Rationing During 1940s Essay

2105 words - 8 pages

INTRODUCTION:The Second World War saw the disappearance from the shops of all but the necessities.Rationing of food and clothing was extensive. Issued in October 1939, the Ration Book became familiar to every citizen during the war. The start of rationing was postponed; owing it was said to a Stop Rationing! Campaign by" The Daily Express" from November 1939 until Monday, 8th. January 1940. Rationing began on 8 January 1940. Each person was allowed a specific amount of basic foods, clothes, gasoline and cosmetics etc.PURPOSE:The British introduced rationing ands price controls to ensure that supplies of food, clothing, and certain other consumer products were equitably distributed at reasonable prices so each family was provided equal goods according their economic status. The enormous cost of the War was another factor in the rationing.War conditions necessitated civilian rationing of clothing and certain foodstuffs. The main reasons for clothing rationing were the serious falling off in imports, increased Service demands, and reduced labors for local production of textiles and making up of garments. The supply to the United Kingdom and the Australian and Allied Services of maximum quantities of foodstuffs necessitated the rationing of sugar. butter and meat, while reduction in imports, consequent upon enemy occupation of Java, necessitated the rationing of tea. In addition to the controls exercised by the Rationing Commission, rationing of certain other commodities is directed by other departments, e.g., petrol, tobacco, liquor, etc. The Government was forced to drastically reduce food and clothing consumption. England was not self sufficient in food production. Just to feed the nation, large quantities of food had to be imported.RATIONING CARD:Every Britain, man, woman and child, were issued with a ration card and a National Registration card (an identity card). The ration cards were presented to shopkeepers who cut the appropriate number of coupons for the rationed item at the time of purchase. The number of coupons cut was determined by the Ministry of Food.EXCEPTIONS:Pregnant women were allowed more food tokens.Nursing mothers were allowed more milk.Infants up to one year were included in their mother's green book.Children aged one year to five years - mothers of these children sometimes had 'extras', a few extra vegetables or a cracked egg, slipped into their shopping baskets by kindly shopkeepers.Children aged over 5 years had their own books of tokens.FOOD RATIONING:On 1st December 1941 the Ministry of Food introduced the points rationing scheme for items such as canned meat, fish and vegetables at first. Later items such as rice, canned fruit, condensed milk, breakfast cereals, biscuits and cornflakes were added. Everyone was given 16 points a month, later raised to twenty, to spend as wished at any shop that had the items wantedA 12-oz. (340 gm) packet of soap powder was half a month's ration; you could get one egg every two months and...

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