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A free season ticket is to he given to every holder of 200 shares in the G.E.L.M.O.C.
L.G.O.C. Annual Meeting.
The directors of the London General Omnibus Co., Ltd., have sent out the following notice to shareholders " As the amalgamation with the London Road Car Co., Ltd., and the Vanguard Motorbus Co., Ltd., was not fully completed on the 30th June last, the directors consider it advisable to defer making up a balance-sheet for publication until the 30th September, when it is hoped that the matter will be quite completed. This will necessitate the postponement of the annual meeting until November."
The llaslingden Corporation has converted its motorbus into a tower vehicle for its overhead electric wires, and the outfit has several times been lent to neighbouring councils.
Keighley Town Council has resolved to purchase two more motor-omnibus chassis. Excellent results have been obtained with the "Commer Car" vehicles now in use, and this has led to the decision to extend the surface.
There are now less than 1,600 horseomnibus licences in force in London, compared with the following numbers on the earlier dates noted : 31st December, 1904, 3,551; 31st December, 1905, 3,184; 31st December, 1906, 2.964.
A De Dietrich omnibus did good service, between the station at Rheims and the aviation field at Betheny, during the recent flying meeting. These machines are sold in England by Lorraine-Dietrich, Ltd., of 5, Regent Street, W.
The annual general meeting of the Great Eastern London Motor Omnibus Co., Ltd., to whose report and accounts we referred last week, will be held to-day (Thursday), at Winchester House, Old Broad Street, at 12 o'clock noon. It appears that the company carried 18,400,000 passengers during the year ended the 30th July last—an increase of about 4,000,000, in comparison with the previous 12 months.
The Spirit Tax.
The C.M.U.A. Executive Committee, at its meeting yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, had before it the question of procedure in connection with its plans to support the claims of the London omnibus companies to be exempted from the spirit tax. This claim, as well as the arguments in favour of exemption for all public-service undertakings, has had our cordial support since the beginning of May last.
Mr. Henry Hicks, Chairman of the London General Omnibus Co., Ltd., has addressed the following letter to all Members of Parliament:— " The position of this company with reference to the proposed tax on petrol has been laid before the Chancellor of the Exchequer showing the hardship which would be inflicted upon the company by the proposed tax, which you will remember is at 3d, per gallon, but. in regard to which a rebate of one-half, or 1.3d. per gallon, is to be allowed to motor omnibuses and other commercial vehicles.
" As stated above, the tax on commercial vehicles is estimated to yield £60,000 per annum, and of this amount no less than £38,190, or 63.7 per cent. of the tax will be borne by this company. " There are three main objections to the proposed tax so far as we are concerned : 1. Petrol is the raw material of the motorbus business, and to tax raw material is considered by all parties to be economically unsoumi.
2. To select one particular portion of the passenger transport business of London for taxation while leaving its competitors (tubes, electric and other trams, suburban railways, etc.) free, is unjust in principle.
If a tax were imposed which would be applicable to all alike (such as a wheel tax or a per(.entage on receipts). although we might not like it, we could have no objection to it on principle.
3. It is monstrously unfair to tax London motorbuses for the purpose of making or mending country roads, which they do not, and never can, use.
"To meet the tax, the Chancellor has suggested the possibility of rais ing fares, but this is impracticable. It has been tried again and again, and the result has been failure.
" An amendment exempting stage carriages from the tax would remove our grievance and would not interfere with the main, purpose of the Bill, and I venture to appeal to you, there fore, that when the matter comes up for consideration in the House of Commons, you will take such action as appears to you desirable to protect the interests of this important company, which employs over 10,000 men and pays about £1,000,000 per annum in wages, and which for fifty years past has been in the van of the London passenger transport business, and which has provided and does still provide facilities which no other organization has been able to do."
Improvement at Berlin.
Our Berlin correspondent writes:" I learn that the board of the Berlin General Omnibus Co. (Allegemeine Berliner Omnibus Aktien-Oesellschaft), purposes placing orders for motorbuses with iirnis who have as yet not supplied vehicles to the company. At a recent meeting some mysterious reference was made to " technical novelties," from which the directors at present decline to lift the veil. The motorbus traffic appears to be developing much more favourably under the new management ; receipts are going. up, and working expenses show a pleasing fall."