Heard in "The House"
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
WE have received the following communication from Mr. G. W. Quick Smith, secretary of the The Standing Joint Committee speaks neitlier for the ' big man ' nor for the small man,' but for the road haulage industry. Subtle innuendos are used from time to time to convey the impression that the S.J.C. is extremely active on behalf of the ' big Man ' ; or, alternatively, that the
S.J.C. achieves nothing. 'Sometimes the S.J.C. is 'all powerful and omnipotent ' ; at sother times, it is supine and impotent,' it all depends on the particular argument the critic of the moment is pursuing.
" Innuendos and distortions are often allowed to pass without comment, but when a gross misrepresentation of fact is involved, a protest must be made. The chairman of the S.J.C. Parliamentary Committee (Mr. 13: G. Turner) and the secretary of the S.J.C. (the writer) were present froth 11 a.m. to 5.15 p.m. throughout the Debate in the House of Commons on Friday, May 5, 1914; .fureherniore, Mr. Sewill was• present throughout in his capacity as a member of the S.J.C. Parliamentary Committee (as wellas National Director of A.R.O.) ; Major the Hon. Eric Long* was there also as an adviser to the S.J.C. Mr. E. B. Howes (who, with his companion, arrived after the Debate 1-ad started and left before it had finished) conveys the impres-. sion that the S.J.C. is uninterested and therefore writes, I, was sorry to note that thete were so few representative
of our industry present in the-Gallery. Besides myself, there was only Mr. A. F. C. May, of London. Mr. Roger Sewill was there with, What I presumed, were members of his secretarial staff and the editorial staff of the " Roadway " Now, is Mr. E. B. Howes deliberately attempting to . misrepresent the S. J.C.? Are we to assume that the only hope for the H.M.F. lies in misrepresentations coupled with attacks on the S.J.t. and its constituent organizations? Is the role of the H.M.F. merely that of the critic, .or is it intended that it should do anything? Can one solid achievement of the H.M.F. be cited?
" It will take more than a negative policy of criticizing others to assure the success of the II.M.F.—in the long run it will be its record of achievements which alone will command support. The S.J.C. may have i„ts, faults and failings.; some of them may be illusory ; others are due to the unassailable powers possessed by the Government in wartime, as in the case of the Road Haulage Scheme. But the S.J.C. has many solid achievements to its credit, not the least important being the series of rates schedules which have been negotiated with Government Departnaents.
" Unity, once a virtue, is now a vice in the eyes of certain people. On, the eve of achieving unity it is suddenlY .found that an ' opposition ' ii necessary, thus giving an excellent opportunity for the Government to say ' they are divided amongst themselves; we will plan their industry Jar them.' The S.J.C. stands for unity In 'the industry; this unity must and will be consummated in the new National Road Transport Federation now to be Set Up."