Answers to Queries.
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C2706] (Competition).—We cannot agree that there na,s been any rapid growth in the use of rail motorcars, i.e., independent self-propelled motor coaches, by the great railway companies of the United Kingdom. 1. here are, at the present time, anly some 220 steam motor coaches, eignt petrol motor coaches and six petsol-electric motor coaches, in service.
Throttle Won't Open Enough. •
 (Sutherland).—The fault apparently lies in the governor connecting-rod ; that is to say, the one which couples the governor up to the throttle valve. We suggest that you adjust this, either in one way or the other, and you will get an improvement. It will be necessary at the sarne.time to adjust the clearance between the end of the valve on which the governor acts and the roller on the wiper. if your engine knocks on top speed when going up a hill, it is a sign that you have kept on top gear too long.
The Bomb Risk on a Warehouse and its Contents.
 (Birmingham).—We understand that the experience of Lloyd's has been wonderfully good in re Zeppelin ricks. They are reputed to be a couple of million pounds in hand to date. None of the established insurance companies appears to be writing the risks, although we think one which is called the British Dominions and General has taken special powers to do it. The rate which you mention, to cover £14,000, is as good as anything of which we have heard—l7 los. The cost, in relation to the risk, is small enough for us to recommend you to take out the cover.
liiinc4 this reply was dictated, the Government has sanctioned the transaction of such business on its behalf by the leading insurance companies.—Ea.]
Going to "Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, South Africa, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Straits Settlements, China, Japan and India."
 (Annerican).—We note that you expect to be sent the trip which you mention. There is undoubtedly a demand in all the territories to which you refer, whilst not a few of them, such as the Straits Settlements and Java, have much better roads than is usually supposed to be the case. There are no up-todate statistics about the position in these countries which we can furnish. The fact remains that they are crying out for a supply of vehicles, owing to the curtailment, if not the absolute cessation, of supplies from all the usual sources. With the — chassis to offer, you should stand a good chance of success.
Why Not Stop the Motor Ma;ls?
 (Ba.th).—We had noticed the question in the Bouse of Commons, put by Mr. G. J. Wardle, M.P., on the 14th ult., re the motor parcels mail from Bath to London. It might cause no material inconvenience to use the trains instead of the road, but perhaps you do not take into account the fact that the saving to the Post Office, and therefore to the country, in the matter of actual charges, is not less than 50 per cent., comparing the actual payments by road with the actual payments by rail, apartffrom the fact that the motor mini-vans go from post-office to post-office, -whereas, in the case of rail conveyance, parcels have to he taken to the station at one end, collected from the station at the other, and in both cases loaded into (or from) railway vans by post-office officials. Any saving of labour, in respect of the freeing of the mailvan. drivers, would be rendered nugatory by the additional labour of handling on a reversion to the °M.:fashioned method of conveyance. The fact that the railway companies are guaranteed their usual profits during the period of the war has to be recalled, but the motor-mail contractors cannot be expected to forego their contracts unconditionally.
Non-skids for Lorries on Active Service.
 (Chain Grip).—In reply to your inquiry concerning the behaviour of non-skids and anti-slipping devices on active service, we, of course, have much infecmation in our possession, just as we have been kept similarly well informed on all aspects of activeservice work during the past months of war by our many special correspondents who are on active service
You can take it generally that certain types of chain non-skids in which special gripping devices were embodied have been failures, having inevitably failed to stand up under the combined stress of starting and driving over pave. (We do not refer in this respect to the well-known Parsons non-skid.) A prominerat M.T. officer at the Front tells us that he has "seen nothing which has been able to stand up to the work for more than a few miles. The connecting and fastening chains always snap after short distances, excepting where they are used on macadam roads covered in slush, and as the majority of roads at the Front are pave, this is not a great advantage. Pave simply knocks them to pieces in a mile or so. "With regard to the use of disc or chain non-skids generally for getting machines out when they are ditched, unless very great care is used, on soft ground the wheels will spin round and will cut themselves in more effectively than ever. With very great care and an even greater degree of luck, however, certain arrangements of chain can be made effectively to snatch the vehicle out of the ditch or other panne. "Officers on active service have found that one of the best ways of getting out when bogged is to tie a chain or even a rope firmly to one part of the rim and to allow this to wrap round the wheel in the proper direction. This, it is claimed, is often more effective than other special forms of non-skids."
Parsons' chain device has, of course, done excellent service in use with pneumatics. The American licensees also report success on solid-tired wheels.