MATTERS OF MOMENT, April 1951

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56

ENTHUSIASM

Before we pass on to more sombre matters it is pleasing to reflect that this year’s National Competition Calendar of motoring events approved by the R.A.C. contains some 550 separate fixtures. Motor Sport is flourishing indeed I It is instructive to discover that there are nearly three times as many trials in this list as there are rallies, and only just over half the number of race meetings as rallies. After races conic trials, hill-climbs (sprints col

lectively out-number the race days by 18) and driving tests, in that order.

It is a truly ambitious programme that the motor clubs will operate this year and it behoves every competitor to maintain good relationships with ordinary motorists and the general public. Remove competition numbers before you drive home, go quietly through built-up areas, dress and behave sensibly while under the observation of spectators, and you will do much to promote a Sport which has only recently begun to be generally acceptable in this country. The R.A.C. took steps some time ago to revise the appearance of trials specials, fearful that these slimestorming oddities might upset Aunt Agatha and scare the kids. How successful they have been, judge for yourselves I For our part we believe that too frequent. use of ” popular” parking of competing and spectators’ outside a charming country house quagmire at a recent Southern trial) of this kind are the factors which that, beneath its mud pack, the doesn’t exactly resemble Uncle

Rally drivers must realise that they for their sport and drive with through villages, however frequently ” go like the clippers” elsewhere I blaring horns and spinning wheels Beauty you will never see again and Chief Constables, in whose hands rests to a considerable extent. . . to private places, should not offend, obviously, all important. Those rope —ugh!

Enjoy the great 1951 season of from the racing aspect in this country Continent at Pau, on Easter Monday.

country, inconsiderate vehicles (as when lawns reduced almost to a thoughtless behaviour harm, not the fact trials vehicle sew saloon. using public highways restraint in towns and and ambitiously they leave a control with enthral Youth and not Town Councillors future of such events events, being confined but spectator-safety is, round Silverstone sport which opened, Goodwood and on the have a care ; preserve

CHANCELLOR, BE PRUDENT!

The above-mentioned National Calendar promises a very full and successful season so it is all the more ironical that the forthcoming Budget hangs over the motorists’ head with an especial menace.

It of that Mr. taxation should not be increased, is the logical one that if it is the law of diminishing returns will Mr. Gaitskell will lose more than very sane arguments against it, of a fuel tax increase that will put up say in some quarters to 5s. a gallon. should occur—not only for those whose spectating at sporting events but body of motor users, motor-cyclists

or should, realise how much ownership even a humble autobike, means of the population. Whatever of a stable family life with singan evening, that regime has gone for is precious little steel for motor car little timber to spare for making of thousands of people escape from the Welfare State via the motor vehicle. Continued on page 188 Gaitskell will be prudent. There are, as we see it, two very good reasons why he should spare the motorist farther ” contributions” to the National expenditure. First, as the S.M.M.T. has pointed out, motorists, transport operators and the Motor Industry already have a very heavy tax burden. They now provide the Exchequer with over £200,000,000 per annum in licence duties, fuel tax and purchase tax. Last year the Motor Industry earned £260,000,000 in overseas currency. The motorist in Britain pays over three times as much in taxes to run a new 10-h.p. car 10,000 miles as he would in the U.S.A. On these grounds we can argue that the motorist has contributed at least his fair share The second reason why motor

indeed, conk! well be raised to too high a come into operation he will gain.

Nevertheless, despite there are ominous the price of petrol—they It will be a tragedy if this hobby is competing in even more so for the included. The Government must, of some form of motor to an appreciable there is to be said in songs round the fire of ever—after all, if there construction there is grand pianos Hundreds rigours of existence in

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