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engineers protest

technical member needed

A renewed appeal to the Auckland Transport Board to include a chartered engineer in the delegation it pioposes to send overseas to investitransport system has made by the Professional Engitifv«T S Association. A large expendiPubhc money is involved, the engineers stress the importance of the fullest possible investigatl°n being made by experts. tsl< r traffic aspects can be nanaled by clerical men ably assisted by an engineer, we say without fear of contradiction from those qualified to speak that the aspects of suitabilViLj Plant, economy of purchase, ana considerations of maintenance and. operation, cannot be dealt with by anyone other than an engineer," declares the association. "A team comprising both engineering and clerical officers, even if it were to find that prices overseas were too high for them to recommend immediate purchase, would make a report of considerably greater value than any of the clerical officers can submit. If the representation is increased as suggested, the additional cost will be very small as compared with the total outlay involved, and the advantages will be great." Heavy Expenditure Involved Many hundreds of thousands of pounds, will have to be spent in implementing the Transport Board's comprehensive transportation plan, states the association. It points out that the acquisition of 50 trolley buses will cost at least £150,000 almost immediately. Plans for this heavy expenditure, the association says, are being advanced without any one of the board's admittedly competent engineers having seen either what is to be purchased or any comparative transportation equipment in America or England. The association asks the board whether its engineer-manager made the proposal not to dispatch an engineer with the two clerical men, and, if he did not, what were his recommendations? "Our association would be failing in its public duty if it did not sound a loud note of warning at the board's unusuai and unbusiness-like procedure," the association says. "This toncerns everyone because public funds are involved, and unless the proper transport plant is purchased the people of Auckland will have to pay heavily for any mistakes made." Safeguard Community Interests The Transport Board is reminded by the association that to safeguard community interests public bodies are now required by law to obtain a qualified engineer's guidance when spending public money. The association says that the board, by not giving its engineers the same -.opportunity of examining modern transport systems as certain of its clerical men are to receive, and also by stating that the purchase of this engineering plant is to be based on the advice of clerical men, is violating the spirit of-the Engineers' Registration Act. Unless the board sends an engineer it may have to face up later to accepting or rejecting a report by nonengineering officers, continues the association. No responsible board consisting of laymen would be justified in having confidence in such a report, as it could be easily based on arguments of high-pressure salesmen who represented price rings or monopolies. The fallacies of these arguments would not be evident to clerical men due to 'their inability to appreciate the engineering considerations involved.

In order that the board's plans for development should be soundly based, the association emphasises that they should have such technical backing as would ensure immediate public confidence and support.

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Bibliographic details

MISSION ABROAD, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 172, 23 July 1945

Word Count

MISSION ABROAD Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 172, 23 July 1945

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