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Government Scheme Has Split the Haulage Industry

28th January 1944
Page 35
Page 35, 28th January 1944 — Government Scheme Has Split the Haulage Industry
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

THE following resolution was passed at a meeting of representatives -of hired vehicle operators, held in London on Wednesday of last week:. " That this meeting of hauliers should elect a Central COmmittee representative of all users to consider and recommend Ways and means of fighting for the present and future protection of the small hauliers in this industry."

• Ttre meeting was convened by members of the East and West Midland Areas Hired VehicleOwners Panels. Mr. Bouckley Wa.s in the chair and was 'supported by Messrs. Bedworth. Meredith, Merritt and others of these Midland Area Panels. At the meeting were representatives of hired vehicle owners from all parts of the country.

It transpired that this was the outcome of a meeting of members of the 'West Midland Arca held on December 28 to discuss the position of hired vehicle operators under the Government Scheme and to take such action

as seemed to be advisable. It was, decided -that each of those present should contact his local H, P. In the beginning each was: to he made familiar with the set-up of the Government -Scheme and to be given facts to show

that it was proving detrimental to the war effort. A deputation to the House was to be the culminating action.

This earlier meeting was so successful that it was decided that the scheme should be given wider publicity and the maximum number of operators made interested in it, Hence the meeting in London.

In his preliminary address, the chairman pointed out that the haulage industry to-day is split, and split deliberately. They were gathered there to fight for the interests of not only the industry but of the country in order (a) to preverit nationalization of the industry and (b) to preserve the goodwill of the individual haulier.

Mr. Bedworth explained the purpose of the meeting in some detail. He referred to the original West Midland Committee as a Council of Action. What they wanted, he said, was summed up in one word—" equality." The Ministry, in the application of this scheme, has split the industry, giving to one section advantages which are denied to the other.

In the course of the discussion it transpired that there was a certain measure of satisfaction with the new rates for hired vehicles, although there was some difference of opinion as to the extent of the benefit conferred by the recent increases. The general impression amongst • those • present appeared to he that there was something behind the Government Scheme which was not yet fully known. Several speakers bluntly stated their opinion that the object of the scheme is to kill the haulier for the benefit of the railways.

Opinions were divided as to whether it was better to attack the scheme and ask for it to be ended or, in the words of one speaker, to let the scheme hang itself.

After further discussion, the resoh], tion mentioned earlier was proposed by Mr: M. W. Harris and carried unanimously. It was then decided to ask 'the various areas to send delegates to form this Central Committee.

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