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Tribunal, Gives Rulings on "Goodwill"

6th February 1948
Page 52
Page 52, 6th February 1948 — Tribunal, Gives Rulings on "Goodwill"
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

and Additional Tonnage

Attempt to Buy Licence Alleged. Applications Based on Difficulties Caused by Five-clay Week Must be Supported by Proof that Other Solutions have Failed HERE can be no purchase of goodwill where the purported purchase is by the person or firm who provides the work and hires


HERE can be no purchase of goodwill where the purported purchase is by the person or firm who provides the work and hires the vehicle or vehicles operated by the vendor The transaction is an attempt to buy a licence,' said the Appeal Tribunal, in the case of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Co., and Beaumont Brothers (Halifax), Ltd, " lf such transactions were regarded as a ground for the grant of licences, any person who hired transport, whether already an operator of transport or a clearing house, could obtain a grant of vehicles to undertake the work formerly done by hired transport without regard to the usual considerations which arise , such applications," the Tribunal's written decision pointed out.

Five-day Week

The Tribunal also reiterated the warning, given in the Whitton case, that if the effects of the five-day week in industry were relied upon partly to support an application for additional vehicles, proof must be offered that real efforts had been made without success, to circumvent the difficulties.

Beaumont Brothers (Halifax), Ltd., applied to the Scottish Licensing Autho rity A 'icences for one vehicle lin possession) of 2 tons 17 cwt., and two vehicles not exceeding 5 tons each. The 2-ton 17-cwt. vehicle and one of not more than 5 tons were authorized, The L.M.S. Railway Co. appealed against the grant ot a licence for the extra vehicle. The harries were to be used for collection and delivery cervices operated from Glasgow in connection with a trunk service from Glasgow to Halifax. The 2-ton 17-cwt. vehicle was originally authorized under a defence permit as the result of ail agreement for the purchase by Beaumont Brothers (Halifax), Ltd., of the vehicle and business of Mr. David Sloan.

"No Goodwill"

For six months before the sale, Mr. Sloan used his vehicle mainly for collection and delivery for the Beaumont trunk service It was this circumstance that caused the Tribunal to point out that no goodwill existed and that it was a case or selling licence. Nevertheless, the Tribunal held that the use of that vehicle was justified, because it was desirable for Beaumont Brothers (Halifax), Ltd., to operate a collection and delivery. service with its own drivers for some of its work

An attempt was made to justify the two extra vehic'es chiefly on. the ground that the adoption of the five-day week by customers who used the trunk services reduced the working time during which the trunk and collection and delivery vehicles could collect and deliver goods carried on the trunk services The company did not wish to carry additional long-distance traffic, said the Glasgow manager. The Licensing Authority held that the evidence indicated that arrangements could not be made for the acceptance or delivery of traffic outside the normal working hours and that the circumstances were different from those attending the Whitton case. The Tribunal disagreed with this view and pointed out that events since May last, when the Whitton decision was given, had proved how important it was in the national interest that, with a shorter working week, arrangements should be made for loading and unloading at times when factories were other

wise closed. The Tribunal held that Beaumont Brothers (Halifax), Ltd., had made no real efforts to.arrange by agreement with customers for colleetion and delivery outside *Irma! working hours. On the other hand, euktimers gave evidence that there might he 'difficulties in making such provision.' because of an alleged reluctance of men. to work overtime, because of the increased casts of production caused by ;overiiine, andon account of the need for saving power and fuel. "It is impossible to say Whether' or not these alleged obstacles are insuperable when no effort at a Solution had been attempted isir even discussed, or whether the alleged additional costs of

production would outweigh the additional costs and undesirability of duplicated transport," the Tribunal stated. The appeal was allowed, and the • Licensing Authority was instructed to authorize only the 2-ton 17-cwt. vehicle. The Tribunal has dismissed the appeal of William Feather mid Sons, Ltd., against the North-Western Deputy Licensing Authority's refusal to licence seven vehicles and two trailers. The company applied for A licences for 16 vehicles (791 tont) and six trailers (111 tons) in possession and two vehicles (111 tons) and one trailer (21

tons) to be acquired. The Licensing Authority granted a licence for 11 s vehicles (59i tons) and five trailers (101 tons). Application for additional vehicles was based partly on a claim to be carrying increased traffic, including new traffic on a newly operated route to London and Guildford Another reason given was that the company wished to spread over 31 days the double journey from Liverpool to the North-East Coast, at present completed in two days.

Associated "Customer"

According to the Deputy Licensing Authority, the appellant obtained 75 per cent, of its work through Feather and Kent, Ltd., a Liverpool concern in which William Feather and Sons, Ltd., bolds a 50 per cent. interest. There was stated to be no evidence of an increase in the businesss of this customer" to justify the additional vehicles.

The Tribunal was not persuaded by Mr. Feather's evidence that the proposed Working would be advantageous.

There was no satisfactory evidence of expansion of work for old .aistomers, of increased work in the locality, or of need for additional facilities The evidence did not show conclusively whether the increase Of 'turnover through .Feather and Kent; Ltd., was for old customers or .not: NewCustomers . . There' was, however,. an indication that 'a number of newly, acqnired customers Was providing substantial, local. aricflong-distarrse traffic, apart from the business coming through Feather and Kent, Ltd. Evidence of new work did not establish that there was actually an increase of work in the locality. " The appellants' case, as the evidence stands, really amounts merely to ra claim that they have had an increased turnover, partly due to increased rates charged, and that they have undertaken additional work with the extra Vehicles authorized under defence permits during the war," said the Tribunal. • There was no evidence that the goods being 'carried to London and Guildford, or on the return journeys, were not suitable for rail transport, or could not be adequately carried by existinz road or rail facilities.

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