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The way in which the 180-year-old business of Wells and Son (London) Ltd has been forced' into liquidation by militant union action outside the company must be troubling many hauliers this morning. The man running the business, John Wells, was an outstanding national chairman of the Road Haulage Association — in which position he did not hesitate to speak his mind, not simply for himself but for what he believed to be the interests of all members. But it seems that in his attempts to curb the excesses of militant dock trade unionism he fought largely alone, and now has been sacrificed to the dragon o ' industrial blackmail.
There should be some troubled conscience, among the leaders of the haulage industry a the way in which the national trade associa lion has appeared to be a silent and pacifi partner in an unequal struggle against th attempts of dockers to force by widesprea blacking, the acceptance of registered doc labour in the Wells warehousing business The RHA seems strong on sympathy bu weak on union action, there is a time fo negotiation and a time for resolut opposition and it is in the latter respect tha the Association seems to us to have been to reluctant too often.
In his six years as vice-chairman an chairman — and in his much longer period a a member — Mr Wells displayed abilities an opinions which made him a respecte champion of sound, free-enterprize busines2 Today, he is suddenly an ex-member — a outcome that must surely make the Associ., tion wonder how many more members ma be compelled to follow their ex-leader, utile: it displays strength and unity in the face divide-and-conquer tactics.