A missunderstanding

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Some readers misunderstood the reference we made in the January Editorial to the driver who wishes to have a short enjoyable drive at speeds of up to 70 m.p.h. being no more unpatriotic than one who prefers to drive further, at 50 m.p.h. They ask, do we seriously suggest that the Police should be asked to check on cars breaking the speedlimit, to ask how far they intend to go? Of course not! What was intended was to emphasise that after petrol is rationed, if such comes about, it would not then matter how fast one drove, because all of us would have the same basic ration to be used as we saw fit. Thus, if the allocation was six gallons per week, it would be permissible for one driver to go 150 miles at up to 70 m.p.h. in that period and for another to try to stretch his week’s motoring to, say, 180 miles, by driving more slowly in an identical car.

Let’s hope that rationing will not he necessary. But if it is enforced, the need for a restrictive 50 m.p.h. speed-limit to conserve fuel will become unnecessary. Business users should then be allowed to make proper use of their cars, as to speed, using their own discretion as to how best to conserve their petrol allocations. Meanwhile, supplies of petrol to unrationed users are unrestricted in country areas but many garages in big cities either shut early or will only serve regular customers and, in our home area at any rate, RAF aeroplanes seem to operate much as before and Army tank-testing was resumed as soon as Christmas was over!—W.B.