News of the Week
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'THE National .Conference of Trade I and Industry on Transport has informed the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport that the present national crisis emphasizes the paralysing effect of a disrupted transport system on the public and on trade and industry.
A, memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport states: "The Conference, therefore, more than ever strengthened, in the light of the present disaster, in its belief that State-owned and operated transport would seriously disrupt the economic life and production efforts of the nation, submits that it is imperative, in the interests of the future safety of the country, that the proceedings on the Transport Bill should be suspended pending an independent public inquiry."
SCOTTISH COMMITTEE WILL BE .REPRESENTATIVE—Mr, Barnes
APROMISE that the Scottish Consultative Committee under the Transport Bill would be representative of the national life of Scotland was made. in Edinburgh by Mr. Alfred Barnes, Minister of Transport.
Before the conference at which Mr. Barnes made this statement, the Scottish Council of the Trades Union Congress put its views on the Bill to Mr. Barnes at a private meeting. It is understood that the deputation told Mr. Barnes that unless the Consultative Committee were given the widest possible scope, it would not be meeting the wishes of the Scottish people and serving the needs of the travelling public and Scottish industry. The Minister was also asked to consider carefully the question of establishing a Scottish Executive, A FORTNIGHT'S LAPSE
BY Government order, " The Commercial Motor" was prevented from publishing on February 21 and 28. The previous issue was dated February 14.
HANDS OFF ROAD TRANSPORT—. Labour M.P.
" D OAD transport should be left alone," said Mr. Alfred Edwards, Socialist M.P. for Middlesbrough East, at a meeting in his constituency. He also observed: "I am appalled when I read in the latest White Paper the call for more people to produce, and see not one word about reducing the ever-increasing stream of people into non-productive occupations. Hundreds and thousands of people who could never have succeeded in business are engaged to hinder, misdirect, command and countermand, threaten and bully in the most fantastic and Gilbertian manner, the people who. built up, with all its faults, the industrial system which has been the envy of most of the world."
THE LIONS BEARDED
REPRESENTATIVES of the National Conference of Trade and Industry on Transport (Merseyside Area) comprised a deputation which met Liverpool Labour M.P.s, a few days ago, to put forward views of C-licence operators on certain aspects of the Transport Bill.
It was urged on behalf of the tanning and fruit and vegetable trades that they should be free from restriction, because of the nature of the commodities handled. For other trades it was suggested that the radius of operation should be extended from 40 miles to 80 miles. STATE TRANSPORT WILL STIFLE INDUSTRY
AT a meeting at Bristol organized by Aims of Industry, Lord Teriham, who was supported by Major H. E. Crawfurd, D.F.C., vice-president of the R.H.A., spoke on "State Trans
port Will Stifle Industry." He said, never in history has the Government contrived to wreak as much damage to trade and industry as our Socialist planners are attempting through nationalization of transport. The result—if the Transport Bill goes to the Statute Book—will be disastrous to our national recovery.
What will happen if the giant bureaucratic hand of ministerial muddle be suddenly clamped on Bristol's transport arteries? How far can the enterprise of this go-ahead city flourish in the face of the unimaginative, timewasting and pettifogging practices incumbent on State transport? Efficiency would be cut by 50 per cent., and the omnipotent dark cloak of Civil Service indecision would descend on business like a pall.
Is it not important, he asked, to remember that not a single industrial or trading organization has sought the nationalization of transport?
Major Crawfurd said that the Government had now produced a second White Paper, which has done nothing except amplify what was contained in its first. This merely gave evidence as to what every competent observer had known for months.
Of all competent opinion, 99.9 per cent. is against the nationalization of transport.
SCOTLAND'S FEARS FOR MEDICAL SUPPLIES QCOTLAND claims to be particularly affected by the threat to the efficient distribution of medical supplies if the Transport Bill goes through in its present form. There are 13 leading wholesale and manufacturing druggists in Scotland, mainly centred on Glasgow and Edinburgh. They are accustomed to make special deliveries of vital medical supplies by road, far beyond the Bill's 40-mile limit, to outlying districts in the Highlands and elsewhere.
The Wholesale Drug Trade Association and the Pharmaceutical Society do not accept the assurance of the Minister of Transport that the system of granting exemptions will work satisfactorily.
WElea with great regret of the learn death of MAJOR E. G. Beaumomr, 0.B.E.,
M.I.A.E., M.INsT.T , on February 19 at the age of 69. A son of the well-known engineer, Worby Beaumont, he was for some years engineer of a large transport fleet of an oil company, but, later, himself became a consulting engineer. He was Council member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers, and consulting mechanical engineer to the National Road Transport Federation
MR. JOHN CROSS, who died recently, was stock controller and transport manager of the British Tyre and Rubber Co., Ltd., for 20 years.
NEW DRIVING-LICENCE RULES IN FORCE
ON February 18, the Road Traffic (Driving Licences) Bill became law. Drivers who, on this date, have held a I2-month provisional licence conanuously for a year or more, will not have to pass a driving .test unless they be disabled or have been convicted of certain offences in connection with driving. They may now obtain a full licence, but must apply before February 18, 1948; current yearly provisional licences will, however, remain operative until they expire.
All new provisional licences are valid for only three months, and a holder, while driving, must be accompanied by an experienced driver and the vehicle must display " L" plates.
• SHORTER WEEK + LOWER TAXATION = PRODUCTION . "
INCREASED fitness and efficiency
should arise from the advent of the 44-hour five-day week," but "to make this stimulus effective, a greater incentive is required by reducing taxation and restrictions," said Mr. Sidney S. Guy, chairman of Guy Motors, Ltd., in his annual report. " The national appeal loses its pull after seven years of pattiotie responses. Many resent the reduction in their pay by taxation; this is only too evident by the slowing down of effort and absenteeism," be added. • "Industry and commerce made this country great and can again restore its prosperity," he continued. "But time is the essence of the problem. We must sink our political differences, cut the cackle,' and, by a united effort, get down .to the job of supply and production."
CRITICISM BARRED L'ORECASTS that road and rail transport congestion would follow nationalization were made at the February meeting of the Institute of Traffic Administration (Manchester Branch). Several speakers supported the view that the result would be to throw extra burdens upon shipping.
The set-up, as shown by the Bill, did not allow for reasonable and constructive criticism, said Mr. C. J. Parker, who initiated an open discussion on the scheme. The Users' Consultative Committees should, he thought, be appointed by industry and the travelling MORE APPEALS NEXT WEEK
ON March 12, at 10.30 a.m., the Appeal Tribunal will hear the appeals of Mr. A. E. F. Jones against a decision of the Metropolitan Licensing Authority, and Mr. N. B. Criswell against a decision of the Eastern Deputy Licensing Authority. In the first case
there will be 10 respondents. The appeals wilt be heard at Halifax House, Strand, London, W.C.2.
FILTERS FOR ALL PURPOSES
ONE of the most interesting shows now open in Piccadilly is at numbers 69-70. It is staged by Vokes, Ltd., well known as experts in the production of filters for all classes of transport media and many other purposes.
The latest type, which iS now under development, is a ceramic, comprising a full-flow, embodying a special Vokes woven material, and a by-pass with ceramic elements, the two being in the same housing. It is intended for oil engines, and a 10,000 miles test gave remarkable results. It extracted so much sludge that a special additional' pot for this is now incorporated.
PAISLEY TO DO ITS OWN HAULAGE
IDAISLF,Y TOWN COUNCIL is to I set up a transport department. At a recent meeting of the council it was stated that the estimated cost of road haulage for the present year was £13,000, and that the municipal fiveyear road programme had been
seriously hampered because the council did not possess motor vehicles of its own and was unable to hire sufficient.
LESSON IN STATESMANSHIP T ORE) SANDHURST, chairman of Lathe British Road Federation, has told the Minister of Transport that "the over-riding requirement of statesmanship, during the present crisis and the extremely tense times which lie ahead, is a complete postponement of the Government's scheme for nationalizing road transport." A.B.C.C. DEBATES TRANSPORT WASTAGE
A GENDA for the meeting of the Plexecutive council of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, held on March 5, included the question of the five-day week and the disruption and wastage of transport caused by it. As reported in "The Commercial Motor" of February 7, the transport committee of Bristol Chamber of Commerce has issued a warning in this connection.
NO HUMBER BRIDGE YET
A T present the Ministry of Transport will not authorize the construction of a single-span suspension bridge over the River Humber, as part of the trunk
road system of the country. This decision was conveyed, last week, to a deputation from Hull Corporation and Lindsey County Council by Mr. G. R. Strauss, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport.
Mr. W. Martin, M.I.R.T.E., will read a paper on "Vehicle Examination as it Affects Public Safety" before members of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (Scottish Centre), at 39, EImbank Street, Glasgow, on March 11, at 7.30 p.m. 'MANUFACTURERS AND NATIONAL FINANCE CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions for improving the country's economic position and industrial output are made in a memorandum sent recently to the Chancellor of the Exchequer by the National Union of Manufacturers, which has over .4,000 members.
The more important points are as follow:—Some ceiling should be put upon the constant demands for wage increases and shortening of hours, as we cannot continue to rely for long upon a seller's market in a world hungry for goods. As regards the Budget, there should be a vigorous pruning of every type of expenditure, with a long-term policy with regard to capital expenditure on the new social services. The heavy rate of income tax is an unreasonable burden upon industry, and an incentive to increased production would be adjustments of the earned-income and personal allowances. It is hoped that the Chancellor will get rid of the National Defence Contribution and impose no substitute for the Excess Profits Tax, whilst the existence of the Purchase Tax is often unfair and should be removed as soon as possible.
MORE PETITIONS PRESENTED
TWO more anti-nationalization peti1 tions were presented in the House of Commons recently by Mr. Max Aitken and Sir Arnold Gridley. The formers petition was signed by 145,000 persons in the Metropolitan area and Sir Arnold Gridley's bore the 'signatures of 17,000 members of 28 Chambers of Commerce.
SCOTTISH VISIT • INCHINNAN WORKS
APARTY of 28 members of the Scottish Centre of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers visited the works of the India Tyre and Rubber Co., Ltd.. at Inchinnan, on February 18, They were 'received by Mr. IL Mountford. of the technical department.
Mr. Livingstone and Mr, Robinson. All processes, from the intake of raw rubber to the finishing of the tyres, were inspected. It was noted that both rayon. and cotton fabrics were being employed for the casings.
MORE MONEY FOR THE ROADS
A SUPPLEMENTARY sum (..,1 €.900,000 has been granted by the House of Commons to defray expenses incurred in the collection of the Road Fund and other expenditure in connection with roads up to March 31, 1947. In presenting the Supplementary Esti
mate, Mr. G. R. Strauss, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, said that there had been a greater expenditure than was expected on the maintenance of the roads. FERODO OPENS SOUTH LONDON DEPOT TO establish a supply and service depot from zero, in a matter of months, is something of an achievement in these days, and full•marks must be accorded to Ferodo, Ltd., Chapel-en-leFrith, in connection with its new depot at 35, Clapham High Street, London, S.W.9.
The premises, which were originally a dance hail, have not been subjected to any structural alterations, as it has been possible to obtain permits for only bare essentials. Mr. I. D. Mintier, South London manager, has . personally planned and supervised the layout, which is designed to give the most efficient service with a minimum of personnel.
Mr. Millner -constructed a model, .
using wood blocks to represent store bins, in order to obtain a layout that would provide clear passageways and something approaching a one-way " traffic " flow.
Ferodo, Ltd., now has depots north and south of the Thames, the latter covering the southern counties as far west as the borders of Dorset and Wilts. This area ernbrarl-s about 10,000 customers for Ferodo products, which will give some idea of the importance of this new depot to the organization.
Ferodo House, as the premises are called, was opened to the trade last Monday. The well-filled bins which we observed on a recent visit augur well for over-the-counter service. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO UPSET INDUSTRY
" THIS would seem to be the very last
moment at which any responsible Government should introduce a measure which, whatever its merits might be, is bound to lead to a prolonged period of unsettlement, and at the moment has produced in the transport world a grave degree of uncertainty.
"It is hardly necessary to point out that in all productive industry, and indeed in all distributive trade, trans. port plays a most important part. It enters into every phase of the process— from the raw material until the finished article is presented in the shop for the customer."
Sir Walter Womersley, president of the National Chamber of Trade, made these observations in an address at Reading. The meeting was organized by " Aims of Industry," and Sir Walter was supported by Major H. E. Crawfurd, vice-president of the Road Haulage Association.
Sir Walter added that inefficiency was the only valid reason for causing the upheaval of transport which the Government proposed, and Britain's road transport was not inefficient.
BENEVOLENT FUND CAPITAL INCREASED I N 1946, total investments of the
Motor and Cycle Trades Benevolent Fund increased from £284,500 to more than £316,000. At the same time, the amount spent annually on relief exceeds by some £9,000 the total of the subscriptions received.
These facts emerge from the 1946 annual report and accounts of the Fund. At the annual general meeting, Mr. Claude Wallis, M.B.E., was unanimously elected president, in succession to Sir George Kenning. Donations 'totalling £2,595 were handed in at the meeting; they had been raised from sporting and social functions held in Yorkshire.
The following members were elected to the council for the ensuing year:— Messrs. H. 3. Ashby. F. G. Wert, Fred Brown, W. 34. Park, J. Sealy Clarke, A. F. Dardin, L. F. Dyer, Charles Follett, H. Goodwin. G. E. Thomas, L. Hartwell, C. Horton, E. F. Johnson, Col. D. C. MeLagan, 0.5.0., Col. The Hog. C. Siddeley, Messrs. W. H. Perry. A. C. Richards, S. R. Saunders, A. Padden Smith, J.P., and H. G. StarieY, C.B.E.
E Appeal Tribunal has dismissed rthe appeal of Messrs. Price Bros., of Biddulph, against a decision of the West Midland Licensing Authority. The hearing was reported in "The Commercial Motor" on February 14. Messrs. Price had applied for B licences for four vehicles, but had received grants for only two.
In its written decision, the Tribunal stresses the necessity of producing, in support of applications for B licences, evidence, such as accounts, to show clearly the work done for hire or reward, as distinguished from other work. "It is very important that the need for such information should he appreciated in all cases," says the Tribunal.
The Tribunal upheld the appeals of four hauliers (Messrs. Don Bristow, A. E, Jones, N. T. Lloyd, and W. A. Faulkner) against the West Midland Deputy Licensing Authority's action in granting a B licence to Mr. A. E. Wright, an ex-Serviceman. The Order is to lie in the office for a month to allow Mr. Wright to make a new application to the Licensing Authority, should he wish to do so.
On the appeal of W. Sullivan, Ltd. (reported on page 71), the Tribunal has ordered the Metropolitan Licensing Authority to modify the licence granted, to allow a vehicle of 1 ton 17 cwt. unladen to be replaced by one of 3 tons.
GLASGOW PROPOSES 100 AMENDMENTS TO BILL
THE most unsatisfactory feature of the Transport Bill, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce considers, is the "omnipotent and unlimited powers given to the Minister of Transport." Approximately 100 proposed amendments to the Bill have been forwarded to the Association of British Chambers of Commerce.
47,000 " SCRAP " VEHICLES IN GERMANY
A TOTAL of 17,000 surplus British 1-1 military vehicles has been disposed of in Germany by the Control Commission, acting as agent for the Ministry of Supply. Altogether, 92.000 vehicles were declared surplus, of which 47,000 are fit only for scrap.
THREE OPERATORS COMBINE
A PRIVATE company with the title
of Lochs Motor Transport, Ltd., has been registered to acquire as a going concern the transport businesses carried on by Mr. Alexander D. MacLean, Mr. Angus J. MacLeod, and Mr. Murdo Macdonald, of Stornoway.
TANKS AS COAL TRACTORS QHERMAN and Valentine Tanks are being converted into tractors for file haulage of opencast coal and for levelling housing sites. The weight is being reduced from 17 tons to 10 tons, and the driver's compartment elevated.
ANNUAL MEETING POSTPONED
THE annual general meeting of the Institute of Traffic Administration, to have been held on February 15, will now take place at the Bell Hotel, Leicester, on March 29 at 2.30 p.m., with a meeting of the new National Council on the Sunday morning.
ABERDEEN STICKS TO TRAMS
A S an interim policy, the continua
tion of tramcars as the major part of the corporation transport service has been endorsed by Aberdeen Town Council. Trams will, however, be replaced by buses on one route.
N.F.S. TO GO 1 'ENDER the Fire Service Bill, the Isa National Fire Service will be wound up, and its property and personnel distributed among local fire brigades. Counties and county boroughs are to be the fire authorities in England and Wales. The Bill provides that two or more areas may combine for fire protection. ARE OPERATORS LOSING INITIATIVE?
AN apparent lack of initiative among bus operators was criticized by Mr,. A. Henderson, Scottish Licensing Authority, when Air Industrial Developments, Ltd., applied for a licence for a bus service from Dunoon to Glendaruel, five miles beyond the present terminus at Craigendaive, on the route covered by Messrs. Sandbank Motor Services.
"When a new man comes along with initiative and ideas, and promotes -a pro. posal for a new service, it is not good enough for the original operator to say: 'No one ever asked me whether I should extend my service,'" said Mr. Henderson. Decision was reserved.
P.T.A. EASTBOURNE CONFERENCE PROGRAMME
THE full programme of the Eastbourne Conference of the Public Transport Conference is now available. We will refer, however, only to the official functions, which are as follow:—
May 6: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., informal reception by chairman and vice-chairmen of the Council, Winter Garden.
May 7: 10 a.m., welcome to delegates by Mayor of Eastbourne, Winter Garden; 10.30 a.m., fifth a.g.m., 11 a.m., paper, "The Future Development of the Public Service Vehicle," Mr. D. M. Sinclair, M.I.A.E., general manager, Midland "Red 6.30 p.m. (for 7 p.m.), Association's dinner and dance, Grand Hotel.
May 8: 10 a.m., official photograph on Devonshire Park Lawns, Winter Garden; 10.30 a.m., paper, "Common Sense in Road Transport," Mr. E. L. Taylor, A.C.A., M.Inst.T., secretary, Barton Transport, Ltd.; 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., civic reception and dance, by Mayor and Corporation of Eastbourne.
LIQUID SPRING WORKS AT 70,000-LB. PRESSURE
I)EVELOPMENT of a liquid spring operating at pressures up to 70,000 lb. per sq. in. was mentioned by Mr. R. H. Bound, in a paper which he read to the Society of Engineers, in London, on Monday, March 3. More than four years of intensive research and experiment by Dowty Equipment, Ltd., were necessary in the production of liquid springs, which, he said, showed great savings in weight compared with orthodox suspension systems.
97 NEW BUSES FOR TRENT
PLANS of the Trent Motor Traction Co., Ltd., for this year include the introduction of 97 new buses, of which 42 will be double-deckers, 43 singledeckers and 12 luxury coaches for' holiday tours and private hire. The coaches will have bodies by Windovers, Ltd. Front-entrance double-deck bodies on 18 vehicles are also to be replaced by the latest type of rearentrance body by Brush Coachworks, Ltd. The year's programme will cost more than £375,000.
The company's garage at Melbourne is to be rebuilt and a new garage is to be erected at Mansfield. Later and augmented services are to be introduced and holiday tours are to be restored.
Last year, 45 new A.E.C. buses with Willowbrook bodies were acquired.