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The Policy of The Road Haulage Association

3rd May 1932, Page 91
3rd May 1932
Page 91
Page 91, 3rd May 1932 — The Policy of The Road Haulage Association
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

THE pending change of name of the Long Distance Road Haulage Association to the Road Haulage Association, and the enlargement of its scope to include and cater for the short-distance haulier, necessitate a pronouncement of policy. I am therefore grateful for the opportunity that the Editor of The Commercial Motor so appropriately gives in asking me to subscribe this article.

It cannot be disputed that the conditions obtaining in the transport of goods by road have been becoming steadily worse year by year, and whilst a good deal of this is attributable to trade depression, much of it is due to the fact that the haulage contractor, whose business is the transport of other people's goods, has had no organization sufficiently interested to tackle the problem of organizing the thousands of such units scattered throughout the country.

Representation Throughout the Country.

Recognizing that the Association must represent the interests of all 'road transport contractors, the council is engaged in setting up machinery to deal with each section of the industry. To this end three central committees will be appointed, to represent respectively the long-distance haulier, the clearing-house, and the haulier engaged on local work. Each of these central committees will elect representatives to the national council of the Association.

The policy of establishing regional areas will be pursued with all speed, and each of such areas will have a 'committee representative of the three sections referred to, i.e., the longdistance operator, the clearing-house, and the local haulier. These committees will be able to deal with problems arising in the-districts and make recommendations through the central committees to the national council.

The Association is open to membership for approved transport contractors and clearing-houses, it also has power to allow affiliation by any body, such as a local haulage association. The Association precludes the ancillary user.

The council recognizes that whilst taxation and legislation affecting suds matters as speed limits, axle weights and similar subjects are common to the haulage contractor and ancillary user, their interests are by no means identical. The objective of the ancillary user must be towards obtaining transport as cheaply as possible, whether by road or rail, and he is capable of being subsidized by the industrial aide of his business towards this end, whereas the objective of the haulage contractor must be the reverse.

The council recognize that the C.M.T.J.A., the members of which are mainly ancillary users, is the appropriate body for that section of the industry which frequently comes into competition with the bona-fide haulage contractor.

The Association will continue its policy of regular monthly meetings in the districts, as considerable good has already been achieved in this direction. It has been amazing and gratifying to note the friendliness and co-operation, both on traffic and rates, which has rapidly taken place between many contractors and clearing-houses, which were formerly bitter opponents.

The evidence goes to prove that when a greater membership is established in more districts and the foregoing policy of bringing haulage contractors together is extended, conditions in the industry will show a marked improvement.

The council proposes to continue to extend its work in countering railway propaganda, but does not intend to emulate the railway companies' policy Of continually attacking its opponents.

The council feels that the road-transport case is unassailable on facts, and more good would be done by placing these

facts before the public in a reasoned and dignified form, with constructive proposals. In this connection, I, personally, deplore the correspondence emanating from Mr. Walter Gammons. In my opinion, such letters, consisting only of attacks on the railways and this Association, can only result in damage to the industry. I fail to observe a single constructive proposal in Mr. Gammons's letters.

The Association recognizes that the well-established clearing-house is an integral part of the industry especially affecting the long-distance operator. In matters such as rates, the countering of adverse propaganda, etc:, the interests of the clearing-house and operator are common. The council is of opinion that by establishing within the Association a strong section representative of clearing-houses, much could be done, and co-operation between the clearinghouses themselves and operators is looked forward to. In this connection it is interesting to note that at a largely attended meeting the Association's policy, as indicated above, was unanimously agreed upon and the council of the Association is gratified at the promise of co-operation and support accorded to it at that meeting in respectof this part of its policy.

In the past the council has declined to register as members individuals setting up as clearing-houses whom theyhave deemed to be irresponsible, and I have no doubt that the clearing-house section, which will in future make recommendations in this respect, will pursue the same course.

With respect to taxation and legislation, the Association will co-operate to the fullest possible extent with other associations when the interests are common to both bodies, believing that duplication and overlapping in such matters should be avoided as much as possible.

Constructive Proposals to Road and Rail.

The Association will shortly form a committee representing the long-distance operator, the clearing-house and the short-distance haulier, for the purpose of preparing a memorandum setting out what the Association considers to be the best solution of the road-rail controversy, and I believe that this memorandum will contain constructive proposals to both road and rail interests and industry as a whole.

have made no reference in this article to the muchdebated question of the licensing of hauliers, but no doubt the committee that I have just indicated will consider the whole subject and make its recommendations to the council, these to be incorporated in the memorandum.

In conclusion, I would say that the enthusiasm shown by every member of the Association is indicative of the need for an organization of this kind, and I have no doubt that a definite advance in the conditions of road transport must

be the result of the Association's activities. No single haulage contractor should stand outside its ranks, because, collectively, the industry is a particularly strong force, but unorganized it is weak and must be vulnerable to attack.

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