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A.R.O. Divided on Merger Issue

27th November 1936
Page 39
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Page 39, 27th November 1936 — A.R.O. Divided on Merger Issue
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

MOT only is the National Council of the C.M.U.A. of opinion that the merger cannot be consurnifeated at the present time, but a strong body of opinion in A.R.O. is against an amalgamation on the present basis, between the two organizations. Certain well-known personalities in A.R.O. are bringing pressure to bear to influence members in general to insist upon reforms. "

It is understood that the action brought by two prominent members of that Association, as exclusively revealed by The Commercial Motor on October 9, has now been settled.

Terms of Settlement.

Lieut.-Comdr. Alexander Fallon (chairman of A.R.O. West Cornwall Sub-area and a member of the Hauliers' Sectional Board) and Mr. Anthony Todd (chairman of the Hauliers' Sectional Board) applied in the Chancery Division of the High Court for an injunction to restrain the Association from merging with

the Cooke and Co., Tregonissey House, Market Street, St. Austell, the concern of solicitors which acted for Lieut.-Comdr. Fallon and Mr. Todd, informed The Commercial Motor, on Tuesday, that an order had been made in the action embodying a settlement on the following terms :—

A.R.O. undertakes : (1) that pending the passing of the necessary special resolution at an extraordinary general meeting of the Association, it will not assign, dispose of or part with its assets, or any of them, to the C.M.U.A.; (2) that pending the passing of such a special resolution, the Association, its servants or agents, will not bind, or purport to bind, the Association on any matter connected with the merger with the C.M.IJ.A.. or the appointment of the principal officers of the new unified organization.

A.R.O. has called two extraordinary general meetings tobe held in London on December 15. "The principal business at the first extraordinary general meeting," said Cooke and Co., " is to provide for the election of a new National Council. Notwithstanding this, the passing of a special resolution in favour of a merger with the C.M.U.A. is the principal item on the agenda of the second meeting.

" Whilst national unity is of the greatest importance, the general feeling in the areas is opposed to any merger with the C.M.U.A. on the lines at present suggested. We enclose a letter which is being circulated amongst A.R.O. members, and which, it will be observed, bears the signatures of a large number of A.R.O.'s trusted leaders. . ."

Those Who Signed.

This letter, which is dated November 24, is printed below in full, and has been issued over the signatures of Messrs. A. Todd, chairman, Hauliers Sectional Board; W. W. Walton, chairman, Northern Area;

J. T. Rodwell, representative of Yorkshire on National Council; H. J. Lloyd, chairman, Eastern Area; D. Richardson, chairman, South-Eastern Area; F. J. Downer, chairman, Southern Area; A. Andrews, chairman, South Wales Area;

K. G. Foster, chairman, Devon and Cornwall Area; C. Hodgson, reprepresentative of Devon and Cornwall on National Council; Lieut.-Conidr. A. Fallon, representative of Devon and Cornwall on Hauliers Sectional Board.

The letter reads :—

You will shortly be receiving, or may by now have received, from the general secretary, notice of two extraordinary general meetings of the Association to he held in London on the 15th December. At the second of these meetings a special resolution is to be moved committing the Association to an immediate merger with the C.M.U.A. on the basis of certain points laid down by the National Council as far back as February last, since which date a good deal .-.-..rore information, has come into our possession, which, in our view. alters the situation entirely. This basis leaves most of the main questions necessary for a successful merger undecided.

No council Election.

There has never been an election of the National Council of this Association. The present National Council is stale, and has no mandate from the members to effect a merges 1.vith the C.M.U.A. in the way. proposed, or anv merger. If you vote for the resolution. for a merger, you will be giving the present National Council a blank cheque.

The present National Council were about to merge on the 1st October on the lines set out below, without consultation with you or the Association. Such an amazing procedure was prevented only by legal proceedings instituted on your behalf by Lieut.Comdr. A. Fallon and Mr. Anthony Todd, acting for a large body of members in many Areas. These proceedings have resulted in an undertaking being given by the Association preventing a merger until you have been consulted.

You will doubtless be surprised to learn that the suggested terms included : (1) The name of the Association to • . he the CAI-A.1.A.

(2) The C.M.U.A.. badge to he • adopted.

(3) Mr. Bristow to be chief execu.

tive officer for five years at a high salary.

(4) Mr. Sewill to be chief organizer for one year only.

(5) The discontinuance of the production 'In its present form of the Roadway" (hitherto a paying proposition), owing to the three years' contract entered into by the C.M.U.A. with a firm of publishers while negotiations were in contemplation.

(6) The adoption of the C.M.U.A. Memorandum of Association without the A.R.O. safeguards ensuring equal rights for the several sections (hauliers, passenger and ancillary users).

(7) A National Council of some 60 members, upon which there would sit 12 from the Metropolitan Area, 9 from Laircashire and 9 from Yorkshire, or a total of 30 members (that is, half of the National Council) from three areas alone, leaving only three each from the remaining 10 areas.

(8) Preponderating London (as against provincial) influence at headquarters derived from disproportionate finance and representation. (9) No mention of retaining the invaluable services of Major the Hon. Eric Long as the Association's political adviser.

No one can tell you—not even the National Council themselves—what the new officers salaries are to be ; what the financial position of the C.M.U.A. is, and what reserves they hold ; why our Association, with double the membership (and, we believe, at least double the financial resources) should be submerged in the C.M.U.A. at the behest of a stale National Council, 17 of whom represent the passenger side, and another eight of whom represent nobody but themselves, out of a total of 46. The area representatives on the Council are practically solid against a merger on these lines.

Merger Plan a Failure.

We are convinced that the interests of the Aand B-licence holders throughout the country will be best served by rejecting a merger which would fail to attain national unity. If our passenger friends are not with us, we feel it best to revert (if need be) to a purely hire and reward organization.

Please do not think that we ore against a merger on proper terms—we are not. We are out to secure national unity, but we know that this cannot be attained on the lines which the present National Council is trying to force through. Every vote cast against the merger on the terms announced is a vote in favour of your industry.

To pass the proposed resolution, those in• favour of it would have to 'secure a 75-per-cent. majority. It is, therefore, essential if the proposal is to be defeated, that you should make every effort to vote against the resolution. If you can possibly attend the extraordinary general meetings, do so. If you cannot, give your proxy to someone who can, and whom you are able to rely on to vote against a merger in the form proposed.

Two forms of proxy are being sent you from head office with the notice of meeting. Please sign both over a id. stamp, in each case in favour of . . . . or, failing him, of , . . When they are signed, send them at once to your area secretary in the enclosed stamped, addressed envelope.

Disregard any request to sign proxies in favour of anyone else.

The above letter is printed in the form circulated. The Editor can obviously accept no responsibility for the accuracy of any claim made.

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