"To promote sound public policy with respect to the leasing and renting of motor vehicles without drivers."

This is the credo of the Car and Truck Renting and Leasing Assn., the only national non-competitive group that concerns itself with the interests of ear renting and leasing. And CATRALA, as it is com­monly known, has been doing an outstanding job of watching out for the interests of car rental com­panies since its formation nearly eight years ago.

According to Howard T. Smith, executive secretary of CATRALA, the idea for a national association to promote the best interests of leasing and renting firms was conceived in the fall of 1954. Prime movers were such industry pioneers as H. L. Willett Jr. and Walter Jacobs. An organizing committee was formed, called the Non-Carrier Vehicle Lessors Council, and CATRALA was launched in the Spring of 1955 with headquarters in Washington D.C. The offices were moved to Chicago in February, 1956 when Smith was named executive secretary.

Smith, a former newspaperman, told AUTOMO­TIVE FLEET that CATRALA was designed to avoid being an "ordinary trade association." It has one prime goal, Smith said- legislative relations.

"This entails a broad line of activity including an objective of straightening out the confusing terminol­ogy of the business and reserving the words rent and lease strictly for the non-carrier, u-drive type of serv­ice." Smith said.

CATRALA has been making solid gains in two areas that are costly to car rental operators-the re­sponsibility of parking tickets and conversion.

On the subject of conversion-possession of a vehicle beyond an agreed time-CATRALA has been a prime leader in the drive to modernize the laws protecting rental operators. The association has drafted model laws concerning conversion and entered court cases on behalf of leasing or rental op­erators involved in a conversion case. Currently CATRALA is distributing an eight page booklet dealing with conversion and how to put an end to what it calls "a form of thievery."

CATRALA currently has more than 340 member corporations and chapters in nearly 40 states. The president of CATRALA is Winston V. Morrow Jr., vice president and general manager of the Rent-A-Car division of Avis Inc.