The Future of Transport Conferences W ITH nationalization envisa g ed for an
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important section of goods carriage and the bulk of passenger transport by road, the question arises as to whether conferences, such as that about to be staged at Eastbourne and others in various parts of the country, will continue for long to constitute important features of the annual programme of our industry or particular phases of it. The majority of goods vehicles will, happily, be relatively unaffected. It seems, therefore, that the only doubt will apply in the case of passengertransport functions organized at present by independent operators of the vehicles concerned and municipal-transport authorities. If the final set-up in this field be transport boards, it is possible that they may not be keen on the expenses necessarily incurred by delegates, and municipalities as such will not then be concerned.' There arc, of course, a few conferences, for example that connected with public cleansing, which should not be affected at all. A good augury, however, is that at Eastbourne will be found representatives of the British Transport Commission and of the Road Transport Executives, including the latter's chief. Therefore, it wOuld appear that such conferences are to receive official encouragement. In the case of the municipalities, a few of their councils have decided not to meet the expenses of delegates to such meetings, taking the view that the trips made by these to delectable centres by the seaside and elsewhere are in the nature of paid holidays. This may apply to a small extent where the people concerned are temporary members of transport committees, but certainly not to transport managers. Taken as a whole, these conferences serve several useful purposes. The papers and discussions are often excellent, and the exchange of views between members engaged in the same classes of activity are invaluable; also, manufacturers and suppliers are afforded an opportunity of meeting their customers on a friendly and informal basis. We might add one little warning. In some cases the attendances at the " business " meetings are too sparse and are apt to belie the ostensible purpose of the gatherings. Good weather and outdoor sport constitute strong temptations, but they should be resisted during the working sessions