WHEELS of INDUSTRY
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The wheels of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transport at whatever points arising, es a carriage is by the roughness of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crozier.
70 Delegates Discuss the Salter Report.
The British Road Federation, the formation of which was foreshadowed in our leading editorial in last week's issue, made its bow to the public on Wednesday afternoon last, when an inaPortant meeting of delegates of national associations of trade, industry and commerce was held at the Royal Automobile Club. The meeting was preceded by another, held under the aegis of the Commercial Motor Users Association, at the instigation of which the delegates had been called together to consider the recommendations embodied in the Salter Conference Report. At this first meet ing several important resolutions were passed, one being to the effect that the issues raised by the recommendations are inimical to the interests of British industry. A committee was then formed to deal with the Report.
The second meeting had to be a rather hurried affair ; it was under the chair manship of Mr. Norman Hardie, who in a brief speech stated the aims and objects of the newly constituted British Road Federation, pointing out how im portant it was to have a permanent body, which could create a complete liaison between interests concerned in the opera tion of road transport and in the improvement and maintenance of roads, with a view to presenting a united front, a body which could undertake a progressive campaign for educating political and public opinion.
Sir Maxwell Hicks, C.B.E., emphasized the fact that this Federation 'was not formed to deal merely with the Salter Report, but to continue as a permanent body. Mr. Frank Pick, on be half of the delegates present, suggested
that all the various organizations concerned should be circularized and fully
acquainted with the aims and objects of the British Road Federation, they could then decide to what extent they could interest themselves in its policy.
Mr. J. Malcolm-Ritchie has been appointed secretary of the British Road Federation, with offices at 18 Regent Street, London, S.W.1, and inquiries concerning it should be addressed to him. It is intended that the activities of the Federation shall in no sense replace those of existing organizations represent ing•the particular interests and needs of the different sections of those interested
in the road, and it should be open to organizations and firms so interested, the membership fee being nominal, but its effectiveness will depend largely upon subscriptions from its members.
"East Kent" Buys More MorrisCommercials.
The East Kent Road Car Co., Ltd., has just placed its fourth repeat order for Morris-Commercial buses, this bringing its fleet of vehicles of this make up to 80. This new order is for 14 RP-type 20-passenger vehicles, which are to be used for bus work around Canterbury.
Prizes for Roads and Transport Congress Papers.
We learn that the organizing committee of the Public Works, Roads and Transport Congress and Exhibition, to be held in November, 3933, has decided to offer prizes for papers submitted for discussion at the Congress. The prizes will be as follow :—First prize, gold medal and 100 guineas; second prize, silver medal and 50 guineas; third prize, bronze medal and 20 guineas ; fourth prize 10 guineas. An additional award of 5 guineas will be made for each paper selected for discussion.
Further particulars can be obtained from the honorary secretary of the Public Works, Roads and Transport Congress, 84, Eccieston Square, S.W.1.
Guy's Trading Results and Prospects.
The report of Guy Motors, Ltd., for the 18 months ended June 30, 1932, shows a trading loss, after providing for all charges, of £130,425, to which has to be added £130,077 for special provisions made and amounts written off, making a total debit of £260,502, this suns being reduced to £244,446 after taking into account the balance brought forward from 1930.
It is interesting to learn that there has been an increasing demand for the company's trolley-bus, whilst it is hoped that the results of the Ottawa Conference will bring a volume of business from the Dominions.
The report mentions that Messrs. G. H. Sumner-Smith, W. E. Guy and A. E. Webb have been elected to the board, whilst Messrs. S. A. Jordan, F. H. Pepper, and J. H. Bean have resigned.
R.R.A. Regional Activity.
A meeting of the Hull section of the Yorkshire area of the Road Haulage Association was held on September 24, when Captain Marshall, the chairman of the section, presided. Mr. George A. Hotter, the general secretary of the Association, delivered a long address on the Salter Report, and explained in detail the objections which the Association is representing to the Minister of Transport. Mr. Hotter said that if the report were accepted by the Minister and incorporated in legislation, many of those present would have to seek other means for employing their capital.
A Ripley and district branch of the Association was recently formed, when the following officers were elected :Chairman, Mr. 3. Cook ; vice-chairman, Mr. J. II. Roper ; secretary, Mr. Frank Upton.
A meeting of the East Midlands area of the Association win be held at the Albert Hotel, Derby Road, Nottingham, on October 3, at 7.30 p.m., amongst the speakers being Mr. E. C. Marston and Mr. J. S. Nichol!.
A meeting of the north-western area will be held at the Nagshead Hotel, Deansgate, Manchester, at 8 p.m. on October 5.
Indian Conference on Road v. Rail.
In India roads and road transport are provincial matters, whilst the Government is the custodian of the railways. There the road-rail problem has not yet assumed the proportions which have made it so difficult of solution elsewhere, and it is considered that timely co-operation should prevent it from becoming acute.
We learn that the Government of India contemplates inviting local Governments to participate in .a conference to discuss the problem, and railway and other interests will be represented. As a preliminary, it is proposed to prepare a comprehensive, if skeleton, survey ef the existing position
regarding road rail competition ; of plans for future road development; of the requirements of railways in the matter of feeder roads; and of cases where pending branch-line railway schemes might now be abandoned in favour of roaddevelopment plans.
Road engineers and a railway officer, who are collecting the information, have been instructed to report by November 15th.
"Report's" Blow to Coal Trade.
It was stated at a recent meeting of Swansea Chamber of Commerce that the South Wales Coal Owners Association felt that if the taxation proposals contained in the Salter Conference Report, with regard to steam vehicles, were adopted, a heavy blow would be struck at the South Wales steam-coal trade. If steamers were forced off the road the coal trade would lose an important customer.
A free hand was given to the Swansea delegates to the conference of the Association of British Chambers' of Commerce, at Nottingham, to represent this view.
A number of Welsh Chambers of Trade and Commerce has passed resolutions to oppose the adoption of the restrictions mid taxation schedules proposed in the Salter Report.
It is understood that the South Wales Wholesale Confectioners Associatien intends to protest to the Government against any restriction of, or increased taxation on, road transport.
New German Oilfield Exploitation by London Company.
German newspapers say that over 200 owners of land near Hildesheim have signed contracts with a London concern giving it the right to search for
oil on their property. Boring is to begin next summer, and confidence is felt in the possibilities of finding oil, although perhaps at a good depth.
Smart Singer for a London Contractor.
We reproduce on this page a picture of a Singer 35-cwt. lorry which has recently been placed in service by Ribberts, Ltd., the well-known contracting concern of Battersea, London, S.W.11. Its capacity is 90 cubic ft. and, by the aid of telescopic screw gear, the body can be tipped to the rear. The body sides are covered with armoured plywood, the inside being lined throughout with sheet metal. Loose canvas is fitted temporarily at the rear when the vehicle is engaged in tipping, and, when not in use, it is strapped at the back of the cab, which is completely enclosed. The sides of the body have extended panels, which finish level with the running boards, thus contributing to a smart appearance. The lorry is used for distributing small loads of washed and graded clinker, as well as for dealing with bagged turf dressing, one of the company's side-lines. It also carries ant a good deal Of general work in connection with the transport of various supplies of the company's plant.
The vehicle has a wheelbase of 10 ft. 7 ins, and an overall length of 17 ft. 4-k ins., the inside body length being ft. and the inside width 6 ft. ; the height of the sides is 1 ft. S ins.
Official Orders in August.
During August last the Air Ministry placed an order for bodies and cabs with Chas. Roberts and Co., Ltd., Horbury Junction, and one for vehicles with Crossley Motors, Ltd., Manchester.
Traffic Managers and the 'Report."
The Industrial Transport Association draws our attention to a debate on "flow Traffic Managers, as Individuals, View the Report of the Salter Committee," to be held at the Coventry Restaurant, Wardour Street, London, W.1, on October 5, at 6.30 p.m. Mr. William Oldham will occupy the chair.
Oil in Australia a Certainty.
A declaration that "I am no longer merely sanguine of success in the search for oil in Australia, but I am as certain as it is humanly possible to be," has . been made by a Government expert. The statement is contained in a report sent by the Commonwealth geological adviser, Dr. W. D. Wooluough, to the Minister of the Interior.
1,275 Morris-Commercials on G.P.O.
Service, Morris Commercial Cars, Ltd., announces that it has received from the Post Office Stores Department a further order for 173 15-cwt. and 1-ton vehicles, 85 of the former and 88 of the latter, the vehicles being intended for service in different parts of the country. When these vehicles are delivered, the Post Office authorities will have 1,275 Morris-Commercial vehicles in use.
Travelling Cafes Run by Naval Officers.
Travelling cafés for the use of motorists at night, are, we learn, to be put into service immediately on the roads within fifty miles of London. A company has been formed by naval officers with a view to providing employment for retired officers.
Consisting of a vehicle and a trailer, each comprises a self-contained coffee stall, with a crew of two, and contains, with the usual stores, hot and cold water, an ice-chest, 36 gallons of water, a range of motor accessories and first aid outfiti for sale. Commander F. S. Rising, R.N., is the manager, and the design for the cafes was carried out by Mr. Norman Wilkinson, who was one of the artists responsible during the war for camouflaging ships.
Traffic Control by Mounted Police.
During this week mounted police have been employed in certain parts of the West-end of London to control traffic. This is the first time that mounted men had been definitely allocated to regular traffic duty, and the authorities are convinced that they can be of great use for the work, although it is realized that they cannot be employed on traffic duties for long periods, as much strain is imposed on the horses, as well as on the men. Further experiments are to be conducted before the scheme is extended.
Attempt to Solve Jersey Traffic Problems.
The problem of controlling the rapidly increasing road traffic of the island of Jersey is becoming acute. Attempts to grapple with the situation have been made by several of the parishes, but it is considered that the whole question of the island traffic should be surveyed and discussed by a committee having power to call for the evidence of interested parties.
It is suggested that a central authority should be established to carry out the committee's recommendations— if approved by the Island Legislature.
B22 Amongst the matters which it is considered should be dealt with are the possible limitation of the size of vehicles, the supervision of bus services, and the issuing of a definite code of signals to be used for traffic control.
International Conference of Benzole Producers.
The fifth plenary meeting of the International Conference of Benzoic Producers was held in Brussels a few days ago, following a meeting of the technical committee. Delegates came from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Great Britain.
A meeting on technical and economic matters was held on September 20, the chair being occupied by M. Petit, president of the Belgian Association of Benzol Producers. Sir David MilneWatson, president of the National Benzole Association, was elected president of the International Conference of Benzole Producers, to succeed M. H. Laurain, president of the French Association of Benzole Producers, and president-founder of the International Conference.
Cheaper Repairs to Electrical Components.
The Johnson Engineering Co., S6, Great Portland Street, London, W.1, informs us that it has recently secured large Government and other contracts which have necessitated a re-organization of its works, and its flat-rate charge for magneto repairs has been reduced from 25s. to 21s., with corresponding reductions for dynamo and starter-motor repairs.
Only 5,000 Horses in Manchester,'
With the increase in commercial road transport it is not surprising that stables are decreasing in number. In the past 12 months there has been a net decline of 74 in the city of Manchester. There are now 1,109 stables registered, accommodating 5,104 horses. The R.H.A. and Petrol Price Increase.
The council of the Road Haulage Association has had under consideration the question of the recent increase in the price of petrol. It was felt that no good purpose would be served by complaining to the petrol companies, the position of which is fully realized. It was decided, in view of the statements made by Lord Snowden when Chancellor of the Exchequer, to send the following resolution to the present Chancellor, after quoting the statements made by the former Chancellor :— "That in view of these statements made by Lord Snowden when imposing additional taxation and of the fact that the price of petrol has now advanced 3d. per gallon, this Association urgently requests the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the importance of the commodity to modern transport, that he should recommend to the House a reduction in the present excessive taxation of petrol."
International Oil Conference Closes.
The International OH Conference ended on September 22, The Rumanian group is now in complete agreement with the international section, and the Rumanian delegation has received full powers from producers at home. Final ratification of the convention entered into at Paris. in July, has been agreed to, and it will come into force so soon as the internal measures requisite for its working have been taken in Rumania, these relating to the respective shares of producers in the export quota.
Position of I.F.S. Tractor Trade.
The value of the tractor parts imported into the Irish Pree State during the seven months ended July last amounted to £71,106, as compared with £71,900 a year ago.
The shipments of complete tractors from the Free State declined from 3,385 machines (value £319,489) to 2,654 (£276,640), the value of tractor parts falling from £115,958 to 175,070.
Ban on Heavy Vehicles on Trossachs Road.
The County of Perth and Kinross Roads (Restriction) Order, made by the Minister of Transport, provides that no person shall drive or cause to be driven on the Trossachs Road, from Gartchonzie road end to Trossachs Pier, Loch Katrine, any heavy locomotive, light locomotive or motor tractor (as defined respectively in Section 2 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930), or any heavy motorcar which has an unladen weight exceeding ai tons, or any passenger-carrying vehicle with seats for more than 20 persons, exclusive of the driver.
The Order does not prevent the driving upon the road of any vehicle which is being used for the conveyance of goods or merchandise to or from any house or other premises situated on or adjacent to the road, for the purpose of agriculture in connection with land adjoining or near to the road, or for the conveyance or haulage of timber felled upon such land, or in connection with the maintenance, improvement or reconstruction of the road.
The Order refers to a stretch of road about 81 miles long.
Austin's Profitable Trading.
During the year ended July 31, 1922, the Austin Motor Co., Ltd., made a gross trading profit of £1,078,146, which is lower by 1298,099 than the figure for the previous year. After charging debenture service, expenditure on buildings, plant, etc., and allowing for depreciation, the net profit =minted to £546,387, which is lower by £192,845 than the previous year's figure. As intimated in our issue for last week, a dividend of 25 per cent, and a bonus of 25 per cent, on the ordinary shares are recommended for payment. The directors propose to transfer 1100,000 to the reserve, and 1.156,000 to the income-tax account. After making these appropriations, /319,220 remains to be carried forward, as against £270,489 brought into the accounts.
Small Cultivators Successful.
Experiments at Norfolk Agricultural Station, Sprowston, near Norwich, have proved the success of small motor cultivators of the garden type in the cross-cultivation of sugar-beet in this district.
India's Imports : U.K. Increase,
The Department of Overseas Trade has recently issued a survey of trade with India for the three months ended June 20 last, and the figures show that the total number of commercial vehicles imported declined from 1,703 in 1931 to 519 in 1932. The imports from the United Kingdom were, however, increased from 35 vehicles in 1931 to 204 vehicles in 1932, which shows that our export trade in India has been more successfully maintained than that of other countries, the United States in particular.