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MOTOR TRADE AND THE WAR. I MECHANICS TO BE RELEASED. I LOCAL MEN IN CONFERENCE. I An important meeting of the Mid-Wales mem- •ers of the Motor Trades' Association was held at the Hotel Metropole, Llandrindod Wells, on Thursday, when there was a good attendance from a wide area. Prior to the meeting, the members were entertained to luncheon by Mr Tom Norton, J.P., Llandrindod Wells. Mr L. W. Francis (Pontardawe) presided over the meeting, and he was supported by Mr E. W. Garnon (divisional secretary). The chairman said they had met there first and foremost to see what could be done to organise the labour which could be spared from their garages for work on munitions. (Hear, hear.) The Minister of Munitions had invited them to place At his disposal for this work as many men, es- pecially mechanics, as they could possibly spare. It was realised that motor mechanics, who were in the work every day and all the day, were as suitable men for turning out munitions as could possibly be found. The movement had originated at a. meet-in, of the association, held recently at Birmingham, when Mr Graham Spicer, of the Minister of Munitions Department, urged the im- portance of this work, and appealed to them as earnestly as any man could. He hoped that they would decide that day as far as was possible, to spare at least a third of the men who were now working for them, and he hoped that the move- ment would be taken up equally heartily by large and small garages, and that there would be no "one holding back to try to gain advantage by the patriotism of their fellow-traders. (Applause.) If they found it possible to spare one-third of their men, their distinguished countryman would be very grateful for their effort. Successful meet- ings had already been held at Cardiff and Swan- sea, and this meeting had particularly in view the traders in Mid-Wales. He hoped that Mid-Wales would follow the splendid example set by the -earlier meetings. The National Registration Act would now soon be in operation, and he was in- clined to think that if the association did all it -could to provide the assistance which was ex- pected from it, in response to the appeal which Jiad been made voluntarily, the men who would remain would not be compulsorily taken from them. (Applause.) Bearing that in mind, be lioped every trader would spare every man he possibly could. Replying to questions, the chairman said the wages of the men would be at least equivalent to those they were now receiving. If employed from 2iorne, an allowance of 17/6 per week would be made, and travelling expenses allowed. They hati to state the number of mechanics employed before the war broke out. the number in their em- ploy at June 30th last, and the name and address of mechanics who would volunteer for munition work. The men most needed were mechanics, es- pecially men who could do lathe work. Mr Norton (Llandrindod Wells) referred to the Birmingham meeting and thA enthusiastic way the movement was taken up there. Mr Graham Spioer particularly asked for their best men. Ex- perienced men, who could do lathe work, were what was wanted. No doubt many of them had made great sacrifices already, but all would agree that further sacrifices had to be made. (Hear. tiear.) The suggestion was that they should send approximately a third of their men to assist in this work. and he hoped that every motor trader in Mid-Wales would fall in with the proposal if they possibly could. (Applause.) He had received a letter from Messrs. Jones and Son (Machynlleth), saying they were sending one of their best men, and would also send a lathe to any part of the country where it would be most useful. (Ap- plause.) He understood that men who volunteer- ed would be paid 2/6 per day in excess of the wages they were now paid, plus railway fares both ways. He agreed with the chairman that, if they responded well to this reasonable request, no com- pulsion would be put upon them. (Applause.) Mr Hutchings (Swansea) said that all the men he had, who were of service to the State, had al- ready joined the forces. His men went at the 4gtart. Mr Roberts (Llandovery) said he was prepared to let the only mechanic he had go if he wished to. (Applause.) Mr Nott (Brecon) said he had sent four out of five, of his motor hands, and was prepared to do more if he possibly could. He hoped they would all do their utmost to meet the need which had arisen, but he was of opinion that South Wales fiad done almost as much as was possible. (Ap- plause.) Mr Roberts (Swansea) moved a resolution pledging the meeting to respond to the request to the utmost of its power, and this was seconded by Mr Roberts (Llandovery), and carried unani- mously. Mr Norton (Llandrindod Wells) suggested that motor-car proprietors should put up notices in their garages asking motor-car owners to re- frain, so far as possible, from sending in cars for repairs. Overhaulings and re-adjustments should be postponed till things were more settled. (Hear. hear.)r Mr Thomas (Llandovery) seconded, and this was agreed to. Mr Nott (Brecon) suggested that some steps should be taken to bring to the notice of the pro- per authorities the names and addresses of men who had left their employ, and who were now serving as privates in the Army. If these men were more needed in the making of munitions, that fact should be brought to their notice. Two of his men had joined the Naval Flying Corps, and three others were serving as private soldiers. Only one was doing the work of a mechanic. Mr Norton thought the Government was now .dealing with this matter, and some thousands of men had been brought back. Mr Roberts (Llandovery) thought it would be a help if they could provide the names and address- ees of men who were likely to be useful, and, in this form, Mr Nott's suggestion was adopted. The chairman tendered the thanks of the meet- ing to Mr Norton for his hospitality, and this was agreed to amidst hearty cheers. Mr Norton said it had been a great pleasure to him to entertain the members of the association,and he hoped many ,Similar gatherings would be held at Llandrindod I Wells. (Applause.)


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