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HEAT PROBLEM OVERCOME BROTHERS' ENTERPRISE Biggest problems in motor transport in the desert were the discomforts of dust and heat, said Mr. Gerald Nairn, one of the " Zealand operators of the motor-bus services in the deserts of Syria and Irak, when addressing members of the Auckland Travel Club yesterday.

These problems were countered by a new design of vehicle, which was the first fully air-conditioned bus in the world. Two were constructed in America in 1937, at a cost of £12,000 each. Each carried two drivers, and meals were served aboard. The temperature inside was always comfortable, although the sun heat be as much as 138 degrees, and Zg& in the shade. While the desert''was arid and dusty in summer, in winter the services were often delayed by mud. The vehicles were entirely selfcontained and independent.

The only suspension of the company's services occurred when the Irak rebellion broke out, and again during the Vichy control of Syria. In the Irak outbreak, the buses helped to evacuate women and children, and Mr. Nairn and his brother spent five weeks in the shelter of the British Embassy. They later found that the company's garages had been bombed, and the buses used by the Irakis.

While the company was operating through Syria and Lebanon before control by Vichy, the French, realising the value of the service in developing trade and communication in the area, gave the Nairns a small subsidy. ■» However, they were forced to close down the Syrian routes when they were told by the French authorities that with the advent of the Vichy Government, the New Zealanders might be interned. They later ran a service through to Palestine by omitting Syria. The old routes, he added, were again open, and the company was now running 43,000 passengers a year, most of them Army personnel.

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Bibliographic details

DESERT TRANSPORT, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 176, 27 July 1945

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DESERT TRANSPORT Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 176, 27 July 1945

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