of Clearing Houses should be a condition of the creation of a functional group for clearing houses.
As regards existing local associations, if unity is to be complete, no provision can be made for affiliation, but to allow for local loyalties, local associations should, where they desire, constitute sub-areas and operate any special local schemes which may be functioning, retaining their old names as sub-titles., It is suggested that premises at headquarters and in areas for both Federation and associations should be owned or rdited by the Federation and sub-let to the associations. Headquarters should be centrally situated in the Pall Mali ' area, and .should comprise a whole building somewhat bigger than is it first required, accommodation temporarily unwanted being sub-let. It should include a conference room and committee rooms, and should be away from ' traffic-noise. Furniture, fittings and equipment should be