A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46


Copy No. 283

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.



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

No. 150 19th August, 1943

(Covering period from 10th to 17th August, 1943)


1. General state of confidence and reaction to news

Public spirits remain high because “the Axis is getting it in the neck everywhere”: “Sicily almost captured, the Russians victorious, and all the time our bombing goes on”. There is, however, disappointment that Italy “hasn't given in yet”, and speculation as to the reason.

Other feelings reported include:

  1. Expectation that “something big is afoot”. This is attributed to the Prime Minister's visit to North America, to the banning of certain coastal areas to visitors, and to stories of movements of troops, shipping, and N.F.S. in different parts of the country.

  2. Concern at the absence of Stalin from the Churchill - Roosevelt meetings.

  3. Belief among many that this will be the last winter of war; some are counting on it ending in 1943. Others feel “if the rather slow progress in Sicily is any criterion, a long war can be anticipated”.

  4. Fear that complacency due to “over-optimism” will result in workers slacking off.

  5. Dread of the blackout - apparently renewed by the end of double summer time.

Home front : The main topic of discussion is again the proposed call-up of older women “while full use is not being made of younger people generally”. Footwear difficulties, particularly in the case of children, and the surrender of coupons for household goods continue the chief clothing complaints.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17 passim. 18 passim. No report from Region 7 this week)

2. Sicily

People have realised for several days that “it was all over bar the shouting”. There was general satisfaction that things were going well, and praise for all concerned - particularly the Eighth Army. The 50th Division was watched with keen interest in the Northern Region. There is, however, some feeling in London and Wales that there is “an apparent disinclination to give publicity to the exploits of English and Welsh units in Sicily”.

There is considerable disappointment that “large numbers of German troops were allowed to do a Dunkirk”. People wonder how this was possible “with our air superiority and our Navy”.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17. 18 passim)

3. Italy

Disappointment that Italy has not capitulated yet is general; people variously attribute the delay to:

  1. “Allied mismanagement”

    1. “We should never have let up on our bombing”. (Eight Regions)

    2. “The same old story - too much kid glove stuff.” (Four Regions)

    3. “Italy's partial collapse caught the Allied Governments unprepared: they had no policy, and are still fumbling.” (Three Regions)

    4. “We should not have raised the issue of unconditional surrender.” (Three Regions) Opinions differ as to why: some feel “we should drive for a clear out military defeat”; others that “Italy would have sued for peace before now, if different terms had been offered”.

    5. “We should have invaded Italy when Musso fell.” (Two Regions)

  2. The Italian situation

    1. Badoglio and the King of Italy are working hand in glove with the Germans, “just like Musso and the Fascists”. (Six Regions)

    2. “Badoglio's in a bit of a spot with the Hun inside his gate; between two fires and no mistake.” (Three Regions)

People welcome the renewal of heavy air attacks, and continue to expect and hope that “we will bomb and blast the Italians to surrender”; they feel that “another pasting of Rome would help”.

Possible peace negotiations : People “would not approve of any terms made with the present Italian Government”, and are worried that “we tried to talk to the House of Savoy”. The establishment of an undemocratic regime in Italy would lead, it is thought, to widespread resentment and a feeling of hopelessness about post-war conditions at home. At the same time, many still believe that there are some “real anti-Fascist” Italians - “not in Badoglio's Government” - with whom we could negotiate. Others, again, expect a revolution in Italy, after which “we'll take it over in a state of chaos”.

The transfer to Germany of British prisoners of war in Italian hands : People are very disturbed and indignant at reports of this transfer: “Can the Government do anything about it?”

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

4. Rome

Italy's declaration of Rome as an open city has not been “a welcome idea” to the great majority; many received it with scepticism, and a number with “something akin to anger”, as “just another time-saving move by Badoglio”. Most people feel that we should ignore the declaration or at any rate carry on with bombing “till Rome really fulfils all the requirements”. In particular, it is strongly felt that bombing should be resumed soon enough to prevent the Germans moving troops and equipment North from Sicily through Rome.

The chief objections to our accepting the declaration are:

  1. The Germans bombed other open cities, notably Belgrade. (A few, however, say: “That's no reason why we should”.)

  2. The quickest way to bring about Italy's surrender is “to bomb and to blast”. “If Rome is considered as important as all that, Italy should surrender to preserve it.”

  3. It would take months to remove the legitimate war targets.

  4. We can have no real assurance that they would abide by the conditions.

The last two objections are also raised by those who are not opposed in principle to Rome being declared an open city.

The second raid on Rome (August 13) has, like the first, been received with great satisfaction. People continue to feel that Rome should be treated “the same as any other city in enemy hands” - “they bombed our churches, why shouldn't we bomb theirs?” “If Mussolini is in the Vatican City, we should bomb that too.” Roman Catholics are reported as having “expressed approval of the raid”, but a few people “who believe that Michelangelo's works, etc, are worth a certain number of human lives” continue to be uneasy at raids on Rome and other “cultural towns”.

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

5. The next moves

There is considerable expectation of an early move, and two main schools of thought as to where it will be:

  1. Italy, “as she has not yet capitulated”. There is some speculation as to whether we shall land troops in the toe, or further up the coastline towards the Northern plains. Our raids on Milan and Turin are “portents for this view”.

  2. We shall launch “a real second front” from Great Britain - and invade either France, the Low Countries, Norway, or North Western Germany. The chief reasons for this belief are:

    1. The closing of certain areas in the South of England to visitors. Only a few people suggest that the ban is a bluff to confuse the Germans.

    2. Stories circulating in various parts of the country, of the movement of troops, shipping, gliders, fire engines, and food stores.

Other suggested “possible next moves” again include Greece, Crete, Corsica, Sardinia and the French Riviera.

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

6. The Prime Minister's visit to North America

Although Mr. Churchill's journeys are “no longer as dramatic as they were”, and are largely taken for granted, people deeply appreciate the work he is doing; they feel that “the personal touch in war councils is all to the good”. There is some anxiety about the risks he runs and a fear that “he may travel round the world once too often”.

There is intense interest in the outcome of the British-U.S.-Canadian talks, and a feeling of expectancy that “great events are imminent”. Various reasons for the conferences are suggested:

  1. The planning of offensives, either in Western Europe or in the Mediterranean - “because Canadian troops are there”.

  2. The Italian political situation. Mr. Eden's participation “has given colour to this”.

  3. Post-war plans.

Russia : Disappointment at Marshal Stalin's absence from the conferences is widespread. People are anxious about U.S.-British relations with Russia, and wonder why “our favourite ally” is not represented. It is feared that “we do not confer with Russia, but only inform her of our decisions”. On the other hand, some think “Stalin does not want to get mixed up with the U.S. and ourselves”.

Other explanations offered are:

  1. Perhaps the matters dealt with “do not affect Russia - for instance, the Italian political situation”.

  2. “Stalin was too busy attending to his offensive.”

Mrs. and Miss Churchill (Seven Regions): It is hoped that Mrs. Churchill will watch over Mr. Churchill's health and “will see he gets a holiday”. A minority, however, ask whether their journey “was really necessary” (Three Regions). Some people also wonder “how Miss Churchill could get away from her duties in the A.T.S.” (Five Regions).

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

7. Russia

“Russia has jumped high again in public interest”: her good news has been received with delight. All reports speak of admiration for “her brilliant successes”, and hopes are high for the coming winter. “If they can advance in summer at such a speed, they will walk through the Germans in winter.”

A revival of feeling that “Russia is making all the big sacrifices”, and the desire that “her offensive should be supported by a supreme effort on the part of the other Allies” are reported from seven Regions. “If the British and Americans do not hurry up, the Russians will win the war before we start in Europe.” On the other hand there is some feeling that our air attacks and Sicilian campaign have had much to do with Russia's ability to launch a summer offensive, and that we are not given sufficient credit for this by the Russians (Three Regions).

Doubts of the accuracy of Russian figures of German losses are reported from only one Region this week.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17 six provincial P.Cs. 18 passim)

8. The Allied air offensive

There is continued satisfaction at the air offensive over Germany and Italy. Comments, which are on familiar lines this week, include speculation as to whether German morale may not crack, and anticipation of heavy raids on Berlin in the near future. “Nothing short of ‘Hamburging’ Berlin will satisfy people”, and there is some fear that it might be declared an open city, “after London has suffered so”.

Although “the sight and sound of planes setting out at night” increases the public's interest in these raids, any sign of gloating is resented. A recent newsreel taken over Hamburg is said, in one report, to have “produced a majority comment” of: “We appreciate the need for the liquidation of Hamburg, but for heaven's sake don't remind us of what we are doing”.

Casualties : Anxiety continues, and it is asked if the public cannot be told “what proportion of those reported missing in raids are taken prisoners”.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 8. 9. 10. 17 eight provincial P.Cs. 18 passim)

9. Raids on this country

During the past month there has been some speculation as to whether “Hitler will leave us alone, or have a final blitz”. Some people believe the “Luftwaffe's day is done” or “that if Germany knows she is going to be defeated she will not raid us for fear of getting worse terms”. Others think “that the German High Command is withholding its air force for another blitz on Britain”.

There has been some criticism of anti-aircraft defences. In Lincolnshire it is thought that the high casualties in the recent raids on Grimsby and Hull were “due to inadequate anti-aircraft protection”. A good deal of criticism is reported from the Bournemouth-Christchurch area about the raid on Bournemouth on August 11/12. It is said “to be agreed by almost everyone that the plane or planes which dropped the bombs appeared to cruise round and round for a period up to half an hour without ever getting out of earshot, and no sound of anti-aircraft gunfire was heard; nor was any interference with the enemy plane apparent to the public”.

There is still some suspicion that the raids over this country are minimised by the B.B.C. It is said that “the coastal raids should not be written down so much”, and if more information could be released “it might help to make the complacent people more ready to pull their weight in the war effort”.

Low flying planes : These are still complained of (Two Regions). Townspeople in Grimsby are said “to be very conscious of low flying planes”.

Air raid warnings : In the South Eastern Region it is reported that the public are apparently satisfied with the decision to continue the present system of air raid warnings. In Grimsby it is said that the “alert” does not give time for the people to get to shelters.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5SE. 6. 8. 9. 17 Special P.C.)

10. The Coastal area ban

The ban imposed by the military authorities on visitors to a coastal area in Southern England is widely regarded as a sign that there will be “an attack across the Channel” before long. The explanation that a military exercise is to take place is said not to be viewed seriously; and travellers to London from the South East say: “These Army exercises aren't like last year's; we are going to invade”. Many rumours have been reported, and there is much speculation, particularly among intending holiday makers, as to the exact towns coming under the ban.

Inside the banned areas, “those holding the view that military operations are impending are not unduly alarmed by fear of air attacks on communications; rather do they accept the situation with a sense of relief, as they have been waiting for the day with the certain knowledge that military operations from the S. and S.E. coast ‘have got to come sooner or later’”. People in one of the towns in the area “believe it was bombed two nights ago, because it has been chosen as the jumping off ground for the invading armies”.

Reports from two Regions refer to misgiving that the Algiers radio should have broadcast a statement that military preparations are taking place in S.E. coast towns.

Only a very few people in the area seem to think that “the new regulations are being enforced to remove thousands of visitors because of the food shortage”; some satisfaction is, nevertheless, reported on the part of “local people who feel they have had a raw deal, because the large number of visitors has resulted in a shortage of food”.

(1. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 11)

11. Holidays

Comment continues on familiar lines, the determination to get away being apparently as strong as ever. There are again reports of: Criticism of the government's attitude (Four Regions); Comparisons between the leave of the Forces and of civilians (Three Regions); the very limited success of holidays at home (Three Regions); the poor local transport for those who do stay at home (Two Regions); criticism of M.Ps. and others “who urge the public to stay at home, and have themselves gone away for a holiday” (Two Regions). The use of special trains by distinguished visitors on Deeside is deplored by some workers in Scotland.

(1. 3. 4. 5. 6. 9. 10. 11. 17 four provincial P.Cs. 18 passim)

12. Far East

There continues to be only slight interest in this theatre of war. The general feeling is that things are going satisfactorily, and there is again praise for the taking of Munda. It is felt, however, that the real fighting in the Far East will come after the European war is over.

Praise and sympathy for China in her “prolonged agony” and the hope that she is receiving all available help are reported from six Regions.

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

13. The War at Sea

There is not much comment on this subject, but satisfaction is reported at the recent announcements of U-boat sinkings during the last three months. It is thought that the absence of discussion is “probably a reflection of the greater confidence now felt in our ability to tackle this problem”.

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

14. National Days of Prayer

The King's action in calling the nation to prayer on the fourth anniversary of the war has met with approval, but the announcement that another day of prayer may be expected shortly afterwards has produced some “puzzlement” and even apprehension. Suggested explanations include: “To reduce over-optimism”; to “mark the capitulation of Sicily” or the invasion of Italy, or “something bigger”.

(2. 10. 11)

15. Broadcasting and presentation of news

News presentation is considered satisfactory on the whole. “More and more reliance” is being placed on the B.B.C. though some still think the news is “too meagre and guarded” and likely to encourage listening to stations under enemy control. However, others say “the many official bulletins and stories from special correspondents amply cover the ground”.

There is again criticism of “startling headlines” in the press, “usually made up from unconfirmed reports”; and condemnation of a cartoon “Conference”, in the News Chronicle, August 12, depicting “a park seat with Churchill and Roosevelt at one end and Stalin at the other”. This is thought to be “against the national interest and likely to cause division”.

European News Service : Preference for this service is again reported (Four Regions).

Criticism of entertainment programmes (Three Regions): There is again some comment on the “poor quality and low standard” of entertainment. Some people support Lady Snowden's charge of “objectionable entertainment from comedians”, and think that in the Forces' Programme the “better educated men are not being catered for”.

Praise this week for: Dr. T.V. Soong's Postscript, August 8, (Two Regions); and for J.B. Priestley's series; Vernon Bartlett, July 29; the Marching On; the Radio Doctor; Lord Swinton on West Africa's war effort, August 13; and the Postscripts by an “average father of an average son”, August 15; and the Postscript by a London taxi-driver, August 1. (One Region each).

The broadcasts by Air Marshal Sir Philip Joubert and Professor John Hilton continue to be popular.

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

/ Special comments overleaf



16. The post-war world

“Now that talk of victory is increasing, more and more people's thoughts are turning to post-war conditions”, and there is “an added urgency in the desire to know how prepared the Government is for the peace”. People fear that, unless plans are made now, “peace may catch us unawares” and “we shall have the same chaos as we had after the last war”. (These opinions are confirmed by a Special Postal Censorship Report on Post-war Reconstruction, summarising the opinions of 668 writers.)

There is said to be much scepticism and disillusionment about the Government's intentions regarding the Beveridge plan and “disappointment that nothing has been done” with it; many believe that “reform and reconstruction are being relegated to the background and that “reports are finding their way into pigeon-holes at Whitehall, instead of into the Statute Book”.

Unemployment remains the greatest post-war preoccupation. “The experiences after the last war” are said to have “sunk deep into the consciousness of the masses”, and many fear that “it will be the same again”. Fear of a slump and unemployment appear to be fairly widespread. Quite apart from those demobilised from the Forces, it is asked what are the prospects of those now engaged on war work, particularly “young people who are filling the places of those away at the war” and “elderly people now in temporary war jobs”.

Housing , next to unemployment, seems to cause the most discussion and anxiety. People remember “the hardship and profiteering after the last war” and are anxious to know that plans are being prepared now. It is urged that “housing should be the first problem to be dealt with after the war”. They fear that the housing shortage will be accentuated when Servicemen, married since the war, are demobilised, if sites are not acquired now and plans prepared.

Demobilisation : There is said to be some anxiety over demobilisation problems, particularly over “priority of release”, and wives and mothers are concerned about the Government's intentions. Some feel that “those who have served overseas for two or three years should be demobilised immediately the war is over and that those who have only served in this country should form armies of occupation”.

Other subjects which are said to be discussed frequently and with some feeling, but on familiar lines, are education; “the role of private enterprise v. national control, and of small businesses v. large combines”; the continuance into peace of war-time restrictions and controls; and the future of agriculture and farming.

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

17. The call-up

The proposed call-up of women, 46 to 50 (Eleven Region): Strong and widespread disapproval continues to be expressed at the proposed registration of older women. People hope “the Government will see the red light and cancel the scheme”, which is described as “one of the most unpopular moves the Government has ever made”. The statement by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (House of Commons, August 5) is said to have been received optimistically by some women, who are speculating “as to whether it will ever really come off”.

Criticism continues along the lines reported last week:

(a) “ The proposal is unnecessary ” (Ten Regions): Fuller use, it is felt, could be made of younger men and women and of existing manpower generally. Waste of manpower is thought to be greatest in (i) The Civil Service (Eight Regions); (ii) Industry (Six Regions; (iii) The Women's Services (Two Regions); (iv) The N.F.S. and voluntary services (One Region each).

At the same time people continue to feel that many young women - and particularly “camp follower officer's wives” - are evading the call-up (Seven Regions).

There should also, it is said, “be a thorough comb-out of the younger age groups, particularly in occupations classed as reserved”. In addition it is suggested that cases of young women “exempted on slight hardship grounds should be reviewed”, and that “more use might be made of men between the ages of 50 and 60, now in semi-retirement”.

(b) “They can't do more than they're doing already” (Six Regions): Many people feel that “it is enough that the majority of these women are working hard in their homes looking after their families”; “after all domestic work should be considered an important part of the war effort”. “Middle-aged, middle-class men” are said to be particularly vindictive about the proposal; husbands working long hours “need home comforts which will be denied them if their wives are called up”. It is also painted out that these women are “pulling their weight in voluntary jobs”.

(c) “The net gain to the nation will be negligible” (Four Regions): People feel that “only about 25% of them will be suitable for service”, because many who are fit are already working, and these who have not worked before are “too old to be malleable, and will be of little value to the war effort anyway”.

(d) “This critical age” (Three Regions): “Surely we can win the war, without asking these women in some of their most difficult years to go into factories.”

While these protests are voiced among the general public, many of the women concerned remain “unperturbed”, and feel that “a lot of fuss has been made about nothing”. They believe that in many ways they can leave their homes more easily than younger women with small children, and some of them would “welcome new interests and the satisfaction of having a job”. It is suggested that “the men who are so eagerly fighting this proposal”, are thinking more of their own comforts than of the women.

A few of them stipulate, however, that they are willing to work only if (a) “the younger women are all fully occupied”; and (b) the interviewing is not done “by young and inexperienced people”.

Some people who feel that the call-up will be very limited, and that the Ministry intend to give every consideration to the circumstances of the women, believe that much of the concern aroused may be due to a misunderstanding of the proposals. They would like the Minister “to clarify his intentions”.

During the past four weeks other complaints in connection with the call-up have been:

  1. Shortage of domestic help (Eight Regions, several Regions more than once), particularly of “Home Helps” for cases of illness and pregnancy in working-class families. It is felt that the Ministry of Labour should have power to direct women to do this work, as many of these available will not undertake it because “the wages offered are not a sufficient inducement”.

  2. Shortage of labour (Four Regions, two Regions more than on[Text Missing] the retail trade - especially small shops, laundries and [Text Missing] hairdressers.

  3. Criticism of interviewers at the Labour Exchanges (Three Regions) has been on a reduced scale this month.

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

18. Industry

Civil Service Trade Unions (3 Regions): Among the general public there is said to be some sympathy for the attitude of the Post Office Workers and their proposed affiliation to the T.U.C. Workers feel that the Government's attitude “is a bad advertisement for the Government's post-war intentions”. A minority support the Government view, because “after all, these workers are members of the State”.

Among Scottish Civil Servants a “wait and see” attitude is said to have been adopted; some girls are reported to be saying; “If I must choose between the Union and the job, I'll choose the job”.

Strikes (Two Regions) are still deplored. With reference to the recent strike of cutters in the diamond industry, it is thought they should “not have been given the option of a fine if it were possible to imprison them”.

During the past four weeks comment has been reported on the following lines.

(a) Misuse of manpower (Twelve Regions, several Regions twice): Stimulated by the discussion on the proposed call-up of older women (See Constant Topics No. 2), comment has been greatest on the need for a comb-out of younger men and women in civilian occupations, particularly those in the Civil Service (Twelve Regions). Other comments include:

  1. Idle time in factories (Ten Regions, several more than once): Due to alleged: Overstaffing, inefficiency in the direction of industrial undertakings, “changes over” in production; and the cost plus system. Stories of cigarette lighters “made in idle hours” have been mentioned in three Regional Reports this month.

  2. “Misdirection” of labour (Four Regions, North Midland more than once): Complaints of men and women, “expert” in, or trained for, one particular job, and directed either to a less skilled one, or to one of which they have no knowledge.

  3. Unemployment (Four Regions, Northern Region three times): There are tales of dismissals from war factories, and delays in finding jobs for the displaced workers. In the Northern Region there is much adverse comment on “the number of people on the dole”.

(b) Disparity in pay and high wages (Nine Regions, some Regions more than once): There are complaints of disparity in pay between:

  1. Skilled and unskilled workers, particularly in the engineering industry: “The big salaries don't affect our boys, it's women and the semi-skilled that are making the money. Jack, Joe and Dad are doing the skilled jobs at pre-war money” (Postal Censorship); (ii) Men and women doing the same job of work. Recent publicity is said to have stimulated discussion about, and demands for, “equal pay for equal work” among women; (iii) Civilian workers, particularly unskilled munition workers, and servicemen. In one report however, reference is made to resentment among lower paid workers, particularly agricultural workers, at the financial and other help available to wives of servicemen, especially expectant mothers, through such organisations as the S.S.[Text Missing].F.[Text Missing].

Five Regions also refer to criticism of the high wages paid to juveniles, women, (particularly railway workers “who are not doing men's work”), and Irish harvest labourers in Scotland.

(c) “Bad effect of long working hours” (Eight Regions, several more than once): Long hours are thought to be worse for women, particularly those who, in addition to working, have shopping and domestic duties. Some people feel that production would be increased if hours were considerably shortened and Sunday work discontinued.

(d) Transfer of labour (Six Regions, Midland Region more than once): While complaints have been slightly less during the last four weeks, references are again made to:

  1. The transfer of men and girls to jobs “where they are not needed”.

  2. “The undesirability of sending girls, particularly those under twenty, into billets away from home.” It is also felt that some hardship may result from their limited pay; in addition many are said not to know that “emergency grants can be obtained to tide them over the first week”.

(e) Slacking of workers (Six Regions, some more than once): “The good news, coupled with dislocation in certain industries”, is said to have led to “a lessening in the sense of urgency” among some workers, and complaints of “slacking and complacency” have slightly increased this month. One report refers to “the prospects of post-war unemployment being anything but stimulating”. Absenteeism is, in two reports, attributed to the difficulties of housewife-war-workers - “who take time off to obtain goods in short supply” (See Section 22. Shopping difficulties (a) Workers).

(f) Part-time work (Four Regions): There are isolated references to complaints from married women that (i) they have been directed into “non-war work”, such as the W.V.S; or that (ii) no work is available in the vicinity; (iii) Some who have gone into a factory “have done no work owing to lack of materials”; (iv) thirty hours a week, is too much for “women with homes to run”.

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

19. Clothing

While relief is still expressed at the announcement that the number of coupons will not be reduced during the next five months, the recently announced change in coupon values for adult's shoes has “caused consternation”. “Of all articles of clothing, footwear is most essential and it was hoped some effort would be made to improve conditions.” Some people welcome the stockings concession; others think it “rather mean” as it does not apply to decent stockings; seamless stockings are said to be “widely disliked”. Concessions for some of the cheaper clothing are welcomed, though many think “it is simply not worth buying”.

During the past four weeks complaints about the general clothing situation have been widespread and continuous ...... “The Board of Trade is held to be out of touch with reality”, and there is “bitter comment when it tries to persuade people they have nothing to complain of”. The various comments may be summarised as follows:

Clothing coupons (Twelve Regions): Inadequacy of coupons for all purposes, particularly in working-class families with growing children, where any small reserves are now “worn to rags”, and “mothers are desperate”. It is felt that the additional ten coupons are not sufficient for school-children, and when other coupons have to be used for them, there are none left for the younger ones. Mothers also say that children between four and twelve years “often grow as quickly as the older ones” and should qualify for supplementary coupons.

Some revision of the allocation of coupons to expectant mothers is asked for, as the present allotment “is causing great hardship to many working-class women”. “The first child requires more than the present allotment, the second and remaining infants less.”

Other comments include:

  1. Coupons for household goods (Nine Regions): There is widespread disappointment that there is no separate allowance. Housewives are said to be “very sore” about this.

  2. Coupons for industrial workers (Six Regions): Agricultural workers, miners, and those engaged in heavy industries where wear and tear is serious are said to be “frantic for clothes”.... “I do wish Mr. Dalton could spend a few days in a factory and hear a few remarks about the Board of Trade”.

  3. Home Guard uniforms (Six Regions): The “coupon or no-coupon uniform” is said to be causing “much indignation”.

  4. Doctors and nurses (Two Regions): There is some dissatisfaction among doctors and nurses over surrendering coupons for surgery clothes and uniform.

Footwear (Twelve Regions): Complaints of quality and shortage are widespread. The quality of children's footwear particularly is causing a great deal of anxiety and resentment, and the problem “becomes more acute week by week”..... “Terrible prices for sheer rubbish”. People feel that “while they are ready to accept restriction in supplies, they have a right to insist on some degree of reliability in shoes available”. Children are again said to be kept away from school because they have no shoes, and people wonder how they will themselves manage with only one pair of shoes when the bad weather comes. It is feared there will be a lot of illness due to wet feet.

Other comments on footwear include:

  1. Shoe repairs (Eleven Regions): Labour is often said to be wasted because of the poor quality of leather used, and many poor people who are “down to one pair” cannot spare the time taken for repairs. It is suggested that leather strips should be made available for home cobbling. Queues outside cobblers are referred to.

  2. Wooden soled shoes (Four Regions): Some people ask why there are not more wooden soled shoes available for children; others think that “surplus leather over from Service requirements should go to the children for whom flexibility is necessary, leaving wooden soles for adults.”

Utility clothing (Seven Regions); People think that “Utility” should at least live up to its name. There is bitter criticism of the poor, “shoddy” quality of many utility garments, stockings and shoes being particularly mentioned.

Heavy workers complain that there is not enough room in utility trousers and shirts for men whose work requires a lot of bodily movement. People also say that very little saving of cloth is effected by the cutting out of turn-ups on trousers which now have a much shorter life as there is no material to repair frayed edges.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17 one Special, one provincial P.C. 18 twenty-four P.D.Rs.)

20. Transport

Increased difficulties owing to the holiday season have again been reported during the past four weeks, the available space in buses and trains often being taken up by holiday-makers to the exclusion of workers.

Complaints are again made of time wasted through standing in queues, of queue breaking, of drivers ignoring request stops, and of buses failing to draw up at the head of the queue. Some drivers - according to the Northern Region report - think that if the transport authorities could discuss the difficulties encountered with those who work the various routes many of the troubles could be ameliorated.

Inadequate rural bus services, particularly for those who must shop in nearby towns are another source of great complaint. People feel that where skeleton bus services only are operating some improvement is necessary.

There are many references to “packed trains” and it is felt that the “time is coming when permits will have to be issued, or the number of tickets limited”. “Priority coaches” on all trains for those whose journey is necessary are also suggested.

Waste of petrol : Comments are again made on the “anomalous allocation of petrol”, some people getting more than they can use while others who need it are unable to get any. People ask why some are allowed petrol for shopping and travelling to their place of employment in spite of transport facilities, and why a doctor may not have petrol to visit outlying children's clinics frequently, but can get supplies for lecturing to youth organisations. It is suggested that local advisory committees for issuing petrol coupons would be advantageous. These could work with the local police in checking waste.

Other complaints are:

  1. Misuse of taxis for joy-riding, pub-crawling ... “for 30 to 40 miles in one evening”.... attending dog-races, etc. One report states it is “impossible to get taxis during the daytime, as drivers can earn more by keeping their petrol for the evening to drive Americans about”.

  2. Waste of petrol by the Services, N.F.S., and Civil Defence authorities, and the improper use of cars by public officials.

  3. The large number of private cars on the road and the infrequency with which they are challenged ... “Large private cars with only one occupant” ... “Two old ladies and a dog out for a run in the country”. Talk is reported from one Region about a “high Government official in either the Transport or Fuel Ministry who motors from Petersfield to London every day”. Merchant seamen home on leave are said to complain bitterly of the “obvious indifference of the authorities to the use of cars for private reasons by well-known individuals”.

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

21. Food

This week there have been comments about:

The change of retailers (Five Regions): Surprise is expressed at the number of people applying to change their retailers; this is taken by some as “an expression of dissatisfaction with the under-the-counter sales practised by many shops”. It is suggested that the long waits involved at local Food Offices might have been avoided if “better publicity had been given to the fact that there was no need to make the change within the first few days”.

The 1943 tea crop (Three Regions): Lord Woolton's recent statement about this and other food topics has been very well received and has led in some cases to “the hope of an increase in the tea ration for next year”.

Fruit bottling (One Region): Appreciation is reported for wireless talks and press information about fruit bottling, but there has been some criticism of the rubber rings sold for Kilner Jars. These are said to be synthetic rubber, and “often do not effectively seal the jars so that many people have wasted time and energy only to find that the fruit goes bad”.

During the past four weeks general satisfaction with the food situation as a whole and “praise for Lord Woolton and the Merchant Navy” have continued. Satisfaction has, however, been qualified by complaints of the shortage of fresh fruit, tomatoes, fish, cake and biscuits; the preferential treatment of certain customers by shop-keepers, and of under-the-counter sales, chiefly for fruit and tomatoes; conditional sales (“tomatoes, only if you buy lettuce”); and the high price of green vegetables and lettuce. All these are referred to in the Monthly Summary of Constant Topics (Nos. 11. 17. 18. 20. 21. 24. 25. 27).

There have also been references during the past four weeks to:

Milk supplies : There have been reports of dissatisfaction about:

  1. The milk “turning sour very quickly” (Seven Regions): This is not always ascribed to the weather. Some connect it with the poor quality of milk and the dirty bottles in which it is supplied, the change of retailer, and with pasteurisation. It is said that even priority cases are unable to obtain good fresh milk, and people think that “the Ministry of Food should ensure that more care is taken to prevent milk turning sour so quickly”.

  2. The reduction of the ration (Five Regions) : Some would prefer more milk now and less cheese in the future. Older people particularly are said to feel the lack of milk (Two Regions).

  3. The rationalisation of deliveries (Five Regions) : Women dislike having to change, it is said, “when the old milkman is only 100 yards away”. There is a suspicion that large combines, like the Co-operative Society benefit from the rationalisation - or are exempt - while the small trader suffers.

  4. The shortage of dried milk (Three Regions) is particularly regretted.

  5. Irregular deliveries (Three Regions), and especially the milkless day (South Western and Midland Regions). These involve difficulties in hot weather for people without refrigerators. One Regional report refers to people having milk delivered only two or three times a week.

National Bread (Six Regions): There have been continued complaints of the poor keeping quality of bread. The need to stock bread before the August bank holiday week-end is said to have led to many such complaints. In some cases it is said to go mouldy after one day. “Bakers explain this as being due to flour being mixed with wet barley.” Considerable waste of bread is said to result (Three Regions).

The fats ration (Five Regions) The need for an increase in the ration of fats is said to be particularly felt by miners, by those who have to take packed lunches, and those who, living in the country where there are no cake shops, would fain do their own baking.

Allotment growers' difficulties (Five Regions): There have been many complaints of the disadvantage of householders who, “having ‘dug for Victory’, are refused fruit in short supply, because they buy no vegetables from their retailer”. There is said to be a feeling that “it is high time something was done about this”.

Children's priorities (Four Regions): “During the last few weeks a strong feeling has grown up that over fives require special treatment”, according to the report from the North Midland Region, which is confirmed from reports from three others. It is thought that oranges and other priorities should be available to the over fives as younger children have orange juice and other concessions. (It is suggested that oranges should be issued through schools, “so that the surplus should go to older children and not to selfish adults”.) Some even think that the age limit for the issue of cod liver oil, fruit juices, etc, should be ten years. Parents of adolescents, too, “feel that more fruits and proteins should be available for the 8 - 16 year olds, for whom no special provision is made”.

Feeding school-children in the holidays is said to be a problem (Three Regions): Apart from the difficulty in giving them enough milk, some parents say that “children between 13 - 16 cannot be fed on the rations now provided”. Some people ask where all the school milk not being used by children during the holidays is going.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 17 twelve provincial P.Cs. 18 passim)

22. Shopping difficulties

During the past four weeks the chief sufferers are said to have been:

  1. Workers , particularly women, many of whom find it “impossible to obtain non-rationed food stuffs”. They “complain they are going without food extras as these are taken by people who are able to shop during the day” and stand in queues. Priority permits for workers and “more things on points” are solutions suggested.

  2. Residents in holiday resorts , who complain that visitors and day-trippers buy up all the non-rationed food in short supply.

  3. Country people , who have no British Restaurants and “a poor selection of points goods” in the village shop, and who can afford neither the time nor money for bus journeys into shopping centres. If they do go into the nearest town and stand in queues they are liable to miss the bus home.

The chief complaints - in addition to those referred to under Food and in the Monthly Summary of Constant Topics (Nos. 6. 11. 18. 27) are:

  1. The hours of opening , particularly the lunch-hour closing of shops. One suggestion is that shops should close from 3.0 to 5.0 p.m. instead. There is some feeling that “traders who are mostly working easy hours, are not giving workers good service”.

  2. The refusal of some shops to sell goods till a certain time . Thus, it is said to be “impossible for all workers to buy shoes as most shops now work on a quota system and are closed by 10.30 a.m.”.

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

23. Agriculture

A shortage of harvest labour, particularly skilled labour, is reported from Wales, Hertfordshire and Kent this week. While praise for “the enthusiasm and willing spirit of harvest volunteers” is reported from three Regions, farmers are said to find the help of prisoners of war and land girls more useful. Particularly where modern machinery is used, skilled labour is said to be essential; moreover townsfolk are not sufficiently “hardened” for a hard day's farm work, they “rush at it like mad, but tire within two or three hours”.

In Kent and some parts of the Southern Region there is said to have been little demand for unskilled harvest volunteers, and considerable disappointment on the part of those who found their services unwanted.

Reports from the Eastern Region suggest that there is some dissatisfaction with the piece rates paid to volunteers. There are complaints that “they cannot work fast enough to earn sufficient to cover the cost of their board and lodging”.

During the past four weeks there have been comments on:

Italian prisoners of war (Eight Regions, several more than once): Approval of their good behaviour, and praise for their work are reported from three Regions, but there is said to be “an increasing volume” of adverse comment from the rural districts of the North Midland Region. Though farmers there are “reasonably satisfied”, many of the prisoners are said to be thoroughly lazy, and to stop work at the slightest excuse. Some are said to have “become more intractable since the bombing of Rome”; though prisoners in the South Western Region are believed to be delighted at Mussolini's downfall.

Complaints that they are “treated too well”, are reported from six Regions along the following lines:

  1. They have better transport facilities to work than land girls and other farm workers (Five Regions) - either buses, while our workers have lorries, or lorries while our workers have no transport at all.

  2. They have preferential treatment in the matter of supplies (Three Regions), such as more liberal rations, rubber boots and other goods which are in short supply or not available to the ordinary civilian.

  3. “The large measure of freedom which they appear to enjoy” (Two Regions) and “the laxity of their guards”, causes uneasiness among local inhabitants, particularly women and girls. In the North Midland Region there are reports of them “roaming the countryside on bicycles”.

Post-war prospects (Six Regions, some more than once): During the past four weeks references to farmers' views on their post-war prospects have included: (i) Fear that “they will be left in the lurch” with expensive equipment on their hands, and that the present “good prices” will fall. On the other hand, some farmers are hoping “to do good business in post-war Europe, helping to re-stock European farms”. (ii) An increasing demand, to which even members of the general public subscribe, for concrete post-war plans.

Shortage of domestic help for farmers' wives (Three Regions).

Shortage of cartridges to keep down pests and vermin (One Region).

Complaints of land damaged by military exercises (One Region).

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

24. Civil Defence and firewatching

There has been little comment on the new Fireguard Orders; some satisfaction (Five Regions) is reported for the following reasons: (a) dodgers “will be roped in at last”; (b) among women that they have been relieved of watching at their business premises; and (c) among men, that their over-all duties have not been increased.

Other reactions, none of which is reported from more than two Regions, are: (a) a feeling that “there could be some relaxation of the regulations in areas that can by no means be regarded as targets”; (b) failure to understand the Orders; (c) criticism that M.Ps. are adding freedom from firewatching to their other privileges; (d) concern at the increasing of the age limit to 63; (e) “a wait-and-see attitude, because of the watering down and ‘exception fixing’ which have followed previous Firewatching Orders”.

Black out (Five Regions): During the past four weeks there has been some discussion on the possibility of a relaxation of “the dreaded blackout” this winter. It is thought that a partial lifting would benefit morale.

Anti-personnel bombs : A report from the Southern Region says that “in Portsmouth the film about ‘butterfly bombs’ was rushed through so fast that the audience could not read the descriptions”.

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

25. Mining and miners

There are fewer references this week to the proposal to direct youths into mines. Feeling, however, is still “dead against” it. Suggested ways to increase coal production include (a) the release of men from the Forces. (b) “a more attractive” drive to get young men into the pits; the present one is thought not to “sell” the work; nor does it sufficiently emphasise the part that coal plays in the National war effort. “If they were allowed to wear badges or uniforms, it might make them proud of their occupation.” (c) The mines, according to some miners, “should be taken over by the Government” and “the job made more favourable, with better wages and conditions”; then the boys might consider the industry as a career.

Concern is expressed in two Regions at the steady falling-off of coal production and it is asked if anything is being done to “ginger up” those mining areas where the output bonus is not being earned. It is rumoured in the Midland Region that “coal owners are not working the more valuable seams but have opened such seams at the Government's expense and then closed them again until after the war”.

(1. 2. 3. 9. 10. 11. 18 three P.D.Rs.)

26. Fuel

During the past four weeks some anxiety has been reported that “extremely few people will have managed to build up stocks before the winter” (Four Regions) - some, because of “the impossibility of stocking coal when supplies are not available”; others, in country districts, because they are dependent on coal and paraffin throughout the summer and use all they can obtain; yet others, because of storage difficulties. The quality and high price of coal are also criticised (Three Regions).

Paraffin : There have been two references during the last four weeks to “the complicated form”; it is said to bewilder “many humbler folk who find it impossible to estimate how much they want for their various needs”. One report also suggests that in rural areas the paraffin allowance is “totally inadequate even for lighting, much less for cooking”.

Coke : A shortage of coke is reported from two Regions, in one of which some coal merchants are said not to deliver it. It is also suggested that the price of coke is “too high in view of the valuable bi-products which the coke producers extract from it”.

(3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 13)

27. Salvage

There have been fewer references this month to salvage. The unsatisfactory collection or non-collection of dumps is still complained of, and is thought to be one of the reasons for the falling off of enthusiasm. Some housewives are dissatisfied with the collection of kitchen waste, and many are said to burn small bones in the summer “because they attract flies, and it takes time and trouble to boil them clean”.

The removal of railings, the slowness in repairing damage “caused by their removal” and the “disfigurement of property” still cause criticism.

Book drives : Some people are said to take great pleasure in the present drives for books; “they appeal to the public more than any salvage drive since the war”. On the other hand, others complain of being pestered by children who call at all hours - “sometimes seven times in one day” - to collect unwanted books.

(1. 2. 3. 5. 5SE. 6. 8. 9. 10. 17 one provincial P.C.)

28. Housing

Satisfaction is reported that local authorities now have power to requisition unoccupied houses to ease the shortage, but some concern is felt about houses belonging to men serving overseas. People also think that premises held by army and local authorities should be given up if necessary.

During the past four weeks the housing shortage has become “more and more acute”, particularly for people with children. Young married people say “the position is impossible in rooms when a baby arrives”..... “Expectant mothers are given notice to quit lodgings”. Difficulties are aggravated by the constant stream of ex-servicemen seeking new homes, and it is felt very strongly that the question of the provision of houses should be tackled without delay.

(2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 8. 9. 10. 11. 18 four P.D.Rs.)

29. Health

Tiredness and “war strain” have been widely commented on during the last four weeks (Ten Regions). Many people, women particularly, are “stale” and run down, and complain of being “everlastingly tired”.

The groups who complain most are as follows:

  1. War workers particularly women workers, are “now feeling the strain of long hours” (Six Regions). Employers “increasingly find workers have doctors' certificates saying they must not work night shift”.

  2. The middle-aged are suffering from “extreme tiredness” (Four Regions). They are “ageing rapidly”; there is thought to be “an unusually large number of deaths” among them.

  3. Housewives (Three Regions), particularly those with young children, are feeling the strain of queueing, shopping difficulties, and shortage of domestic help.

“In spite of official statements to the contrary”, it is believed that health has also been impaired by war-time food (Eight Regions). “We are not as healthy as we were before the war or even a year ago.” In the Eastern Region, however, the healthy appearance of children is commented on.

Miscellaneous complaints are: greater liability to catch cold or flu, believed to be due to shortage of fish and fruit; rheumatic and gastric troubles; and indigestion and skin troubles, also attributed to the war-time diet, particularly National Bread.

The Blood Transfusion Campaign : There have been isolated criticisms of difficulties encountered by blood donors: (a) The arrangements by which they sometimes lose half a day's work and in some cases pay; (b) That they are not allowed to rest long enough.

The belief is reported that sugar is removed from the blood, and a consequent craving for sweet things created.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 17 one Special, four provincial P.Cs.)

30. V.D. Campaign

Comment on the V.D. campaign has declined during the last month. Approval continues to be expressed, however, for “the Government's most courageous experiment in publicity”. There is some doubt, however, as to whether propaganda about V.D. gets home to the right people; and some fear that it worries the ignorant unnecessarily.

A demand continues for more knowledge on the subject: “Real education and not just announcements are needed”. It is also thought that greater attention should be given to the prevention of these diseases.

31. The Birth rate

Only slight comment on the birth rate has been reported during the last two weeks. “Posterity leaves some people cold”; but women generally “regard this as their best contribution to the national effort”.

The following difficulties, however, are stressed:

  1. Shortage of housing accommodation (Two Regions). “So long as there is not suitable accommodation even for a small family, what is the use of encouraging larger ones?”

  2. Lack of domestic help (Two Regions). Women with young families think that “another baby is not a feasible proposition”.

  3. Shortage of hospital accommodation and lack of nurses (Two Regions). “While the Government discusses the birth rate, expectant mothers are battling against difficult conditions.”

(3. 5. 5SE. 10. 24)

32. Pensions and allowances

During the last three weeks comment on the new pensions plan has declined considerably: the proposals put forward are thought to have removed much of the previous discontent. It is generally felt, however, that the proposals still do not go far enough, and that “the Government is cheese-paring as usual” (Nine Regions).

Criticisms still made are on the following lines:

  1. The allowances to Servicemen's wives are too low “If a woman is unable to work she cannot feed and clothe her children on the Government allowance”. (Four Regions)

  2. The 100% disability pension is insufficient (Three Regions): “Men who have fought for their country deserve a pension they can live on.”

  3. “Fit for Service, Fit for Pension.” (Two Regions)

  4. Pensions for Servicemen's widows especially childless ones, are insufficient (Two Regions)

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

33. Old age pensions

Complaints of the inadequacy of old age pensions have continued during the last four weeks: “It is felt that they should receive attention as soon as possible.” Basic increases without any means test are advocated.

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

34. National Savings

During the last four weeks there have been few references to National Savings. The Campaign is said to be wasted on some people as they believe “the more money we lend to the Government the longer the war will last” (Three Regions).

(1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 10)

35. Income Tax

During the past two weeks, reports from three Regions refer to the difficulties of workers caused through the time lag between earning and taxation, especially where the worker is earning a variable wage. The demand for a “pay as you go” scheme continues.

Post-war Credit (Two Regions): Many people are still said to be doubtful about the value of post-war credits and dismiss them as “not worth the paper they are printed on”.

(1. 2. 4. 9)


(Covering the period from 20th July to 17th August 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.

1. Transport difficulties

29 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 10.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 5SE. 6. 8. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 10. 11.

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

29 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 3. 5. 5SE. 9.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 9. 10. 11.

3. Inadequacy of clothing coupons for :-

(a) Growing children

29 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 6. 7. 9. 11.
5 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 9. 11.
12 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 9. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 5SE. 10.

(b) Renewing household goods

29 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5SE. 6. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 3. 9. 10.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 9. 10.

(c) Working clothes for workers

29 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 9.
5 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 9.
12 August Regions 1. 3. 11.
19 August Regions 3. 4. 6. 9.

4. Difficulty in getting shoes repaired

29 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 10. 13.
5 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 9. 10. 13.
12 August Regions 1. 5. 5SE. 8. 9. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 9.

5. Inadequacy of Service pay and dependants' allowances and Service pensions

29 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 5SE. 7. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 8. 9.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 9.
19 August Regions 1. 3. 5. 9. 10.

6. Shopping difficulties and food queues

29 July Regions 1. 2. 5. 5SE. 9. 10. 11.
5 August Regions 1. 2. 5. 9.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. 10.

7. The poor quality or cut of utility clothes

29 July Regions 1. 2. 5. 6. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 8. 10. 11.
12 August Regions 3. 5. 6. 7. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 6.

8. Enforced idleness and wasted time and complaints of bad organisation in Industry

29 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 7. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 3. 6. 8. 9.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 5SE. 9.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 5SE. 9.

9. Inadequacy of Old Age Pensions

29 July Regions 1. 3. 5. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 3. 5. 9.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 9. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 3. 5. 9. 10.

10. Waste of Petrol

29 July Regions 1. 4. 7. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 8. 9.
12 August Regions 1. 3. 5SE. 7. 8. 9.
19 August Regions 2. 3. 6.

11. Preferential treatment by shopkeepers, and under-the-counter sales (chiefly for fruit and tomatoes)

29 July Regions 3. 4. 9.
5 August Regions 1. 3. 5. 9. 10.
12 August Regions 1. 4. 5. 8. 9. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 4. 9.

12. Shortage of domestic help

29 July Regions 2. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 4. 5. 5SE. 9.
12 August Regions 1. 7. 8. 9.
19 August Regions 1. 5. 9. 10.

13. Tiredness and ill-health due to :-

(a) Wartime diet

29 July Regions 1. 4. 5. 6.
5 August Regions 2. 4. 6. 10.
12 August Regions 5. 8.
19 August Regions 3. 5.

(b) Long hours of work

29 July Regions 2. 3. 5.
5 August Regions 2. 3.
12 August Regions 1. 3. 5. 11.
19 August Regions 1. 5.

(c) Extra duties

26 July Regions 1. 4. 5. 6. 9.
5 August Regions 3. 5.
12 August Regions 5SE. 9.
19 August Regions Nil.

14. Transfer of labour

29 July Regions 1. 3. 5SE. 9.
5 August Regions 4. 5. 5SE. 8. 10.
12 August Regions 7. 9.
19 August Regions 2.

15. Non-collection of salvage

29 July Regions 1. 3. 7. 9.
5 August Regions 1. 3. 8.
12 August Regions 3. 9. 10.
19 August Regions 5SE. 9.

16. Bad distribution and poor quality of coal

29 July Regions 2. 3. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 5. 6. 10.
12 August Regions 4. 10.
19 August Regions 4. 9.

17. High price of green vegetables and lettuce

29 July Regions 5SE. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 5.
12 August Regions 3. 5. 9.
19 August Regions 1. 5. 6. 9.

18. Conditional sales to the public (chiefly for fruit and tomatoes)

29 July Regions 3. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 2. 5. 9. 10.
12 August Regions 10.
19 August Regions 10.


19. Shortage and poor quality of clothing and footwear for :-

(a) Children

29 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 9. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 9. 10.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 5SE. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 11.

(b) Adults

29 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 3. 5SE. 8.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 6. 7. 9.
19 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 11.

20. Shortage or unequal distribution of fresh fruit

29 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11.
5 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. 10. 11.
12 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 6. 8. 9. 11.
19 August Regions 1. 3. 6. 8. 10.

21. Shortage or unequal distribution of tomatoes

29 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5SE. 6. 7. 9. 11.
5 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9.
12 August Regions 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 9. 11.
19 August Regions 3. 4. 5. 9.

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

29 July Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 5SE. 6. 9. 10. 11.
5 August Regions 4. 5. 8. 10.
12 August Regions 2. 4. 5. 10. 11.
19 August Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 5SE. 10.

23. Shortage and high price of crockery, glass and kitchenware

29 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 5SE. 6.
5 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 5SE. 11.
12 August Regions 1. 3. 5SE. 6. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 6.

24. Shortage of fish

29 July Regions 2. 6. 10.
5 August Regions 1. 2. 5. 8. 10.
12 August Regions 2. 4. 10.
19 August Regions 2. 4. 5SE. 8. 10. 11.

25. Shortage of biscuits

29 July Regions 2. 4. 5SE. 7.
5 August Regions 2. 4. 8.
12 August Regions 3. 4. 7. 11.
19 August Regions 4. 5. 6.

26. Shortage of razor blades

29 July Regions 3. 4.
5 August Regions 1. 4. 5SE. 8.
12 August Regions 1. 6. 7. 10.
19 August Regions 1. 2.

27. Shortage of, and queues for cakes

29 July Regions 2. 3. 9.
5 August Regions 1. 4.
12 August Regions 2. 3. 4. 10. 13.
19 August Regions 4.

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) Disparity in pay (ii) Criticism of strikes (iii) Enthusiasm for local Wings for Victory weeks



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

D 37138-1 10,000 6/43 R P W

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