"'THE NATION BEFORE IDEOLOGIES" VOUR excellent article on the above,
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remarkable for A its moderation, deserves the widest publicity. The Government appears to be quite indifferent to the effect its policy will have on the future of the country. To the least intelligent it is plain that we are in a critically difficult position; our industrial equipment has either been destroyed or damaged by war, our funds are exhausted and our manpower greatly reduced. Under such conditions we must still endeavour IO increase our exports by some 75 per cent, above the pre-war level, if we are to survive.
The lead the Government is giving us in this stupendous task is as follows:- (1) It is disrupting our industrial machinery, in imposing a policy of nationalization.
(2) It is increasing the Civil Service, already inflated for the now expired purpose of war.
(3) It is acquiescing in the shortening of working hours and increased wages whilst, at the same time, 'proclaiming that shortage of labour is holding up production.
(4) It is wilfully ignoring the expert knowledge and skill of the leaders of industry by taking over from them the control and provision of raw materials.
(5) The raising of the school-leaving age from 14 to 15, in spite of the shortage of labour, at this time, is a further illustration of the Government's contempt for our national requirements.
(6) The equipment of our prefabricated houses on a scale beyond the dreams of most of us, at this moment when so much of the labour and materials involved could have been spent on more urgent requirements, is a further act of folly.
The Transport Bill, a fitting climax to the Government's folly, is beginning to frighten its own promoters and we are now being warned against proceeding in too great haste—a short reprieve from financial ruin for thousands of small business men in transport. At the same time, uncertainty of what the future holds in store may retard the re-equipment of the industry to the point of bringing about a serious breakdown. Few people outside the road transport industry realize how badly the machine is already overstressed, and—if transport fails—we shall rapidly descend to a standard of living inferior to anything imagined within the living memory of man.
Whom the gods would punish they first drive mad.
C. LE M. GOSSELIN, Managing Director. (For H. Viney and Co., Ltd.) PUT THE PEOPLE FIRST I ENDORSE the remarks contained in the first paraA graph of your leader, "The Nation Before Ideologies" (" The Commercial Motor," January 31). The number of non-productive employees still retained in Govern
ment establishments is appalling and is a striking example of what will happen if road transport be nationalized.
Referring to the report, also published in your January 31 issue, of experience with the R.H.O., speaking from my. own knowledge of the operation of Ministry of War Transport vehicles, I have no hesitation in saying that, if transport be ,run on these lines, the country will soon be bankrupt. There will be vehicles running partly loaded or even empty, and there will be an enormous amount of paper work involved, In Government departments, the persons responsible for administration generally know the least about the practical side of the work.
The sooner we get down to a fair week's work in return for a reasonable wage, without any further Government bungling, the better. Road transport has attained its present position through private enterprise.
Hands off it! , SAN!. SUTCLIFFE. Todmorden.
A CUB WHICH NEVER GREW OLD AS a regular reader of "The Commercial Motor," I have noted quite a few claims for great mileages performed by various vehicles before they have required major overhauls or any extensive repairs. I would like to add one more to these.
In August, 1936, my employer took delivery of a Leyland Cub 3-ton short-wheelbase tipper. I was the sole driver of this vehicle for seven years, and the recorded mileage during that time was 98,565. The nature of the work the Cub was performing was short-distance runs every day, with loads of 4-5 tons, necessitating numerous stops and starts, whilst very often it had to operate over rough ground Apart from rear springs, sparking plugs and minor accessories, the vehicle, at the end of this period, had its original components. A check-up on the engine disclosed that the wear on the bores of all cylinders was about 0.012 in.
I am proud to say that the vehicle never failed through any mechanical fault. No tow was ever required, nor was it ever in the garage as a result of any trouble. Top overhauls were, however, performed by me regularly every 20,000 miles.
As the vehicles of my company are renewed periodically, it was eventually called in and sold at a good figure for long-distance -work, and no doubt the original mileage has been greatly exceeded. C. A. RANSOME.
SOME REASONS WHY • LOADS ARE STOLEN MUCH of the trouble experienced with the stealing of "I loads from motor hicTes and, sometimes, the vehicles with their contents, is due to lack of co-operation between the buyers and sellers of goods, short hours of factories, late loading, and indifference as to responsibility.
A telephone call to a concern which is to receive the goods should be made immediately a load has left, and a staff should await the vehicle, irrespective of the time of its arrival; but nobody appears to care, for it is insured during transit. Yes, but at a cost to the transport contractor of a fat cheque yearly The R.H.A. shorld fight against this policy and make the owners of the goods insure them. The consignors would then assist in ensuring that goods worth thousands of pounds were not left at cafd forecourts and on waste sites, at the mercy of any unscrupulous person ready to accept the risk of picking them up.
When such a theft occurs, the contractor and his staff are often suspected, and the police check up on the character of the driver, which is not a nice state of affairs. Switch the responsibility from the contractor to the owner of the goods, and 50 per cent. of the losses would stop, for factory reception facilities would rapidly be improved, and the anxiety of contractor and. driver would be much relieved.
Perhaps some of your readers can oiler further sug gestions to reduce the present unhappy position. A further one I can make is that every lorry driver should be issued with a kind of passport, and any convicted for being involved in losing his load should have both his passport and his driving licence withdrawn for life J. PASCALL, Director.
Ilford. (For PascalIs Transport, Ltd.) LOSS OF TIME AT LONDON DOCKS AND WHARVES THE Licensing Authority for the North-Western Area recently drew attention to the time road vehicles are kept waiting at Liverpool Docks. This was within his personal knowledge, and he said publicly that someone was not doing his job.
This is a timely reminder, I think, of the undoubted fact that for some years, road operators have subsidized dock and wharf owners at both Liverpool and London; and that the position is as bad to-day as ever..
Here, I am sure, is something the R.H.A.can get its teeth into, on behalf of the road haulage industry.
The P.L.A. turn vehicles away with their loads as though it did not matter in the least to the goods, the operators, the customers or the drivers, and often its officials seem to be quite unable to give any advice as to when acceptance can be made later. The P.L.A., at all events, is not out of Pocket, so why should it care who is?
Some of the London wharves, particularly those the employees of which seem to be paid "day rates" (which is another name for "go-slow ") do not seem to care in the least how long they keep a vehicle waiting—One hears of days, sometimes.
I would suggest, therefore, that here, in London, demurrage charges be instituted by hauliers in their own interests, based on their usual time rates, to the customer whose goods they are carrying, in the case of the P.L.A., and let the customer recover per contra on his shipping account In the case of wharves, the debit should be raised against the wharf concerned, again at time rates . I appreciate that some hauliers will he hesitant to do this, as it may mean loss of business to a competitor, but it is worth the risk in the long run. C. W. Jamas London, W.3.
ROAD TRANSPORT CAN FINANCE ITSELF WITH reference to the Minister of Transport's speech " to the London Labour Party on January 25. He told a special conference that some hundreds of millions of pounds were needed to bring the transport system up to date, his own words are as follow:— " It is open to question whether the transport industry under divided ownership can find the resources to fulfil such a programme without substantial Government aid .. on the roads a high proportion of the vehicles, both passenger and goods, are long past their normal life and present production is sufficient for only urgent replacements " As one of the largest corntriercial-vehicle distributors in the Midlands, I would like to furnish the following facts. We have upwards of £1,000,000 worth of orders on our books for various makes of new commercial goods and passenger vehicle During the past four years approximately 90 per cent, of the payments for new trucks have been made on a cash basis, and the remaining 10. per cent. have been financed with a very substantial deposit, the balance being arranged with hire-purchase companies.
Provided that we have reasonable deliveries and keep up to our last year's quota, we hope to supply all these new vehicles within the next-two to three years. As far as I can see into the future, approximately 90 per cent. of the new vehicles supplied to our customers will be on a cash-on-delivery basis. Quite apart from the wellknown fact that the road-transport industry is in an extremely sound financial position, there is plenty of cheap money available to finance expansion through the banks and finance houses, without the need for the Government to intervene.
No doubt the railways will speak for themselves.
H. W. WHALE.
Birmingham, 16. (For Ryland Garage.) SAFE DRIVING AWARDS WE were somewhat surprised to read on page 641 of Iry your issue dated January 31 a paragraph to the effect that six L.N.E.R. drivers were the first ever to receive the bronze cross for driving for 25 years without an accident.
It is of interest to note that, following the 1945 competition, two of our .drivers qualified for bronze bars, the awards given for 26 to 29 years, and six won the bronze cross. Token presentations were made to these men in Finsbury Town Hall on July 12 last, during Finsbury's Road Safety Week.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents may be able to give you further information on the first winners of these awards. G. DiciutstsoN, Assistant to Chief Executive Officer London, E.C.2. (For McNamara and Co., Ltd.).
(The paragraph referred to alluded to seven, not six, Pransport drivers of the L.N.E.R., and was derived from a note sent out by the Press relations officer of the L.N.E.R. Curiously enough, there was the following addition to this note: "There are 130,000 motor drivers in the country entered in t his competition," said Mr. W. Garner, MILE., chairman of the London Council of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. He added: "And this is a grand performance. In the past 'e have given other crosses for 10, 15 and 20 years' driving free from accident. What we are going to give when these men have 30 years' safe driving to their credit, I don't know!" As the McNamara drivers received their bronze crosses last July, it seems that the R.S.P.A. would be well advised to i,ive further instructions to its chairman.—ED.}