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REHABILITATION PLAN MINISTER EXPLAINS POLICY P.A. CHRISTCHURCH, this day. "I would point out that it is the view of the Government that the aim of the transport legislation, an efficient, economic and co-ordinated road transport industry, is best secured in goods services by controlled competition rather than by the creation of monopolies. This view is based upon experience in the administration of the transport legislation up to date," states the Minister of Transport, Mr. O'Brien, in a statement issued with the object of removing misunderstandings about the rehabilitation of the road transport industry.

The Minister, while stating that the policy will be followed out, has, as the outcome of discussions with the presidents of road transport organisations, amplified the announcement made by him on April 24. A copy of his statement was received here by the president of the New Zealand Motor Omnibus Proprietors' Association, Mr. L. K. Langesen. The Minister's statement, covering five main points, is as follows:—

" (1) The purpose of the 12 months' tenure of licenses is to enable surveys of the road transport industry to be made from time to time during the transition from war to peace. It is considered that this is the only satisfactory method of carrying out periodical surveys of the industry. In cases where a licensing authority is satisfied that the application refers to a service which is stable and shows little prospect of alteration, I agcee that it would be reasonable to adopt a three-year tenure, and have instructed the Commissioner of Transport to make representations before licensing authorities in open hearing accordingly, so that authorities ipay consider them judicially along with any other evidence that may be placed before them.

Purpose of liegislation

"(2) The main purpose of the transport licensing legislation is to provide a sound, efficient and economic transport organisation which is reasonably well co-ordinated with other forms of transport and provides satisfactory working conditions for those employed in the industry. If an operator can prove to the licensing authority that his service cpmplies with these requirements, and he is fully utilising the vehicle authorities covered by his license, he is entitled to the renewal of his license and the vehicle authorities, subject to the qualification below regarding wartime expansion. It is hoped, however, that licensed operators will co-operate with the Government and the request of licensing authorities in voluntarily making available any license or vehicle authority which they feel they could spare for the purpose of rehabilitating a former serviceman.

"(3) The Transport Department will make representations before licensing authorities in open hearing for the transfer of licenses or vehicle authorities on a compulsory basis to former servicemen only where, they come within the following classifications:— (a) That the operator is not conducting his business efficiently or is not making reasonably full use of his vehicle authorities, and (b) that the operator's business has been built up to its present volume not by his own efficiency and ability, but by accretions due to war conditions and the lack of competition owing to other operators being on military service.

Position of Railways "(4) Applications for renewal of licenses held by the Railway Department will be considered by licensing authorities under the same conditions as those held by private operators. Where the Railway Department can prove to the licensing authority that it is running an efficient service it will be entitled to a renewal of the license concerned in the same way as any efficient private operator would be. No representations, however, will be made regarding licenses, in respect of long-dis-tance road services paralleling railways which were purchased by the Railway Department in fulfilment of the long-distance single-ownership policy.

"(5) The reference in my previous statement that, where services are operated by private enterprise, the service to the public is improved, where there is some measure of competition," has been taken in some quarters to mean the death knell of what are known as 'merger' companies. This was not intended. Any merger company that can prove to the licensing authority that it is carrying on an efficient service in accordance with the provisions of the legislation is entitled in the same way as any other efficient operator to renewal of its license."

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Bibliographic details

ROAD TRANSPORT, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 168, 18 July 1945

Word Count

ROAD TRANSPORT Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 168, 18 July 1945

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