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CYCLING AND MOTORING

When the great European war is over, :md its history can be -written in adequate 'ashion, the writer will be surprised if it is not referred to as a motoring campaign. Mid thi* notwithstanding all that we read .-■f the marching of troops in massed millinns. It is true enough that the pace of ■ man's walk cannot be increased, but what differentiates this war from all its predecessors is that the walking has been effectual, and that there has been the minimum of waste of time either in the following of false scents or of standing ;dle while awaiting the reports of intelligence bureaux. Scouting in the present ielrl of operations is as different from h;U of the Franco-German War of 44

oars ago as could well be imagined, what .ilh motor cars fitted with wireless instal- | ■at ions, or flying from outpost to base, j n miy nothing of the invaluable services .1 aeroplanes. Even Paris itself is in .ouch with the troops at the front by j motor car, and well-known motoring journalists have been making long hut rapid journeys with despatches. It cannot be doubted, moreovor, in view of the enormous numbers of ears that have been commandeered by the several armies, that they have been used even for the conveyance, of troops, not only for the sake of rapidity, but as a relief to the congestion of the railways. In all probability, however, though details are lacking as yet, the motor vehicle has been chiefly useful to all the armies alike in respect of the commissariat arrangements. The English war authorities, we know, already owned a large number of heavy motors before the war Began, and had a lien on others, while the French army have always had plenty of transport waggons in use at the annual manoeuvres; nor is it likely that Germany was behindhand in this respect. One reads, indeed, of countless motor waggons passing through Brussels since the occupation, and one cannot assume the possibility of the Teutonic hordes being fed unless more expeditious means of bringing up supplies were available than in previous wars. The difference, to the rank and file must be considerable, and in any future war, if one dare to think of another outbreak, after the dire lessons of the present cataclysm, the use of mechanical transport would certainly be enormous, and all but universal. Next to the question of food supply, however, the outstanding feature of the war has been the dramatic work of the armored cars, and one can conceive tho timo when they will almost entirely supersedo the use of cavalry for scouting purposes. Lastly, there are tho motor ambulances; what, a godsend they have proved in every district where the fighting was carried on in the neighborhood of roads. No country is feeling the disturbance caused to trade by the war less heavily than England, and it is pleasing to note thai one temporary embargo which was enforced at the outset has now been entirely removed. This concerned the. exportation of cars, and was proltably enjoined in tho first instance pending such time, as the military authorities could gauge the extent of their own requirements by purchase. Any British manufacturer, however, is now free to exportcars of every kind, and as the trade routes —thanks to" the English Navy—are kept open, there should be an increase of business, owing to the withdrawal of a large proportion of Continental supplies. Tho Dominions, if only from sentimental reasons, will be far more willing henceforth to take up British cars, and though the home trade of motor manufacturers- will surfer some curtailment for tho present, they may undoubtedly count upon a substantial increase in their exports to this country.

Aii idea of tho value of motoring in Australia to wage-earners may be gathered from the fact that from careful compilations by the editor of the 'Australian Motorist' it is clear thai, at least £1,018,000 was disbursed in wages in Australia last year through the agency of the. petrol motor. The makers of heavy commercial vehicles are having an extraordinarily busy time in England, owing to War Office orders. One manufacturer, according to a contemporary, is supplying 20 chassis per week, and has an order for 1,000 on hand. Another firm, who had previously devoted themselves mainly to pleasure cars, have been asked to put through 50 per week. The destruction of these _ vehicles during the war is sure to be considerable, so that the demand is likely to continue until the war is approaching its conclusion. Meanwhile English motorists, whoso vehicles tttve been taken over by tho War Office, find it very difficult to replace them. It is said that close on 2.000 vehicles have been acquired in this manner. Many of the Iknivv transit vehicles, being ordered liv the war authorities are required for French and Belgian armies. The Austrian military attache in St.. Peters-burg, according to ,the London 'Times,' expressed surprise at the requisition by the Rus?ians_ of such a large fleet of motor cars, in view of the. fact that their roads were too bad to allow of their advantageous vise. The reply was significant : " Yes, but yours are good."

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Bibliographic details

CYCLING AND MOTORING, Evening Star, Issue 15648, 12 November 1914

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868

CYCLING AND MOTORING Evening Star, Issue 15648, 12 November 1914

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