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KEEP ASSOCIATION MEMBERS WELL INFORMED
WITH reference to your leading article, " Let the
Unity be Democratic," published in your issue dated April 7, I think that the suggestion that a type of bulletin on almost the same lines as Hansard be distributed to all members of the new National Road Transport Federation and its associations is an excellent one.
If anyone disagrees, you could refer him to the Coal Merchants' Federation of Great Britain, Victoria House, Southampton Row, London, W.C.1. This bod4i prints the minutes of meetings of each central committee and circulates the result in the form of a bulletin to members of every local association. Thus the members can see not only the details of what was discussed, but a summary of what each member said. One of the main points is that it is, therefore, not of such great importance if the local representative cannot attend a London central committee meeting, Unless, of course, he is supposed to be there to bring up some point for discussion.
No doubt this particular Federation would let you have a copy of one of its bulletins if you want to see the form in which it is laid out.
DENrs F. Pli-XINGTON, Transport Manager. (For Lancashire Associated Collieries.) Manchester, 2.
ENCOURAGE THE SMALL HAULIER
LIKE all those people who are sympathetic towards the cause of the "small haulier," and I believe they are many, I would like to pay tribute to your leader of June 16. Unfortunately there are also many who will willingly turn a blind eye to this and other articles on the subject, but, nevertheless, no stone must be left unturned in the effort io retain this very valuable section. of the industry.
I am quite certain that, with treatment equal to that of the large operator, the small men will more than hold their own in equal competition. This has been more than proved to me by the connection which I had with these operators when engaged in the clearing-house side of the industry. The attention they gave to the requirements of the trader was supreme, and he, the trader, knew that his goods would be delivered forthwith and would not be subjected to transhipment in some depot or other, as is often the case with the larger operator. This, of course, can be quite understood. The small man, whilst not actually confining "all his eggs to one basket," limits his connections in accordance with his ability, whereas the large operator thinks only of increasing his clientele,in many cases with detrimental effect on his service_ Hence the necessity from time to time for this latter operator to tranship in order that he may fulfil his commitments to his customers.
From my experience I have learned that the average trader prefers the small man from this angle, and it wds quite common for a manufacturer to make a request for a particular contractor, knowing from personal experience that his.past efforts have been entirely satisfactory. Therefore, the haulier learned that Isis best motto was " to consider is to he considered," consequently his heart and soul were in his business.
ifby some very generous act of the responsible authorities fair consideration be given to the cause of the small haulTr in the post-war period, such consideration, I maintain, should, in the first place, be shown to those operators who were compelled to liquidate their businesses by way of either calling up or commandeer. in of their vehicles. They should be granted a continuance of their pm-war A or B-licensed tonnage.
A further point, which I maintain is most important, is that of cancelling the additional tonnages obtained under defence permits, in order that all concerned will be given the equality which obtained in the pre-war days. This Suggestion is made subject to the Government still retaining the hold which was there at that time, as it would be unduly optimistic to assume otherwise. It is perfectly obvious that if such a limitation of tonnage operated be not imposed, the war-time operator is going to have an unfair advantage over the haulier, who, as mentioned above, was obliged to discontinue operation due to the emergency.
Whilst it cannot be said that with the help of the M.O.W.T. the,hauliers under their control. have reaped a harvest, they have been in receipt of a compensatory income for their services, but the pre-war haulier will be obliged to start again from scratch. The fact that the small man will have to start in this way will not deter him in his efforts to build his business to pre-war specification, but he should be protected against unfair advantages. When the situation becomes more stabilized, and we are in the happy position to bring in our post.war planning, additional tonnages can be applied for as and when the needs arise, once again it is to be expected, with railway opposition.
In the meantime, let nothing be spared in the furtherance of our efforts to give the small man his " square deal " and so retain the services of the cream of the industry. G. BOTTOMLEY. Blackburn, Leeds.
A THORNYCROFT-COLES CRANE IN ACTION
MAY I take this opportunity of saying how much appreciate "The Commercial Motor "1 I have now spent over nine months in four hospitals, all under canvas, with the temperature often over 110 degrees F, This, with the sand and the smell of blood, has made mere flies seem almost a picnic. We have sand in oar shoes, in •our tea, in fact, everywhere, and ants in our pants!
There are some very interesting topics in your journal. Some of them leave fighting men guessing about the. future. As to myself, I operated on a C licence and employed between 15 and 20 men. When they joined up, I also went to do my bit. These men want their jobs back after the war, and so do I. When we read of the monopoly, which certain people are suggesting should be enforced, it makes us wonder what we are fighting for—for them only or for the freedom of all?
So far, I have been in two landings, Africa and Sicily, so / know something about the fighting part. We are Icing this to end dictatorship, but what appears to be brewing at home? History .tells us that -the Black , Prince, when he returned from the Crusades, found a pretender in his place. Is history to repeat itself, so that we shall find that there are no jobs to which we can return? It so, you can rest assured that we shall have something to say about it.
Some of us have gained the impression that the people at home are a little apt to forget us. If they do so they will merely be helping to create another war and, perhaps, a wave of after-the-war crime. It will not do to turn the fighting men into gangsters. We have been taught to be tough and that we mu„st not be afraid to die for what is right. This generation is not going to be hoodwinked like our fathers were after 1914-1918. All that we ask for is the -opportunity of achieving a normal livelihood, which should be the right of every man, particularly those in the Services.
The letters in your journal from operators and, in some cases, from their wives, show which way the wind is blowing. This war has given some people new and more power, which has gone to their heads, so that we have little dictators on our own doorsteps. We must, therefore, put our own house in order, as well as remove our foreign oppressors.
Having' expressed my •views on these matters," I will deal with some others. Your article on the Thornycroft mobile crane made interesting reading. I drove one of these in Africa, in all sorts of weather, sometimes in gummed mud, and found the vehicle to be twist sturdily built. This mud was, however, something terrible. On one occasion a crane vehicle of the same type was stuck in a bomb crater with the mud over the top of the chassis. Two more crane vehicles, both with creeper tracks over the tyres, came to pull it out; then we all got bogged. Finally, we were pulled out by an oil-engined 25-tonner. This was an all-wheel-drive American machine, and, as the Yanks would term it, a real honey. The Thornycroft would probably have got over the trouble by itself if the front wheels had also been driven.
Sometimes the mud in the fields was 4 ft. deep and in proceeding to a crashed aircraft a crane would make deep tracks. After this it was almost impossible to get Out of them without help. With my crane equipment, I lifted engines into all types of American aircraft, often weights far beyond the crane's -estimated capacity. At that time we were in a tight spot, and we knew it, but we still,managed to keep the bombers going, and I can tell you that it is a real feat to pull a four-engined bomber, fully laden, out of deep mud on to a runway. I used to get a pilot to give me a bit of lift with his two outer motors, then to snap his throttle shut, while the Thornycroft pulledthe machine gently on to the runway; some people said this could not be done, but the
old Thornycroft managed the trick. . • L.A.C. B.N.A.F.