What a Haulier's Wife Thinks
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Many of Our Readers Will. Find Much of Interest in this Human Letter Which Indicates What is Felt by Another Strong Section of Voters
AS the wife of a " small haulier," I am more than anxious for the future of my husband's business, and I wonder
how much longer the agony will continue. . •
.During the past few months, apart from the general unrest and dissatisfaction that have been inexistence for years, there has been a growing number of letters .to your journal with :expressions of anxiety regarding the "mail
haulier," also several articles on the subject. •'
We are not the only ones who are facing elimination, as in every trade to-day the small-bUsiness man is being pushed around,and it definitely implies that some of us have got our ideas of freedom and democracy slightly mixed Ni-ith Hitler's doctrine of " strength dominating weakness," and to which doctrine, we, the British people, are supposed
to .be..very much opposed. . a . '
Because we happen to be ": small ".people does not necessarily mean that we are weak ones; we have_ worked hard for years and have been an asset to the country : ethat's More, we do not need, .nor do we intend, to be bullied and squeezed out of our rightful businesses; if freedom is to be granted to only the few, then by. all means. let the chosen' few fight Hitler and his gang.
Control has become an ugly word in our -everyday life; . and one usually associates it with the end of things and, whilst we appreciate the necessity of conserving all scarce Commodities, there is no need to use this power whatsover to eliminate all. the " small " people for the benefit of the bullies and grabbers of all trades. •
Those Free-lance Pirates
Your paragraph, "Beating the Over-60-.m ilea I,mnit Ban," was very interesting, and to think that the M.O.W.T. is condoning it must he very disconcerting to all the hauliers, who, in good faith or otherwise, are now in complete sub mission to them. These " free-lance " pirates must be laughing their heads off. .
Prior to my husband's entry to the M.O.W.T..Scheme, although he was regularly employed on long-distariee traffic of great urgency, he 'experienced great difficulty in obtaining sufficient fuel, and on several occasions he was forced to obtain substantiation of the urgency; this meant losing time in order to approach the group organizer (who -was also a haulier), and the sub-district office, where, to my £0.9 own knowledge, this application was not readily agreed to.
. The group organizer' was always airing his opinion about the days of the small haulier being numbered, and he took a great interest in our traffic. It may intrigue some hauliers to know that he is now operating over 60 miles.with a noncontrolled lorry, and, what is more, on exactly the same work that was so difficult for us to do when we were in his ' group.; . yet here we find ourselves controlled, doing the ' same journey, same job, same war, but not at the same rates of pay. .
• Many Wives Feeling Worried
T do not know whether you get many letters srom hauliers' wives, but I know there must be a great number worrying about-the, future, especially those who have helped in the business. I have travelled about the-country a great deal with my husband, and I know just how hard these men have worked for the industry, the discomforts and the many dangers of the road, and, considering all these things, we, like thousands more, feel that we have as much right to be in business as anyone else.
Time. marches on, and whilst the railways are still of great service, road transport has proved more efficient, so why should the railways have any advantage Over us? As road transport is a closed industry, surely there Will be enough work for all;. besides this, to wham do the roads belong? If they are not for our benefit, why should we pay rates and help to keep them repaired?
I can only hope that the " small. traders " every capacity will make a great effort to fight this great monopolistic menace; if they do not, they are not only helping to eliminate themselves, but they are -letting down every individual man and woman who is fighting and dying for " freedom and democracy." Freedom he's only one meaning, and whilst I am not quite • clear about the :true definition of the word " democracy," it isvery easy to coders Land that we do not want to emerge from this terrible war to find that we can no longer think for ourselves, also to find that while we have been awaythe people whom we trusted have just used the war to drive finance into their own channels.
If we cannot get fair play now, we never shall.