NEWS of the WEEK
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DOES THIS SOUND LIRE A SQUARE DEAL?
" What is it that the railway companies really mean by 'a square deal? ' was a .question asked by Mr. G. D. Hunt, chairman of Bristol Industries, Ltd., at the annual general meeting of the company. In commenting on the statement of the railways that they " have no desire whatsoever to interfere with other transport services or with any other business," he cited the case of a small subsidiary company of Bristol Industries, Ltd., as an instance of how they (the railways) set
to work to prove it. .
This subsidiary owns about a 'dozen vehicles and has been established 14 years, giving a livelihood to about40 men and their families. They have now been informed that the railways, by offering special rates, have succeeded in taking some of the business away. The railways were not satisfied with obtaining the traffic which, by the way, they had never had before, but they have informed the haulage concern that they are going to oppose the granting of its licences on the ground that the vehicles are now redundant.
Mr. Hunt stressed that this throws an interesting sidelight on how far statements by the railways can be accepted, and he expressed the view that their ultimate aim is to eliminate road-transport companies. He asked: " What will then be the position of the trader? ." Fortunately, the Bristol Haulage Co., Ltd., has plenty . of surplus haulage which it can divert to this subsidiary. But, what would happen to a small business without these resources, asks Mr. Hunt.
Error Allowances on Portable . Weighbridges?
The chairman of the Norwich Subarea A.R.O. has recently concluded a series of tests, in conjunction with weights and measures inspectors, of the comparative accuracy of weights of vehicles taken by means of a portable` weighbridge and those shown by .thenormal type of weighing apparatus at a sugar-beet factory.
According to the sub-area secretary. Mr. G. W. Irwin, it is understood that the authorities 'adinit that there may be a-sIight.erro-r;. and for, that reason they allow as much as 1 cwt. per wheel error in favour of the vehicle being weighed on portable device.S. The subarea committee agreed that this tolerance appeared to be fair and reasonable.
Transport Users International Meeting.
Railway and road rates were discussed at a meeting held in Paris recently by the Transport Users Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce, at which operators from nine countries were present.
The position in Great Britain, created by the claims of the railways for greater freedom, was examined in A24 a report by Mr. F. Smith, chief of the transport executive, Lever Bros., and Unilever, Ltd., particular emphasis being laid upon the effects which these claims might have in the international field.
During an exchange of views, some members upheld the necessity of complete freedom in rating for all means for transport, others urged that the existing rates structure of the railways was such an essential part of the economic systems of their countries that any sudden reversal of policy would be dangerous.
In dealing with the question of the
international transport of perishable goods, a member of the Italian Agricultural Federation reported that too many documents are requited from the exporters. This means considerable loss of time and money to farmers, who are ofteninadequately equipped to handle all these formalities. Perishable goods, such as fruit and vegetables, lose weight during transit. Weight should, -therefore, be calculated and checked with great accuracy, to avoid disputes between consignor and consignee. Refrigeration is often technically inadequate, The cOmmittee held that when ice was an indispensable adjunct, it _should_ be exempted from the usual transport charges.
New Andre Director.
Mr. L. W. Harris has been appointed to the board of Andre (Components), Ltd., in which capacity he also acts as general manager.
Ulster Bill Receives King's Assent.
As foreshadowed in laSt week's issue of The Commercial Motor, the Northern Ireland Road Transport .Bill received the King's Assent last Friday and is operative from that date.
Wages Boards Under Way.
The Minister of Labour -has constituted and established the Road Haulage Area Wages Board .for the South Wales Traffic Area. The constitution of the Area Wages Boards for the other nine traffic areas in England and Wales is proceeding and.the.Minister hopes to be in a position to establish them soon: IMPORTANT TRACTOR DEVELOPMENT,
As many of our readers will know, Ferguson-Brown, Ltd., Huddersfield, was formed. to amalgamate the activities of two separate organizations which had, until September, 1937, been independently conducting the . manufacturing and marketing of the company's machinery. Now that its plans to cater for the export market are maturing, it has been considered advisable to segregate the Ferguson and Brown interests, so that no confusion will arise in certain markets.
TO facilitate this plan, Mr. Ferguson has disposed of his shareholding in Ferguson-Brown. Ltd., to Mr. David Brown, and the title of the company will be changed to David Brown Tractors, Ltd: The manufacturing and marketing of farm machinery under-a new modified licence granted by Mr. Ferguson will be continued, it is stated, without interruption.
Leyland Profit Higher.
According to a preliminary statement of-LeyIand Motors, Ltd., the net profit for the year ended September 30, 1938, was £643,261, before providing for taxation and contingencies. This is
11,064 higher than the previous year's figure and is the highest -recorded since 1929. The general reserve receives ,£100,000. The directors propose to maintain the dividend at 25 per cent. (less taxi.;
1,000 AMERICAN LORRIES FOR CHINA.
China has bought 1,009 2i-ton lorries, Out of the a5,000,000 credit authorized by the United States Government, according to the New York Times. The value of tlie. order, which, it is stated, has been divided between the General Motors Corporation and the Chrysler Corporation, is put at about £200,000.
Alternative-fuel Decree in Algeria.
Our French contemporary Le Poids Lourd reports that the Algerian Government has lately issued a decree stipulating that, by the beginning of 1940, all owners of fleets of public passenger or goods vehicles in Northern Algeria must have adapted at least 10 per cent, of their vehicles to the use of a fuel alternative to petrol.
Senators On Ulster joint Committee.
The 12 senators appointed to the joint Committee of the Northern Ireland Parliament, to inquire into the recent transport reports, are as follow:—The Lord Mayor of Londonderry, Major Boyle, Mr. J. Cunningham, Major Dobbs, Sir Ernest Herdman, Mr. Maguire, Sir J. Davidson, Captain Perceval-Maxwell, Mr. Leslie, Sir R. Nugent, Mr. McLaughlin and Mr. Taylor.
Official Orders in November.
Among the orders for vehicles and allied materials given out by Government Departments, during November last, were the following:—By the Admiralty, one for electric vehicles divided between Wingrove and Rogers, Ltd., and Lister and Co., Ltd.; by the War Office, one for lorries and chassis to Guy Motors, Ltd., and Morris Commercial Cars, Ltd., and orders for chassis to Crossley Motors, Ltd., Albion Motors,, Ltd., and Leyland Motors, Ltd.; by the Air Ministry, one for ambulance bodies and cabs and another for lorry bodies to Crossley Motors, Ltd., one for lorry bodies to the Park Royal Coachworks, Ltd.; one for lorry cabs to Strachans Successors, Ltd., and one for lorry chassis and vans to the Ford
Motor Co., Ltd. An order for the supply of several compression-ignitionengined road rollers was placed by the Crown Agent for the Colonies with Marshall, Sons and Co. (Successors), Ltd.
MORE PATENT APPLICATIONS IN 1938. '
In 1938 the number of applications by inventors for British patents shows a definite advance, compared with recent years. Messrs. Hughes and Young, the patent agents of Warwick Court, London, estimate that at least 37,500 patent applications will have been filed by the end of the year, which is, approximately, 1,250 in excess of the figure for 1937. Amongst noteworthy directions in which inventors were at work is that relating to the conversion of vehicles for gas-protection purposes.
New Guy Agents.
GuyMotors, Ltd., Fallings Park, Wolverhampton, , announces the appointments of Messrs. Watson and Sons, of Mansebrae, Glasgow, as distributors, and the Cornwall Service Garage, of Newquay, as agents.
Death of Gentian Pioneer.
The death is reported from Berlin, at the age of 81 years, of Dr. lug. Franc Komnick, one of the pioneers of the commercial-motor industry in Germany. The Komnick works, during the Great War, supplied the German Army on the Eastern front with its military vehicles.
Fosse Way Improvements.
The Minister of Transport has made a grant from the Road Fund towards the cost of modernizing a further length of the Leicester-Lincoln road,. the important cross-country route which, for over 50 miles, follows the line of the historic highway known as Fosse Way. On the south side of the Leicestershire and Nottjnghamshire border, three miles of this road were recently reconstructed with dual 20-ft. carriageways, and it is now proposed to continue the improvement for a length of five miles on the north side of the county border from Sixhills to the junction with the Nottingham-Melton Mowbray road at Widmerpool. The cost is estimated at £114,000 and the work ii expected to take two years.
EMPLOYERS AND IGNORANCE OF DRIVERS' OFFENCES.
" You should give instructions to your employees to report to you when they are convicted by magistrates for any offences under the statutory conditions of the licence," said Mr. W. Chamberlain, North-Western Licensing Authority, at a case at Manchester, last week. He was addressing Mr. Walter Bamford, director of Trafford Park Express, Ltd. It was revealed that two convictions had been notified to Mr. Chamberlain, of which Mr. Bamford knew nothing.
Mr. Chamberlain said there was nothing serious on the dossier before him, but convictions of which the operator knew nothing might jeopardize his licence. He did not know that he could pass on the information, as it might be " pursuing."
Mr. Chamberlain notified that he would think it over. There might be action under Section 9 to bring the employer's attention to his respon- Leeds Chamber and 1938 Road Haulage.
In reviewing road-haulage trading conditions, in the Leeds district, during the past year, the annual report of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce's road transport section states " that 1938 has proved far less satisfactory than 1937. The national situation and the conflicts in Spain and the Far East have evidently seriously affected 'the movement of goods," the report comments. "The rearmament programme does not appear to have produced any material degree of benefit."
Referring to road operators' efforts to compile a rates structure, the report remarks that progress is not proceeding very rapidly, and adds: "Furthermore. it is generally realized that no useful purpose would be served by the existence of a rates structure which would not be, in some measure, protected from attack by other forms of transport." • Interesting Papers Before the I.A.E.
At a meeting of the Institution of Automobile Engineers, to be held, at 7.45 p.m., on January 3, 1939, at the Royal Society of Arts, John Street, London, W.C.2, Dr. H. E. Merritt, of the design department of the War Office, will read a paper entitled " Some Considerations Influencing the Design of High-speed Track Vehicles."
Another interesting paper will be that to be read before certain provincial centres of the Institution on the subject of " Unification of Body and Chassis Frame." It is by Mr. W. Swallow, of the Pressed Steel Co., Ltd., and will be read at Derby on January 9, at Coventry on January 10, and at Luton on January O.
Later in the month, Mr. R. Tubb, of Partridge, Wilson and Co., Ltd., will read a paper before the Institution entitled " Battery-driven Electric Vehicles." This will be on January 24, at the James Watt Memorial Institute, Birmingham.
£26 AN E.R.F. OILER FOR TIMBER HAULAGE.
A cab of unconventional design is fitted to the E.R.F. chassis shown in the accompanying picture, the machine having recently been supplied to the order of Northwood Motors (Hull), Ltd. What is lost on the cab is, so to speak, saved on the load, because .the unladen weight of the vehicle, complete with a special body comprising a series of bolsters for carrying planed timber, will be within the 23-ton limit. The chassis is powered by a Gardner 4LK oil engine and there is a loading space of 16 ft. behind the cab, which is of the half-type and was made by J. II. Jennings and Son, Ltd., Sandbach. The foundation and framing are of hardwood, and sheet aluminium is used for panelling. The comfort of the driver has been given attention, and he is provided with a Dunlopillo-cushioned single-squab seat.