Organizing the Proposed Institute
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WE would have liked all those who are interested in the formation of the proposed Institute of Road Transport Engineers to have been present at tile meetings of the organizing committee and of the sub-committee which is dealing with the draft memorandum and articles of association. They would, no doubt, have been agreeably surprised at the great enthusiasm and energy displayed at these gatherings, each of which occupied some hours. What is more, the men?bers by no means shotved themselves to be "yes men." Every point raised concerning the final name of the Institute, qualification for and the grading of membership, subscriptions and entrance fees, and dozens of others, has been thrashed out, as it is fully realized that a great many interests must receive due consideration. Moreover, the principle that maintenance engineers should have sole control of the body and the exclusive right to vote has been well maintained.
It has been our view throughout the 18 months during which we have been gradually developing this scheme that this limitation of control should be the dominant factor. Whilst the expression of views, as given at open meetings, of affiliates (i.e., those members from the production and other sides of the industry who cannot be truly classified as vehicle-maintenance engineers) would be given consideration, any suggestions in relation to the design of vehicles, improved accessibility, increased efficiency in repair, employment of specialized equipment, etc., which might be made by the Institute as a body, should originate solely from the maintenance engineers. -This, of course, would not debar consultation with other bodies where their interests were affected.
It will, no doubt, always be recognized that even a close approach to the type of vehicle which would be ideal so far as the operator is concerned, might possibly prove uneconomic from the point of view of production, but a satisfactory degree of co-operation between vehicle, component and accessory manufacturers, and the Institute would, in our view, unquestionably be of mutual benefit. Almost without exception, the, manufacturing interests concerned are, so fat as we can gather, taking this view and are watching the progress of the new body with a benevolent eye.
An idea of the amount of work which has been involved in the steps which have been taken so far towards the formation of the Institute, is afforded by the fact that we have received close upon 1,000 letters in connection with it and have dispatched some hundreds. Not one of the communications received, however, has contained anything of a condemnatory character ; on the other hand, many of them have been most helpful, and, apart from suggestions and advice, have included offers of assistance, particularly in respect of the promotion of the interests of the new body in the provinces.
The difficulties of bringing together so many engineers who, under the stress of war-time conditions, are working all hours of the day, and often some of those of the night, can be fully realized. It is only with the greatest effort that most of the organizers can spare even brief periods away from their various tasks ; consequently their valued hours of leisure are be,ing generously curtailed to further the interests of their fellows and of the industry as a whole. In doing this they are not actuated by any selfish mot,ive, the ultimate success which we hope will crown their labours being the only reward they seek.