On the question of horse against motor for transport, it may be set down that within a distance of 10 ml. the supremacy of the horse is unchallenged, from 12 to 15 ml. the motor has an advantage, from 15 to 20 ml. the motor increases its advantage, from 20 ml. upward the horse is impossible.

It would be of great advantage to have reliable figures of the comparative cost. These are most difficult, however, to obtain. Where they are given, too much reliance should not be placed upon them, unless all the conditions of user in each case are clearly stated. The horse when at home can be used upon the land. How much is allowed for that? The horse when not at work is eating. Is that reckoned? The motor is of no use on the land, and, when there is no hauling to be done, no matter how pressing is the work on the land, stands idly by. Is that fact discounted? In busy times the motor has no physical endurance to consider, and can keep on working provided drivers are available. Is that credited? If there could always be a return load the cost per ton per mile for motor transport would be materially lessened, because the difference in wear and tear and fuel between coming back loaded and empty is small as regards the motor, while the load back will take a good deal out of the horses.

Someone has given the comparative cost as 8d. per mile for the horse and 4d. for the motor. It may be taken that, provided there is a fairly regular load all the year round, and the distance is 12 ml. or over, whether with good roads or bad, the motor, both as to cost and ease of organization, will prove preferable to the horse. The following figures of actual cost were given by Lieut.-Col. R. E. B. Crompton, C.B., in a paper read before the Institute of Civil Engineers: -

Cost Of Conveying Market-Garden Produce To Market By Steam Tractors And Trailers (September, 1906)

Distance to first market

12 ml.

Average number of journeys to this market per week

12

Distance to second market

5 ml.

Average number of journeys to this market per week

4

Sundry journeys to station

8

Number of tractors employed

3

Number of trailers employed ...

5

Average load out

6 tons.

„ return load, sometimes manure sometimes empties

3 „

Total annual mileage of three tractors

16,640 ml.

Average annual mileage per tractor ...

5,546 „

Average per Tractor per annum.

Per mile.

s.

d.

d.

Wages............

140

0

0

6.058

Fuel (Welsh coal)............

0

0

1.730

Lubricants.............

10

0

0

0.432

Maintenance and repairs..........

25

10

0

1.103

„ „ „ of trailers ...

10

0

0

0.432

Depreciation at 20 per cent per annum

80

0

0

3.456

„ of trailers at 7 1/2 per cent

18

15

0

0.811

Insurance (fire, third party, and boiler)

... 14

0

0

0.605

Water...........

1

15

0

0.757

340

0

0

15.384

Not only is convenient access to market important, but the character of the market itself is a matter worth consideration. When one talks of market, most people's minds turn towards London. It is said to be easier to get Worthing Tomatoes in London than in Worthing, and that the supplies for Brighton go up to London first. Let anyone go over the flower-carpeted fields of the Scilly Isles in spring and ask what is the goal of all the wealth of blossom, and London will have chief place in the reply. Ask of the proprietors of the acres of Broccoli that clothe the fertile slopes around Penzance, where they turn their anxious thoughts in spring, and London will come first. Long lines of wagons laden with market-garden produce may be seen every night wending their way along every road leading to London, and in the early morning the fruiterers and greengrocers will start out in their vans and carts along the same roads, and often bring back some of the stuff almost to the very place whence it started. It is truly amazing to contemplate the quantity of produce disposed of every day in the metropolis.