BRITISH PRICES IN THE COLONIES

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BRITISH PRICES IN THE COLONIES

A significant reflection on prices in the Colonies, which the British Motor Industry should ponder, arises from a report which appeared in the Bulawayo Chronicle dated January 5th. This report concerned the purchase of a Volkswagen van by Bulawayo City CounciL It was debated whether a German vehicle should be purchased, in reply to which the Council stated that the price of the VW van was £695 98. 9d. plus £58 for tools, whereas the lowest British tender was E141 10s. 3d. dearer. Councillor S. H. Miller stated : “The difference between the tender price of the British and foreign articles is a small price to pay for a principle that we so often propound.” Councillor J. M. Macdonald disagreed : “Our principles, like our metaphors, are getting mixed,” he replied; he had seen these aircooled Microbuses doing splendid and economical work in the Congo. The City Electrical Engineer, confirmed the Mayor—for whose department the Micro was intended—after giving the matter careful attention, had made out a very strong case in favour of the German vehicle “on grounds of it being a vastly superior article, apart from price.” Alderman C. M. Newman said he yielded to none in his allegiance to Britain and at a 5 or 10 per cent. difference in price he would always favour the British product, but a 30 per cent. difference was a different proposition. “The British Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden,” he concluded, “himself had stated recently that England was pricing herself out of her tnarketa.” The VW van was purchased.

Incidentally, the reader in Southern Rhodesia who sent this cutting to us points out that sports cars are ruled out there so far as serious motoring is concerned, due to lack of ground clearance and adequate dust-sealing, but that sporting events like the Redex Australian Rally and the Algiers-Cape Rally are of the greatest interest to enthusiasts in vast territories where a tarred road is a rarity.

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