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Recognized in Business and Military Circles as the Leading journal.
The Authority on all forms of Motor Transport. Largest Circulation.
Conducted by EDMUND DANGERFIELD.
Editor: EDWARD S. SHRAPNELL-SMITH.
Another State-of-War Volume : Orders in Relation to Subsidy Certificates.
This issue of THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR opens our 11th year of publication, and is No. 1 of Volume XXI. We have, therefore, completed our first state:of-war volume, and we are reluctantly compelled to accept the view that the major portion of the present volume, if not the whole of it, will also see the British i Empire continuing a condition of active hostilities. It s not wise, we again regretfully conclude, to accept reports and rumours which anticipate any sudden collapse by Germany.
The volume which we clrsssd last week was opened with our issue of the 3rd September, 1914, and before that date we had brought out, as many of our supporters may recall, four issues in the preceding month of August which proved. to be the only detailed and illustrated records of the great motor mobilization, upon the results of which the present war, so far as the British Expeditionary Force was concerned, was successfully provided with transport at the outset. Enough motor transport for six divisions was then impressed and sent out, much of-it ahead of the troops which it afterwards served.
The 30 issues of THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR, from the 6th August, 1914, to the 25th ult. inclusive bear record to the thoroughness with which both users andEmanufacturers have thrown themselves into the life and death struggle of nations. We believe that no complete volume of this journal will be of greater interest in the future than will No. XX, and testimony to this effect is furnished by theSreport of our business department that orders for only a very small supply of complete volumes can be booked. The reserves on our publishing side have almost been exhausted.
We do not depart from our vein of optimism in adopting the view that Vol. XXI, now opening, will not see this country through its obligation to itself and its Allies. We adhere to the official view of Russian diplomatic circles, that hostilities will end next May at the 'earliest, and next October at the latest. We have, on several occasions, put forward that view as a guide for our supporters. This view must not, however, be regarded as a prophetic if wide indication of the day when relief will begin to be afforded to harassed transport interests in the matter of free delivery from heavy-motor factories. The requirements of the War Department will not cease for a long time after the apparent conclusion of hostilities. They may be curtailed; in fact, their 'reduction, as from some date between May and October next, is as much assured as anything connected with the war can humanly be. It is the mariner and mode of reduction over which not a few minds are at the moment being exercised, not to say troubled. We believe that sufficiently-gondreasons will be put beferethaNar'Repartment to cause it to vary its demands upon manufacturers proportionallysJo their maximum deliveries; and regardless of their being or not being on the official subsidy list: '
There are just now uneasy anticipations anent a risk, which is believed by some to exist, for makers who have received the official subsidy certificate of the War Department. If the whole of their output is in each case taken for a period which does not coincide with the reduction or cessation of military orders for non-subsidy makes, but which period extends to later dates, the subsidy makers will be enormously prejudiced, and badly left behind, in their sales to commercial buyers. ,These subsidy makers have, we know, benefited to a certain extent in respect of prices, and they may be prepared to take the consequences of continued absorption of their output by the military authorities at a time when competitors are not so treated. We think, on the whole, that', such complete absorption would be unfair to them, and we also feel justified, with certain knowledge in our possession as to which we may not write in detail, in saying that no such differentiation will result. We believe that the fair and proper course, in order that all interests may be studied, and that no preference, either direct or indirect, may be shown, and in order that the sacrifices of the past eight months may be equitably compensated, will be, when the time comes, a reduction of military orders in strict ratio to supplies at that date. We hope that those of our readers who are debating with themselves the expediency of placing orders with this or that maker, according to the status of the maker with the War Department, svill be willing to place their orders, impartially and without discrimination, on the strength of the opinion which we have seriously put into print. We believe that no purchaser will suffer in point of delivery by supporting the subsidy-model manufacturer, and we believe this because we are satisfied that the experiences which have been gained during the war with many non-subsidy models have been so good that the pre-supposed ascendency of the existing, subsidy models will remain a matter for suspended judgment in Whitehall. Again, having regard to the fact that armies of occupation will remain in Germany long after the date of the cessation of hostilities, and will require the services of the Motor Transport Columns of the Army Service 'orps, we are convinced that, with possibly two or three exceptions only, additional lorries of the makes for Which the repair and service organizations now exist at the Front will be sent out, although in reduced numbers, and not only additional lorries of subsidy types, when the call for new vehicles slackens. It should net be overlooked by purchasers and intending purchasers that subsidy-type makers are rapidly. extending their manufacturing resources.
The war was started with onelicavy motor lorry to roughly each 70 men in the combatant lines ; the ratio is now altered to one lorry per 140 fighting men, or thereabouts, and the maintenance of the requisite tetal of vehicles is making the lives of our motor manufacturers relatively strenuous.