A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46


Copy No. 284

The aim of this Report is to present an impartial assessment of public feeling about the war and the war effort. It is not a record of fact , except in so far as public opinion is itself a fact. The public is sometimes ill-informed, prejudiced, or inconsistent. The recording of such feelings without comment implies no endorsement of them.

The public is more prone to criticise than to praise. Good work or efficiency is usually taken for granted. An accurate record of expressed feeling will, therefore, tend to be critical rather than laudatory. Though this Report must inevitably represent mainly articulate opinion, it has been found in practice that the views of the less articulate do not substantially differ, though their range is smaller.

The method of compiling the Report is such that the amount of space devoted to each subject, and the order in which subjects are placed, are roughly indicative of the amount of public interest each is arousing. The omission of a subject from the Report means that it is not a matter of widespread comment.

In assessing the state of public feeling there are no absolutes. Findings can only be comparative. Each issue of this Report must therefore be read as part of a continuous series. Unless the series is seen as a whole, the significance of fluctuations in feeling cannot be appreciated.

The figures in brackets at the end of each section refer to sources of information, a list of which is given on the next page. The weekly reports from Regional Information Officers (R.I.Os.) are compiled by their Regional Intelligence Officers from a large number of sources. Details of the methods of compilation and cross-checking are contained in a paper on “How the Home Intelligence Weekly Report is made”. This will be supplied on request to the Home Intelligence Division of the Ministry of Information.



81 83 3 86 6 87 7 89 9 90 10 91 11 92 12 94 14 98 18 100 20 101 21 102 22 103 23 104 24

Wt 19398 10M 7/43 H J R & L

No. 146, 22nd July, 1943

(Covering period 13th to 20th July, 1943)


1. General state of confidence and reaction to news

A further rise in spirits is reported this week. The public appears “more than satisfied with the first week's operations in Sicily”, while the Russian counter-offensive and good news from the Battles of the Atlantic and the Pacific have all added to the feeling that “we are on the road to victory”. At the same time, little excitement has been reported. The prevailing mood seems, rather, to be “quiet satisfaction that we are on the offensive with a well-trained army and adequate equipment”.

Preliminary reports indicate that the bombing of Rome has caused widespread satisfaction, the only criticisms being that we did not do it sooner and that we “bother to apologise”.

There is considerable discussion as to when the war in Europe will end. “The optimists” say it will end this year; the majority say, “this time next year”; a few think it will last three or four more years. The feeling that we are “within sight of the end” is said to be the cause of increasing discussion of post-war plans.

War weariness is again reported, particularly among women, who dread another winter of blackout. “Holiday hunger”, and the determination to satisfy it, is the most widely discussed home front topic. There is also much talk of clothing problems (particularly the threatened coupon cut, and children's shoes), the shortage of fresh fruit and tomatoes, pensions, and the housing shortage.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17 18 ninety-nine P.D.Rs.)

2. Sicily

There is general satisfaction with the planning and progress of the Sicilian offensive, and complete confidence in the outcome. The general view seems to be that the island will be over-run “within a very few weeks”, or sooner. The public is particularly impressed with:

  1. “The reality of combined operations” (Six Regions): Each separate service of each separate nation has been highly praised, but the greatest satisfaction is reported at their co-ordination.

  2. The “ease and rapidity” of our progress and the lack of opposition (Six Regions): Many are said to be “surprised at our easy landings and the lack of coastal defences and immediate opposition”. “The absence of adequate measures of defence along the Sicilian coast is taken as a glaring exposure of Axis limitations” and has led to “optimism about the results of possible landings elsewhere”. “Reports of stiffening by Axis troops as the fighting moved north” - particularly “the present battle of Catania” - have now resulted in a “growing realisation of the difficulties”.

  3. The “lightness of our casualties” so far (Three Regions) has given great satisfaction, though there are still fears that they may yet be heavy.

Mr. Churchill's and President Roosevelt's message to the Italians : There is widespread speculation on the possibility of an Italian collapse or capitulation in the near future; many people hope that Mr. Churchill's and Mr. Roosevelt's message - combined with the bombing of Rome - will help to bring this about. The terms of the message and its timing are considered very good, and “it is welcomed as putting the onus of possible sufferings on the shoulders of the Italian people”.

Nevertheless, “action rather than appeals is what the average man feels is wanted”, and the message is criticised by those who are suspicious of any attempt to spare Italy; they feel that the Italians were wholeheartedly behind Mussolini when things were going well for them and badly for us, and that we should not now try to “wheedle Italy out of the war by propaganda”.

There is some comment on the attitude of the civilians in Sicily, accounts of which are “tempting people to hope that it may be an indication of the feelings of the whole Italian people towards the Allies”. But, though stories of the Sicilians' “friendly attitude” are welcomed by many, others are sceptical and ask how friendly we should be, if the Germans landed here.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17 thirteen provincial P.Cs. 18 ninety-nine P.D.Rs. 24)

3. The bombing of Rome

The bombing of Rome came as a surprise. It has been “thoroughly approved of” by the great majority. Some, particularly Londoners and working-class people in Scotland, expressed delight and jubilation at the news; and there is a widespread feeling “that what has long been needed, has been done, and about bloody time too”. Those who had not previously realised the military and strategic importance of Rome are particularly of this opinion.

The bombing is felt to be fully justified. Rome, it is said, is the capital and Mussolini's headquarters, and should be treated in the same way as Berlin, as a military objective. Workers particularly, have “no time for people who want to spare Rome - take a look at London”. Others who have not forgotten the bombing of English cathedrals ask: “Be the objects of culture in Canterbury or Rome, what is the difference in their being destroyed?” A very small minority, however, feel “that our stock would have been enhanced, had we carried out the attack on Italy without resort to this act of vandalism”.

The cultural monuments : Among those who consider Rome as a cultural and religious centre, there have been some doubts and genuine regrets, particularly as it was realised that the strength of the attack would necessarily entail some damage “on the fringe of targets”. Plans of the city are said to have been anxiously studied to see what historic buildings could have been destroyed, and relief is expressed that “none were near the three main objectives”.

The careful planning of the raid and the choice of targets has been approved, though surprise is expressed at the insistence on precision bombing “when all raids are supposed to be carefully made on military objectives”. On the other hand there is some adverse comment on the “extra risks American airmen are reported to have had to take, to avoid bombing cultural monuments”.

In the London Region the alleged choice of Catholic airmen is thought to have been “an astute move”.

The dropping of the leaflets beforehand is praised by many who thought the effect of the explanation to be worthwhile, but a considerable body of opinion criticised “this unnecessary risk to airmen's lives”. “Why should we bother to tell them? We don't need to apologise or explain our actions; they've asked for it!”

Roman Catholic opinion : On the whole, Catholics are reported to feel that the bombing is justified, particularly those who realise that Catholic churches in this country have been bombed. “Catholic opinion”, it is said, “will be satisfied if the Vatican remains unscathed”. Resentment among Catholics is reported only from Northern Ireland.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 24)

4. The next moves

Although people are delighted with the invasion of Sicily, many appear to have expected, “not an isolated movement in an obvious place, but a big-scale invasion in three or four parts of the Continent, including France, the Balkans and Norway”. Though welcomed as a sign that “the war has started again”, and as a diversion to help Russia, the Sicilian attack is “not thought to qualify for the second front”. It is regarded, rather, as “the first step in the invasion of the Continent”, and there is much speculation about the successive steps. As before, suggestions range round the whole coast from Norway to Turkey. Many take for granted that the next step will be “the immediate invasion of the Italian mainland”. This, it is thought, may lead to “wholesale desertions by Italian troops” and the “early collapse of Italy, followed by the break-up of the German army”, thus making other invasions unnecessary.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13)

5. The Allied air offensive

There is less comment on the air war this week, though satisfaction with the “rising strength of our air power” continues. The bombing of Italian towns is highly praised, but before the news of the bombing of Rome was received, there was some demand for “more intensified operations against Italy”. “Why can't some of the bombers that go to Germany be switched over to Italy?” Disappointment is again expressed that our raids on Germany “are now so spasmodic”. “Why haven't they been kept up - is the weather bad over there?”

There is less concern about our losses, though people in the North Midland Region who have been to Grimsby since the recent raid, are asking “why it is necessary for such large numbers of our planes with such heavy loads, to go to one German city many times, when so much damage can be done in Grimsby by a few planes”. On the whole, however, people are aware that our sustained bombing “may ultimately save thousands of lives”, and that it cannot be undertaken without casualties.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 17. 18 thirty-six P.D.Rs.)

6. Russia

Great satisfaction is reported with the events on the Russian front, and confidence in Russia remains steady. “As the situation has developed from the Germans being held, to their being pushed back and finally to the Russians' own successful assault, the public's satisfaction has grown.” The German offensive is now considered “to have slackened if not expired”, and is regarded as “Germany's last possible effort in this direction”. There had been some fear that “the Germans might, in a final desperate offensive, be stronger than we have liked to believe”.

The accuracy of Russian figures of German losses in men and material continues to be doubted, though in two Regions some people are said to “believe and relish the Russian reports”.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17 two provincial P.Cs. 18 Seventy P.D.Rs.)

7. Far East

Although events in the S.W. Pacific are overshadowed by those in Sicily and Russia, there is slightly increased interest in the Pacific fighting, There is, however, still little detailed following of events on this far distant front.

There is praise for the efforts of the U.S. troops and naval forces who are thought to be doing “all that can be expected”. “We don't expect startling events, but the tide has changed.”

A certain amount of discussion on “how long the war in the East will last after the war in Europe has ended” is reported from four Regions. Some people are said “to consider that after the destruction of the main enemy Germany, Japan will be an easy matter”. It is felt that “Government propaganda should be working now to educate ‘these optimists’”. Some speculation as to when men serving in India and other parts of the Far East “will be able to come home on leave” is also reported.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 7. 8. 9. 10. 18 twenty-six P.D.Rs.)

8. The War at Sea

“Recent assurances of decreases in shipping losses and increases in U-boat sinkings” continue to give general satisfaction, and there is much praise for the Royal and the Merchant Navies. “The revelation of the seriousness of our shipping position two years ago has shocked some people”, but everybody now seems “satisfied there is nothing much to worry about”; some even think that “the Battle of the Atlantic is won, and that we shall never again be in such dangers in this respect as in the past”. There is particular pleasure at the thought that the destruction of U-boats will “ease the shipment of supplies when the major attack on Europe takes place”.

The proposal to issue monthly statements on the position is thought likely to be satisfactory.

(1. 2. 3. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 9. 10. 18 seventeen P.D.Rs.)

9. North African Politics

Comment comes from six Regions only this week, but there is still anxiety at the lack of unity between the French generals, and some doubts about the French Committee of National Liberation.

All the reports express sympathy with General de Gaulle, who “trusted Great Britain in 1940” and has been “honestly and openly pro-British from the start”, whereas General Giraud is thought to “need watching”.

There is criticism of the attacks made on de Gaulle by the American press at the time of Giraud's visit to Washington; and the suppression of ‘La Marseillaise’, said to be “bitterly resented in some quarters”, has “strengthened the belief that the U.S. is calling the tune to which we dance”.

Some people wonder what is going on behind the scenes, and hold the opinion that “if de Gaulle has been difficult”, there may have been other causes for this, more justifiable than personal ambition.

(1. 3. 5SE. 6. 9. 10. 17. 18 two P.D.Rs.)

10. General Sikorski

There is little comment this week on the death of General Sikorski. His loss is generally regretted and deplored. Speculation continues as to the cause of the crash, and there is resentment in Plymouth, where the General's body was landed, at the German insinuations.

The resignation of the acting Prime Minister over differences in connection with the choice of the new Commander-in-Chief has inclined some to remark “how these continentals love one another”. It is hoped that General Sikorski's successor will realise the importance of keeping his government on good terms with Russia.

(1. 5. 5SE. 7. 10. 13. 17 five provincial P.Cs. 18 sixteen P.D.Rs.)

11. The Education White Paper

There is said to be considerable interest in the question of education, and preliminary reactions to the Board of Education's White Paper are highly favourable. The plan is thought to “display vision” - “a difficult problem admirably handled” - and particular approval is expressed for the proposal to raise the school leaving age to 15.

A minority, while reserving their views “until the details are fully considered”, are asking if we can afford it. Two reports refer to sceptical teachers, their view being that “the ideas are all very well, but they just won't work” - “high-sounding ideas about curricula are no good for children who haven't the brain to benefit”. It is feared, too, that “the shortage of teachers alone would cause considerable delay in putting the scheme into operation”.

(2. 4. 5SE. 6. 10)

12. Holidays

“At no time has the desire for a holiday been so apparent as this year.” People feel they must get away for a change and are determined to do so. “Any qualms of conscience” are outweighed by the feeling that “they're entitled to a holiday now after four years of war, with so many extra duties for housewives and workers”. In any case, “it's in the national interest that our health shouldn't suffer; and we've got the money, and the war has taken a decided turn in our favour”.

People remain undeterred by the accommodation and supply difficulties, even by the increasing transport difficulties - which will be “unimaginable by August”. In fact, workers, “who discuss no other subject, have such a longing for the sea, that they're going to get a smell of it if they have to walk”.

Stories continue of thousands of people travelling and of “enormous queues” at main line railway stations; of overnight queues again at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen; of 40,000 leaving Belfast, many of them for Dublin.

Such queueing is considered “all right for grown ups, but it's a crime to expect children to stay in them overnight”.

There is increasing talk of residents and workers, particularly in rural areas and resorts, being ousted from trams and buses by holiday-makers and day trippers.

Holidays at home cannot, it is felt, take the place of “a real change - not even such amusements as the Big Top in Birmingham”.

The granting of holidays to workers : Resentment has been reported over:

  1. Failure of some firms to revert to full-scale holidays on a pre-war basis.

  2. Delay “of a firm engaged on Government work to let their employees know when they were to get their annual week's holiday”. They only did so the day before the holiday was due.

Holiday opening of schools : In the North Western Region, there is some criticism of the continued opening of schools during holidays as the scheme is thought “to have proved itself dead over and over again”.

(1. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17. 18 eleven P.D.Rs.)

13. Broadcasting and presentation of news

“A marked increase in eagerness to hear the news” has been widely reported since the Sicilian landings and the bombing of Rome. The Sicilian news is thought on the whole to have been very well handled both by press and B.B.C. - “sensibly and without undue optimism”. People have particularly enjoyed the “eye-witness accounts” by men in the Forces and correspondents on the spot.

Commander Kimmins' broadcast on the Sicilian landings (July 15) has been highly praised (Eight Regions), the “human and personal touch” being particularly liked.

The July 14 programmes have been the subject of favourable but not widespread comment (Six Regions). Criticism has been on the grounds that they were “much overdone - occupying both programmes and most of the evening”, and that they were “out of touch with British opinion on France, which is by no means favourable”.

Mr. J.B. Priestley : The “Make it Monday” series is said to be popular (Five Regions); Mr. Priestley “appeals to the straight-forwardness of the British people”. At the same time, some people just “don't like him”, or find his talks “too left wing”. “His broadcast on ‘I'm going to get lit up’ was thought by some to be a little harsh, as ‘what young folk sing in their dance songs is never intended as a blue print for what they are planning for the future’.”

Mr. John Hilton's Sunday Postscript (July 11) on his journey to North Africa was much enjoyed (Four Regions), “as are all talks that give first-hand news”. Blood donors were “delighted at his appreciative reference, and glad to know what the service had meant to the fighting men”.

Mr. Noel Coward's song (July 19) “Don't let's be nasty to the Nazis” has been both praised and criticised by some as “being bad taste at the present time” (Two Regions).

The Kitchen Front (Two Regions) is thought to be “played out”, and no longer as “amusing as in Gert and Daisy Days”. There is criticism of foreign speakers describing “messy” foreign recipes, of Mr. Grisewood being “affected”, and of the facts given “being redundant and what every woman knows”.

The wish for more plays , and for less swing, crooning and jazz, comes from two Regions.

The film “World of Plenty” was highly praised after a showing at Cheltenham. It was followed by the audience “with close attention”.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 24)



14. The post-war world

Discussions on post-war problems have been continuously reported during the past four weeks, but the feeling “that we are on the road to victory and the end is in sight” has increased public interest in the post-war world. The majority consider that “the time is now ripe for far-reaching plans to be made; and the failure of the Government to produce one simple positive large-scale plan for any single post-war problem” is thought to be partly responsible for the fairly widespread pessimism on this subject. Working-class people in particular continue to be sceptical of “promises of a better and fuller life”.

The minority of “anti-planners” continue to fear “post-war control of industry and of people's lives”, and to feel that “a Whitehall-planned England would at best be dreary”.

The post-war problems which receive the most attention are:

(a) Employment : Anxiety about the prospects of post-war employment are widely reported among working-class people, particularly from areas which suffered a high rate of unemployment in prewar years. There are widespread fears of heavy unemployment after the war - “It will be just the same as last time, only worse for getting jobs” - and the position of the men in the Forces and their absorption into industry continues to be anxiously discussed.

(b) The Beveridge Report and Social Security : Hopes and fears regarding the implementation of the Beveridge Report have, if anything, increased with the renewed interest in post-war problems. Whilst there is anxiety to know “what the Government's intentions really are”, numbers of working-class people are said to be growing increasingly sceptical of the “Government's sincerity”. “It's a piece of propaganda machinery to keep us quiet, and it will never be adopted.” It is suggested that Welsh voters “will sweep the Tories out of existence at the next general election, if they don't toe the line on Beveridge”.

(c) Housing : “Will there be anywhere for us to live?” is becoming as frequent a topic for discussion as the problem of “social security”, particularly among young people who wish to make their homes after the war. “Feeling is running high on the lack of present and future housing accommodation”, and it is felt that the Government “should make a bold plan which can be put into operation when the war ceases”. Even those “who dislike controls” believe that the Government should take over post-war building “to stop the jerry-builder and speculators from ‘exploiting the ignorant public’”. The delay over the rural housing scheme, however, has given rise to apprehension and doubt as to the Government's “ability and intention” to plan post-war housing.

Strong feeling against the building of flats continues to be reported.

“The County of London Plan” exhibition has as yet excited little comment. There is some belief that “the plans will never be realised”, though people who know about the Exhibition are said to be interested.

(d) Education is reported to be quite a favourite “post-war topic”, and better educational facilities for all are advocated. People are anxious to eliminate “dead-end occupations”, and for this reason some advocate “apprenticeship at fourteen rather than staying at school till sixteen”.

Some people feel that after the war unskilled youths who are earning very high wages, and youngsters who are “running wild” while the parents are on war work, will present very difficult problems.

(e) Agriculture : Discussion about the position of agriculture after the war, and the desire that it should be placed “on a sound basis” continue to be reported from rural areas. Houses with modern amenities, and adequate wages for agricultural workers are strongly advocated.

(f) Post-war trade : Fears about our position in the world market have been reported during the past four weeks. There is a feeling “that we are losing to the Americans”, and the future relations between ourselves and the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., give rise to anxiety. The suggestion of “a permanent World Council after the war is welcomed”.

(g) Health : Less comment on health matters has been reported this month. On the question of a State Medical Service, doctors are said to be awaiting the Government Scheme “with interest and apprehension”, while poorer sections of the population, critical of “the arbitrary treatment of patients by doctors”, hope for better results from a State Medical Service.

A special Postal Censorship report on post-war reconstruction which is believed chiefly to reflect middle-class opinion, states that the two outstanding views expressed are:

  1. Fear of the abolition of private enterprise in the future.

  2. Fear that the working-class will be exploited and down-trodden.

The report adds that “a despondent note pervades much of the correspondence, optimistic comment being couched only in vague and inconclusive terms denoting hope, rather than conviction”.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 17 one Special, three provincial P.Cs.)

15. Clothing

Contrasts are drawn between the Government's handling of the food and clothing situations.

The “consternation” which greeted Mr. Dalton's statement of a probable reduction in the coupon allowance is again generally reported. “The minimum has already been reached.”

The Government is felt, particularly, to show “no sign what-ever of understanding the difficulties of the growing child”; “it would be interesting to know whether there are any real family men in the administration of this sphere”. Mothers who have already been sacrificing their coupons for their children's clothing “have no idea how they will manage in future”.

The problems of the “ordinary” man and woman without surplus suits and other reserves, are also thought not to be properly understood. Those who had only a small wardrobe before the war are wondering “how to cover their nakedness”.

It is feared that the present coupons might suddenly become invalid. Some statement about them would be welcomed.

Wholesalers and retailers are finding themselves with stocks of cheap goods which they cannot sell. The public consequently see large amounts of clothing in the shops and cannot understand why the number of coupons has to be reduced. Poor quality goods are deplored; “Utility”, particularly “is rapidly becoming synonomous with inferiority”.

During the last four weeks there have been widespread and repeated complaints on the following lines:

Footwear difficulties : The poor quality, shortage, high price, and difficulty of replacing footwear, especially for children, have become a “major problem” (All Regions). “Shoes are responsible for more parental worries and grey hairs than all the air raids.” Children are being kept from school, or else are arriving with “saturated” shoes; in Newcastle “they are to be seen running barefoot in the streets, after a lapse of twenty years”.

The materials used in the make-up of shoes are described as “no more than brown paper”; “it is scandalous to have to give coupons for such rubbish”.

The inability to have reasonably quick repairs done increases the problem (Ten Regions). In some cases they take up to three months, and repairers are “at their wits' end”.

The shortage of boot polish is also criticised (Five Regions): “it is useless to ask the public to take care of footwear if no cleaning materials are available”.

Wooden clogs, however, “might provide the solution, provided they are well made”. “People were very scornful to start with, but are now delighted to find them very comfortable and practical.” It is wondered, however, why shoes with wooden soles should have such “fancy” prices.

The “Quota” system : The difficulty of buying shoes, particularly for workers and people in rural districts, is complained of. “Some of the shops open at ten and have sold their day's quota by eleven.”

Rubber boots : Land workers are becoming anxious about rubber boots for next winter.

Coupons for household goods (Ten Regions): The demand for household coupons continues, and it is hoped that a special allowance will be made in the next period. “Members of the household will not now give up their coupons, and will be much less inclined to do so after September.”

The poor quality and high price of household linen are also criticised.

Stockings and socks (Ten Regions): The poor quality of stockings and socks is deplored. “Since nothing seems to be done about their quality”, it is thought that their coupon value might be reduced. The drain of coupons for stockings is one of the greatest problems for women. It is feared that older women, now going stockingless, may contract rheumatism.

Coupons for industrial workers (Eight Regions): Workers in many industries are “getting desperate for clothes”. Steel workers, building trade employees, agricultural workers, particularly, feel that they are being unfairly treated. Supplementary coupons are much discussed, “whether by those who are not eligible for any, or those who think they are getting too few”. Many doing “dirty” jobs complain of being technically excluded from the larger issues.

Uniformed workers, particularly nurses, who have to give up coupons for their uniforms, also complain of unfair treatment.

Corsets are “quite unsatisfactory”, especially for the larger and older women. Good ones are thought particularly necessary in view of the extra or unaccustomed work many women are now doing.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17. 18 nineteen P.D.Rs. 24)

16. Pensions and allowances

Until the announcement of the new pensions plan, criticism had been on the lines indicated last week. There is now widespread pleasure that “some progress has been made in the fight for better pensions”, coupled with very considerable regret that the “Government could not be more generous while it was about it”. There is again appreciation of the stand taken by the M.Ps.

Criticisms of the new proposals are as follows:

  1. People are still concerned about the number of men discharged without pension (Five Regions). “‘Fit for service, fit for pension’ is likely to become almost a slogan”.

  2. It is not understood why the Government can accept the service of a man to fight anywhere, and yet disown him if he sustains injury while on leave (Two Regions).

  3. More could be done for the widow.... “The supplement of 12/- per week for rent and rates does not cover childless widows, who may not be able to work through ill health”; parents' pensions are “vague”; criticism is made of children's allowances; doubts are expressed as to whether the pension is sufficient for the totally disabled.... “Those who have been totally disabled in the service of their country should be assured from want” (One Region each).

Some people wonder whether the concessions “will not react to the disadvantage of the Beveridge Report”, while a few working-class people say: “Why doesn't the Government put the Beveridge Report into operation instead of bluffing with niggling measures?”

It is felt that “more publicity is needed on the subject of pensions concessions”, and some of the more thoughtful say: “People imagine the State reserves are limitless”. It is suggested that “much good might be done by a description in the press of hypothetical cases, with analogies, where pensions should not be granted”.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 18 seven P.D.Rs.)

17. Old age pensions

Sympathy with the difficulties of the old age pensioner has been fairly widely reported during the last four weeks. The Government's attitude is said to be causing concern. It is felt that “old people are not being looked after” and that the basic rate should be raised to meet the extra cost of living. “We are striving for a better world; why not begin to put a little into practice?”

Old people are said to be bitter about supplementary allowances. They feel that “thrift is penalised.... A working-man who saves carefully all his life has no claim, while a squanderer has his claim granted”. It is thought that the raising of the basic rate would “obviate supplementary allowances in a number of cases”.

(1. 2. 3. 5. 9. 10)

18. Industry

Strikes (Three Regions): Criticism of strikers is again reported this week, and it is suggested that “organisers of lightning strikes should be summonsed for sabotage”.

There is also little sympathy with the workers of the Thames Valley Companies who struck July 8 to 12, but people feel that “the perpetual differences over rates and conditions should have been straightened out by now”. Some feeling is reported among housewives, who feel they are war workers too, that during the strike they had to struggle up the steep hills out of High Wycombe to do their Saturday morning shopping - while war workers were transported by military vehicles.

Throughout the last four weeks , comment has been reported on the following: (They are arranged in order of the frequency of reports):

Wages (Nine Regions - many, more than once): The main complaints include:

(a) Disparity of pay between:

(i) Skilled and unskilled workers . The resultant friction is thought adversely to affect production; and according to one report “discontent is aggravated by the Essential Work Order, as it prevents movement to more remunerative work”.

Skilled workers particularly complain of the high pay of men on piece rates “who by long hours can earn much more than they can”. The fact that the skilled workers set the machines is regarded as “adding insult to injury”. Another “grouse” is that in many cases, “a father is now bringing in less money than his son or even his daughter”.

Miners and transport workers are also “dissatisfied with their present wages compared with those of workers in other industries”.

(ii) Servicemen and war workers . “Bitterness is even greater now that thousands of our men are at actual grips with the enemy.”

(iii) Women and men . Women complain about their low wages, and part-time workers refer to their “shilling an hour being less than a charwoman earns”.

(b) High wages of (i) Munition workers, (ii) Juvenile workers, (iii) Men on Government construction work, and (iv) Irish labourers. In Lincolnshire it is rumoured that the lowest wage paid them is £7 a week with additional lodging allowance of 24/6d.

Misuse of manpower is alleged in nine Regions (several more than once). The main complaints include:

  1. Idle time in factories, which is variously attributed to -

    1. Overstaffing.

    2. Muddle and lack of co-operation between Government Departments in the change over from defensive to offensive weapons.

    3. Overproduction. “We've more stuff than we want.” An example quoted is that “there are enough stockings to clothe the A.T.S. for twenty years”.

  2. The direction of skilled workers to unskilled work.

  3. Women “footling away” time in the Civil Defence Services.

The transfer of labour (Seven Regions - Scotland and London every week; the North Midland and Eastern more than once): The whole question, particularly as it affects women, is still “a sore point”, and feeling continues to be reported that “the Ministry of Labour hounds girls from place to place even when there are no vacancies to fill”. It is felt that it would be a great help if “a little more time were spent explaining the position to the women and girls”. “Some have never left home before, and some cannot get used to the idea of being treated like men, and are inclined to feel that there is a personal animus behind an order of direction.” Special objection is taken to:

  1. People being directed to work in another area when there is work in their own area. Two forms of this “general post” are complained of:

    1. Girls being transferred from Scotland to England and from England to Scotland; from London to the North, from the North to London; from Flint to Llandudno Junction, and from Llandudno Junction to Flint.

    2. Sending girls further away from home than is necessary. To quote from Postal Censorship: “Peggy's works are closing down in a fortnight or so.... they want girls at Fieldings and also at Vulcan Street; they are both home. She asked to go to one or the other but they said ‘No’. I think it's a shame to send her to work a distance from home when she could get work so near”.

  2. Transferring people from useful work to less useful work, or to a place where “they have difficultly in finding enough to do”. An example quoted is of a carpenter, drafted to the aircraft industry at Easter, who “has done no real work since”.

  3. The difficulties of finding billets. It appears, however, that some transferred workers fail to approach their billeting officer.

  4. The financial difficulties of girls who have to contribute to the upkeep of their home.

Production (Seven Regions): There is considerable satisfaction with production, and a feeling that “in the main we are doing splendidly”. There is, however, some talk of workers being “stood off while industry is reorganised”.

Slackness of workers (Four Regions): There are a few stories of slackness, particularly in shipyards and steel factories. It is felt that in many cases “less work is done on Sundays though the men are paid double time”. Slackness of workers, however, is sometimes blamed on the management, for lack of supervision or for “the small amount of work they demand from their employees”.

Firms preparing for post-war (Two Regions): “A careful watch”, it is suggested, should be kept on firms who are said to be (i) hindering production by developing for after the war; (ii) building up on taxpayers' money. According to the report from the North Western Region, “much new machinery is requisitioned, then officially scrapped in favour of a similar but slightly more powerful kind - and the scrapped machinery is stored by the firms for use after the war”.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17)

19. The call-up

During the last four weeks, references have been on the following familiar lines:

General : Many accept the call-up as necessary, and “do not complain”; with others, however, “it's apparent lack of consistency still rankles”. They particularly resent middle-aged people being called up when younger men and women evade their duties. Childless servicemen's wives, and young men sheltering in soft jobs are especially mentioned.

Shortage of staff :

  1. The shortage of domestic help is “an acute and widespread problem”. Not only is it causing hardship to women with young children, expectant mothers, invalids and old people, but farmers' wives, “who have more work than they can deal with, wonder how they can ever manage to cook for all the extra people who will come for the harvest”.

  2. In small firms, the staff situation is said to be getting very difficult. The call-up of owners of one-man businesses is also causing concern, and is believed by some to prove “it's the Government's policy to destroy the small trader”.

(1. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 17)

20. Food

This week there have been comments about:

  1. Increased rations for expectant mothers (July 6) continue to be well received, and are looked on “as a move to encourage the birth-rate”. The extra amount of meat ration is however queried, as many doctors advise expectant mothers not to eat it.

  2. The announcement of chocolate and sweets changes in this country (July 13): The reservation of vitaminised chocolate for post-war Food Relief in Europe has been welcomed by those “who are conscious of, and uneasy about, our better standard of living compared with occupied Europe”. On the other hand some resentment is reported - “What about my kids? It's about time that they got vitaminised a bit.”

  3. New potatoes : The glut of new potatoes in Northern Ireland is said to have “involved the farmers in heavy losses, and to have prevented the planting of catch crops”. In the Southern Region, however, where the crop is said to be poor, people feel that “official advice to grow less this year was foolish, and may lead to a shortage later on”.

Oranges : During the past two weeks, there have been several comments about the distribution of oranges. People believe that children over five are suffering from a lack of vitamins, and, in view of the fact that orange juice is allowed to children under five, the allocation of fresh oranges to children over this age is again advocated. Since there is believed to be some unfair discrimination in the distribution of oranges, it is suggested that they should be distributed through the schools and clinics. There is still some feeling that oranges and lemons could be brought to this country in ships which return from North African ports.

During the past four weeks satisfaction with the food situation “at this stage of the war” has been again reported, though “eulogy is rather less”. There have been complaints of:

  1. The scarcity of fresh fruit and tomatoes , which continues to be widely reported along familiar lines.

  2. The fish shortage - though recently some improvement in supplies has been reported.

  3. High price of green vegetables and fresh fruit , particularly lettuces, tomatoes and rhubarb.

  4. Rations for industrial and agricultural workers : There is a growing feeling that the rations for heavy workers, particularly miners and land workers are insufficient. Land workers complain that the harvest rations are not big enough, and in the South Eastern district communal feeding centres for agricultural workers are advocated. Wives of land workers and industrial workers, who have no access to canteen facilities, are also faced with the difficulty of finding fillings for sandwich lunches; they complain of the decrease in the cheese ration.

  5. Food distribution : There are complaints of the unfair allocation of food supplies. They are alleged “to be worked out on a pre-war basis”, and to take no account of the increases and decreases in the war-time population. Holiday centres, particularly, complain of shortage of supplies during their season. It is also felt in the Northern Region that the South is better served with soft fruit, and Northerners are dissatisfied: “we think we deserve some soft fruit for living in the bleak North! After all, South country folk have a better chance of growing their own fruit in their gardens.”

  6. Milk supplies : Complaints of the delivery of poor quality, sour, and dirty milk have been reported from different parts of the country, and there are allegations from the North Eastern Region that graded milk “is all mixed up before distribution”. Other complaints are:

    1. The rationalisation of milk distribution : Some customers complain that they cannot now get the same grade of milk with which they were previously supplied.

    2. The reduction in the milk ration : People wonder why it should be cut in midsummer. In the South Western Region, “milkless days are most unpopular, because the milk from the previous day doesn't keep to see us through”.

    3. Pasteurisation : There is still reported to be a good deal of opposition to pasteurised milk, and there is a demand for more information “on the pros and cons of pasteurisation”.

  7. National bread and flour : Complaints of the poor keeping quality of bread are still reported, and there is some feeling that bakers do not always put in the full 80% wholemeal flour. Gastric troubles are still attributed to national flour.

  8. Allotment growers : There is an increase in complaints from allotment holders that they are unable to get soft fruit, tomatoes and vegetables in short supply, because green-grocers will only sell to regular customers.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17 eleven provincial P.Cs. 18 thirty-four P.D.Rs.)

21. Shopping difficulties

Shopping difficulties, particularly for war workers and country women who are not regular customers in their market town, have been reported continuously during the past four weeks. Queues are still the outstanding complaint, but the following have also been repeatedly commented on:

  1. Preferential treatment of certain customers , especially those who receive “under the counter sales”. The placing of orders by ‘phone is felt to be particularly unfair: “Isn't our money as good as theirs.”’

  2. Early and lunch time closing of shops .

  3. Conditional sales . “Goods in short supply are only sold to regular customers, but you become a regular customer if you buy spuds.” Another complaint is that “the rich buy out-of-season produce - grapes and peaches - and are then given a good supply of tomatoes and fruit”.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11)

22. Transport

Increased transport difficulties, due to “holiday-makers and pleasure seekers”, have been reported during the last four weeks.

Inadequate bus services, particularly in rural areas are also criticised. Villagers complain of being unable to board buses running between towns. Complaints of “dangerous” overloading of buses are also made.

The cessation of late buses is still deplored. In rural areas it means that farm workers are not able to get to town at all during the busy month. Transferred workers also find the curfew a great irritation.

Waste of petrol : There have also been increased complaints of waste of petrol; the Civil Defence, farmers, the Services and the “official and semi-official badge of Government departments”, being chiefly blamed. There is also “a good deal of suspicion that privileged people get advantages denied to others”.

The misuse of taxis is complained of. Taxis running on “drinking tours”, and “shuttle services running between Cambridge and Newmarket for the races”, are alleged. “Surely their petrol could be more usefully used to run a few more buses.”

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17 two provincial P.Cs.)

23. Housing and billeting

There have been widespread complaints of the shortage and high price of housing accommodation during the last four weeks (Twelve Regions). Criticism is becoming stronger, and in the Scottish Region it is pointed out: “after all, we are fighting for a home; it is time a start was made”.

Serious feeling is said to be developing in the Forces about the position. Men on leave from the Middle East say “they aren't very keen on going back to fight when they find their wives and children living in such terrible conditions”.

It is thought that there must be many empty shops, and flats over shops, that could usefully be requisitioned, and that houses kept empty for an “emergency” could now be used to relieve congestion. Local Authorities are thought to be not very willing to do much in this way and it is suggested that the Ministry of Health might “wake them up”.

The shortage of houses is thought to be adversely affecting the birth rate. There are complaints of people being turned out of their houses on the advent of children. “The Government's anxiety to increase the birth-rate is considered farcical in view of housing difficulties”; “let's look after the children who are already here”.

People who “keep on” houses, though not living in them, and “week-end cottage” owners are criticised.

Agricultural workers (Ten Regions): Agricultural workers want better and more modern houses. “Sons say their wives shall not be allowed to live under the conditions their mothers had to put up with.” It is thought that some migration into the towns would be prevented, were a substantial agricultural housing programme carried out after the war.

Government rural housing scheme : Criticism has continued over “the muddle made by officialdom”. It has become a “bad joke”. The design of the cottages “continues to be discussed with warmth, in rural communities”; there is some feeling that they will be “mediocre and uniform”. The high price and the delay in building them are sharply criticised: “They are like the Beveridge Plan - too old to be useful”. Some say that if the building trade had been given a free hand, all three thousand would have been built by now. Others blame a “ramp” in the trade for the high price and delay.

Billeting (Ten Regions): Billeting difficulties continue to be complained of, particularly in the small home where the housewife “often has enough to do to look after her own family”. Evasion by the well-to-do causes additional grievance. Lodgings for workers are difficult to obtain, and prices too high.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 17. 18 two P.D.Rs.)

24. Miners and Mining

Considerable anxiety concerning the coal situation has again been reported during the past four weeks. Some people blame the miners for not pulling their weight, while the miners blame the owners, - “who care little for their welfare”, and the Ministry of Fuel and Power. People urge a “thorough clean-up of the coal industry”, and it is again suggested in one report that production would be higher if better seams were worked.

While some express sympathy with the miners “who should have fair play and be paid the same or more than munition workers”, others feel that the “Government mollycoddles them”, and that “action taken regarding strikes is not strong enough”.

It is felt there is still a “large number of men with mining experience in the Forces and factories who should be transferred to the pits”.... “If engineers can be seconded from the R.A.F. why cannot miners be seconded from the Forces?” On the other hand, the restriction whereby young men working on the surface are no longer allowed to join the forces when called up, but are directed underground, is said to be causing very strong resentment among the miners.... “Every one is very bitter about it”, and there is also much ill-feeling on account of the fining and imprisonment of lads who refuse to go into the pits. They would willingly enter the Services, and it is thought that this aversion to colliery work is deep-rooted. Unless the mining industry is made more attractive, and the men given a better status and some share in the organisation, the “difficulty of getting boys into the collieries will be one of the major problems of post-war Britain”. It is often said that “no sons of bosses are to be found at the coal face”.

Absenteeism is said to cause anxiety but it is felt that a fairer method should be found to deal with the trouble: “Some have days off without having to appear before a Board, while others who lose perhaps a day per quarter are hauled up”. Some people think it is the young miners who do not realise their responsibilities who are “getting the industry into bad odour, while older men in the pits are killing themselves with work”. Others say the miners have no sense of brotherhood when their wages are concerned, and that, having earned the amount free of income tax, they feel “only a fool would continue”. Enforced idleness in factories is also thought to encourage absenteeism among miners.

The initiation of pithead courts in the South Eastern district is described by some as “just what is wanted to obtain 100% effort without delinquents having to go before the magistrates and thus be made embittered”; but others think “the real system of dispensing justice will be prejudiced if the practice is allowed to grow”.

Joint Production Committees : In the North Western Region miners are thought to distrust Joint Production Committees on the grounds that members are elected from “managerial stooges”. On the other hand, employers are reported to be afraid of the Committees because they think they may encourage nationalisation.

Targets : Two reports say that miners would prefer to work to a pit rather than a county target, as the former is more “tangible and personal”, and they would “welcome competition”.

In the North Midland Region it is felt that in the direction of men into the Home Guard, special regard should be given to men working full time at the coal face, - also that these men should not be expected to firewatch.

(1. 2. 3. 5SE. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11)

25. Fuel and domestic coal

Considerable anxiety about the fuel position has been reported during the past four weeks, and the apparently contradictory statements by people in authority are said to have “created doubts as to whether the Ministry have any real policy”.... “Who are we to believe? This view is strengthened by many complaints that people cannot follow Government instructions to stock fuel now because coal merchants have no supplies for the purpose: “Some orders placed in April are not yet delivered”. There is also complaint of the poor quality of coal supplied and of permit difficulties. Appeals to the public to stock fuel “do not mention limitations”. “One woman on being refused a licence to stock coal for the winter because she had more coal than the ‘limit’, burnt most of her extra coal so that she would be able to apply for a licence.”

Some comment is made concerning the wisdom and method of stocking coal, as “it is impossible to judge whether one gains or loses thereby”. In spite of Government statements to the contrary, some believe that external storage causes fairly rapid deterioration, particularly in the poor quality coal which is being supplied now. Poor people say they could not afford to buy ten bags at a time even if they could get them, and those with little storage space “rely on the Government's promise to supply them during the winter”.

People living in country districts who are dependent on coal and paraffin for all purposes think the present system of fuel allowance most unfair. They contrast their lot with those living in towns who, by using gas and electricity now, can save their present allowances for the winter. The North Midland Regional report mentions a request from the Peak District for an increased fuel allowance, and a similar request from shift workers.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5SE. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11)

26. Agriculture

Harvest helpers : Comment is still very varied this week and none of the points raised below have been reported from more than two Regions:

  1. A demand for more information as to where to apply for enrolment, billets and transport - also as to opportunities for school boys aged 14 to 16.

  2. Disappointment of some volunteers at finding that their help was not wanted by local farmers - as happened at Winchester. In parts of the Northern Region, things were worse: “People who had made all arrangements for their farm holiday found it cancelled at the last moment because of the ill-behaviour and drunkenness of previous helpers”. In Bradford, however, potential volunteers are more wary about offering their services because “the organisers are unable to guarantee work for them”.

  3. Interest in the scheme among farmers. In Leicestershire, they are said to be counting on voluntary help. At the same time farmers in the Peak District show no interest, and in the North Midland Region they feel that “amateur help does more harm than good - and the public have not been educated not to trample down crops”.

  4. Regret that more agricultural holiday camps were not prepared in Kent and West Sussex. “The Duke of Norfolk's much advertised tour, to inspect such camps, was criticised, because they do not exist in his own country of West Sussex.”

  5. Some feeling about “the poor pay”, which “provides little beyond mere subsistence”. “In the event of a few wet days, the worker will suffer a loss.”

In the North Riding and in Carmarthenshire, farmers complain about the shortage of labour for harvesting their crops. “I've got hundred acres of the finest corn I've ever seen, but how I'm to get it in with only two men and myself I don't know”.

Gardens and allotments : Stories have “cropped up again” this week of allotment thieves; and bitterness is reported among the allotment holders. Two further troubles are:

  1. A maggot which attacks cabbages and other brassicas. Many gardeners say it is not worth growing these crops.

  2. The “poor quality” of seeds sold to the public at present”. A case is mentioned of “only five leeks coming up out of ample seed - the rest growing into grass”.

Italian prisoners of war are this week referred to in reports from four Regions. The recent incident (July 11) in which one of them killed a guard and wounded a women has led to some uneasiness - particularly in the immediate district and among women - and there are stories of (i) guards armed with “nothing more than a wooden club, with their rifles supporting a nearby wall and accessible to the criminal minded”; (ii) two prisoners who live alone in a cottage, and who have been provided by the farmer for whom they work with a gun to shoot rabbits. In the Eastern Region, however, the prisoners are generally thought to be well behaved and the incident mentioned above “is assumed to be an isolated case of a man running amok”.

It is felt that “a closer watch should be kept on the prisoners”; people “resent them being allowed to walk unguarded along roads”. On the other hand, there is some criticism of waste of manpower and petrol when guards and lorries are provided. An example given is of a three ton lorry making a daily journey of fifty miles to take seven prisoners to and from their work in a quarry - “and then the Italians only work for five hours”.

Damage to crops has been reported from four Regions during the past month. From Lincolnshire and the East Riding come complaints of “military manoeuvres causing unnecessary damage”. Rabbits and other vermin - which cannot be destroyed because of the shortage of cartridge - are blamed for spoiling food production in Northants and in the Carlisle area.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5SE. 6. 8. 9. 10)

27. Salvage

Reports of non-collection of irregular collection of salvage have again been received from ten Regions during the past four weeks. There are many complaints of railings and other metal left lying about in dumps for months - some of it now useless, and of the unfairness of removing small gates etc., whose weight is insignificant, while hundreds of tons of collected scrap metal are still lying untouched.

Housewives complain of uncollected salvage harbouring vermin, and also of the indiscriminate loading and mixing of carefully separated salvage.

Although it is suggested that some people are inclined to become slack, it is stressed that the enthusiasm for the collection of all kinds of salvage is damped by bad collection and the sight of unused dumps.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 7. 8. 9. 10. 13. 17)

28. Income tax

During the past four weeks there has been a fairly consistent demand for the “pay as you go” scheme for income tax payment; the difficulties are recognised but thought to be “not insurmountable if the Government is willing”. The system of deducting tax based on the previous six months' earnings is thought to be very hard on workers whose pay and hours of work are variable. Some workers say they would “prefer to be on normal time and wages and not to earn big money intermittently with no guarantee that it will continue”. They also think there should be a special rate for overtime, as it “involves the expenditure of extra energy, and the bulk of the additional receipts has to be paid back as tax. Because of this some are said to decline to work overtime when they have the opportunity.

Many people think that pensioners of all kinds bear a very heavy burden with the higher cost of living and suggest they should have a bigger personal allowance.

(2. 3. 4. 5. 9. 10)

29. Health

There have been frequent references this month to complaints of tiredness and strain, which are attributed to the lack of vitamins in the war-time diet, the lack of fresh fruit, and the need for a holiday. The alleged increase in minor skin diseases and sporadic epidemics are also attributed to the war-time diet. “There is some inclination to believe that although we are not actively unhappy, a war-time diet causes low resistance to and slow recovery from any illness which may be about.”

The Government statement that “we are healthier now than in peacetime” has been commented on with some scepticism, though the general health of children is acknowledged to be good.

Hospital accommodation : The shortage of hospital accommodation, especially of maternity beds, continues to cause concern. Expectant mothers are said to feel that “the Government is showing a lack of interest in maternity welfare”.

Tuberculosis : Concern is reported at the increase in tuberculosis. This is thought to be due to long hours, and work in artificial light. It is suggested that there should be an X-ray machine in every works.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 8. 9. 10)

30. V.D. Campaign

Approval for the V.D. advertisements continues to be expressed, although it is sometimes wondered whether they are reaching the right people or merely terrorising and confusing the innocent. There is praise for the film “Subject for Discussion” which is said to be encouraging people to discuss V.D. more freely and making them realise the dangers. There continues to be a steady demand for more lectures on sex education in schools and elsewhere.

Although the campaign is considered to be doing good work, a minority fear that there is a danger of “too much publicity” on this subject: “One or two lewd jokes” are said to be “in wide circulation; and concern is felt that these may be a prelude to others, which, if widely repeated will nullify the effects of the campaign”.

(2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 8. 9. 10. 24)


(Covering the period from 22nd June to 20th July 1943)

All topics arising for the first time are included in the main Weekly Reports. The following have lost their novelty, while still retaining their importance for large sections of the public. They are arranged according to the frequency with which they have been reported.

No subject has been included to which fewer than nine references have been made during the past month.

Inadequacy of Service pay and dependants' allowances and Service pensions

1 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 7. 8. 9. 10.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 8. 9. 10. 11.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 9. 10.

Shopping difficulties and food queues

1 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 8. 9. 10. 11.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 9. 10. 11.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Transport difficulties

1 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 10.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 11.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 10.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Inadequacy of clothing coupons for :

(a) Renewing household goods

1 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5SE. 6. 9. 10.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 9.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 8. 9. 10. 11.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 9. 10.

(b) Growing children

1 July Regions 1. 3. 5SE. 8.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 11.
15 July Regions 1. 3. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 8.

(c) Working clothes for heavy workers

1 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
8 July Regions 2. 4. 8. 9.
15 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 9.
22 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 9. 10.

Preferential treatment of certain customers by shopkeepers (chiefly for fresh fruit and tomatoes)

1 July Regions 3. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10.
8 July Regions 2. 3. 4. 7. 9. 10.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 4. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 4. 5SE. 6. 9. 11.

Difficulty of getting shoes repaired

1 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 9.
8 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 7. 9.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 4. 5SE. 7. 9. 10.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5SE. 6. 10.

Waste of petrol

1 July Regions 3. 7.
8 July Regions 2. 3. 4. 5SE. 7. 8. 9.
15 July Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 10. 13.

Non-collection of salvage

1 July Regions 3. 4. 5. 8. 9. 10.
8 July Regions 4. 5SE. 7. 8. 9.
15 July Regions 5. 8. 9.
22 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 7. 9.

The poor quality or cut of utility clothes

1 July Regions 2. 4. 5. 6. 9.
8 July Regions 4. 5. 5SE. 9. 10. 13.
15 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 11.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 10.

Enforced idleness, wasted time and complaints of bad management in industry

1 July Regions 1. 5. 5SE. 7. 9. 10. 11.
8 July Regions 5. 9. 10.
15 July Regions 3. 4. 7. 9. 10.
22 July Regions 2. 5SE. 9.

Inadequacy of Old Age Pensions

1 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 9. 10.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 9.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 9. 10.
22 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 9. 10.

Shortage of domestic help

1 July Regions 3. 4. 7. 9. 10.
8 July Regions 9.
15 July Regions 1. 6. 7. 8. 9.
22 July Regions 1. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Disparity in pay

1 July Regions 2. 3. 5. 9. 11.
8 July Regions 1. 3. 9.
15 July Regions 2. 3. 5. 9.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 8.

High price of green vegetables and lettuce

1 July Regions 2. 5SE. 9.
8 July Regions 2. 3. 10.
15 July Regions 2. 5. 5SE.
22 July Regions 2. 5. 6. 8. 9.

Enthusiasm for local Wings for Victory weeks

1 July Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 7. 11.
8 July Regions 3. 4. 5SE. 7. 9.
15 July Regions 2. 5.
22 July Regions 9.

Bad distribution and poor quality of coal

1 July Regions 3. 5SE. 7. 9.
8 July Regions 3. 10.
15 July Regions 3. 9. 10.
22 July Regions 3. 9. 10.

Criticism of strikes

1 July Regions 1. 3. 10.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 4. 10. 11.
15 July Regions 2.
22 July Regions 2. 3. 6.

Transfer of labour

1 July Regions 5. 9. 11.
8 July Regions 5. 9. 11.
15 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 11.
22 July Regions 4. 5. 8. 11.

Too many young people in civilian jobs and evading the call-up

1 July Regions 1. 3. 5.
8 July Regions 1.
15 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 7.
22 July Regions 3.


Shortage and poor quality of clothing and footwear for :

(a) Children

1 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 8.

(b) Adults

1 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 9. 10.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7.
15 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 5SE. 8. 10.
22 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11.

Shortage and high price of housing accommodation and difficulty of billeting workers

1 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 10.
8 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 7. 9. 10. 11.
15 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 10. 11.
22 July Regions 2. 5. 9. 10. 11.

Shortage of Fish

1 July Regions 3. 5. 5SE. 6. 8. 9.
8 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 5SE. 6. 8. 10.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 5SE. 11.
22 July Regions 2. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10.

Shortage and high price of crockery, glass and kitchenware

1 July Regions 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7.
8 July Regions 1. 3. 13.
15 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 10.
22 July Regions 3. 5SE. 8. 10.

Shortage of razor blades

1 July Regions 4. 5SE.
8 July Regions 3. 6.
15 July Regions 10. 13.
22 July Regions 4. 8. 10. 13.

Shortage of, and queues for cakes

1 July Regions 1.
8 July Regions 5SE.
15 July Regions 3. 4. 5SE. 11.
22 July Regions 2. 3. 4. 9.

The following subjects, included in this list last month, are now omitted, as there have been fewer than nine references to them during the past month: (i) Unreasonable or careless removal of railings and gates from private houses (ii) Anti-Semitism (iii) Slacking of workers (iv) Improvement in fish supplies (v) Tiredness of war workers : Reports of this have this month merged to a great extent into reports of general tiredness, and are included under “Health” in the main report, as well as in “General confidence and reaction to news”. (vi) Scepticism as to how many genuine additional savings result from Wings for Victory Weeks : Reports of this have almost disappeared. The main Wings for Victory campaign in England and Wales ceased on July 3rd.



1. Northern Region (Newcastle) Weekly Reports from R.I.Os.
2. North Eastern Region (Leeds)
3. North Midland Region (Nottingham)
4. Eastern Region (Cambridge)
5. London Region (London)
5SE. South Eastern District Office, London Region (Tunbridge Wells)
6. Southern Region (Reading)
7. South Western Region (Bristol)
8. Wales (Cardiff)
9. Midland (Birmingham)
10. North Western Region (Manchester)
11. Scotland (Edinburgh)
12. See 5SE.
13. Northern Ireland (Belfast)
14. Special Reports from R.I.Os.
15. Regions Adviser's Reports
16. M.O.I. Speakers' Reports
17. Postal Censorship
18. Police Duty Room Reports
19. Wartime Social Survey Reports
20. B.B.C. Listener Research Papers
21. B.B.C. Special Papers
22. Scottish Unionist Whips' Reports
23. Liberal Party's Reports
24. Primary Sources

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