A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46

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Wt 39944. 10M 11/43. W.R.R. & S. Ltd. GP 38. (14).

No. 190. 25th May, 1944

(Covering period from 16th to 23rd May, 1944)


1. General

The slight rise in spirits reported this week is attributed to our advance in Italy. Second front tension and impatience continue as strong as ever. War weariness is widely reported (Ten Regions) and is said to be increasing. Many people are restless and unsettled, finding it “difficult to concentrate on day-to-day humdrum affairs”.

There is a great wish for holidays, and uncertainty as to what to do in view of the transport situation.

Shocked indignation is widely reported at the shooting of the Allied prisoners of war in Germany.

Home Front : Main preoccupations are housing - present, postwar, and prefabricated - and the difficulty of replacing depleted stocks of clothing and household linen.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13)

2. Italy

There is widespread satisfaction with the success of our attack in Italy, but people are cautious of being jubilant. The attack is variously thought of as the forerunner of the second front, or as its actual start.

The taking of Cassino has given particular satisfaction. The smashing of the Gustav Line and the breach in the Hitler Line are described as “a pleasant surprise”.

There is no tendency to minimise the difficulties which we have to face, and progress is not expected to be spectacular. Fears continue that casualties may be heavy.

Admiration is expressed for the troops and leaders, especial praise being reported for the French and Polish troops, and for General Alexander.

A minority consider the new offensive is a mistake, and feel it would have been better to consolidate the position in Italy, using it as a jumping-off place for other bridgeheads instead of attacking where the Germans were well prepared (Two Regions).

Political : There is some uncertainty about Italy's status as a co-belligerent. People do not approve of the slackening of restrictions on Italian prisoners of war; some think they are still on Germany's side, and would make a good fifth column in the event of counter-invasion.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13 18 passim)

3. The second front

The second front remains the focus of everyone's thoughts, which are mainly on familiar lines. Impatience for it to start is as strong and widespread as ever.... “It behaves like a mirage, seems almost here, yet keeps on receding as time goes on”. The protracted tension is getting on people's nerves and also, some fear on those of the troops. Press and radio discussion are blamed as exaggerated and disturbing.

People feel valuable time is slipping by ... “Nearly five months of 1944 gone, and still no second front”. Some believe that an unforeseen hitch must have occurred (e.g., the weather, miners' strikes, the German raids on Plymouth and Bristol), and that the time-table has had to be rearranged.

Events are now thought to be moving to a climax, however, what with the cancellation of train services and of London conferences, and the sending out of last-minute instructions to the underground movements on the Continent. Nevertheless, there is said to be a further increase in the minority who say the second front will never materialise, and that talk about it is all bluff.

Though rumours are plentiful, little careless talk is heard, and pleasure is experienced at the secret being so well kept.

The cancellation of trains has been the cause of much talk and speculation. Though the reasons are appreciated, the continued disappearance of trains is not popular; some workers grumble that the Government expects them to make maximum efforts, but gives them no return in the way of travel facilities.

Many people are now more uncertain than ever whether to book holiday accommodation; they ask that definite instructions regarding travel should be given.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 18 eighty-eight P.D.Rs.)

4. German shooting of air force officers

Horror and indignation are widespread (Eleven Regions). Other much less widely reported feelings are:

  1. Hope that the Government will do something (Seven Regions): (i) Find out the names of the perpetrators and thus ensure their punishment (Three Regions); (ii) Carry out reprisals on German prisoners (Two Regions). On the other hand, “thinking people” fear this would have repercussions on other Allied prisoners; (iii) Take steps to prevent a repetition (One Region).

  2. Uncertainty about the rights and wrongs under international law (Five Regions). Some people suggest that the Germans may have some legal justification (Two Regions) - for instance “if the R.A.F. officers resisted capture” or caused “the equivalent of a riot”. A few reserve judgment.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 18)

5. Allied air offensive

High praise for the magnitude and range of the Allied air offensive continues; particularly the use of 5,000 planes in one day. Comment is on familiar lines. While some take the bombing for granted, most people are confident of its value as a preliminary to invasion ... “the heavier the bombing now, the lower the invasion casualties”.

There is again surprise that the Germans and people in occupied countries can stand up to it, and sympathy for the latter. Some doubt of the effectiveness of the bombing persists, when the same targets are often attacked.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 18 fifty-one P.D.Rs.)

5a. Raids on this country

Recent enemy air activity on the South Coast has been taken calmly by the majority and is thought to have been chiefly reconnaissance work or nuisance raiding. The effectiveness of our fighter and A.A. defences is praised. This week there is little comment on the likelihood of reprisal raids when invasion begins.

(5. 6. 7. 9. 12. 18 nine P.D.Rs.)

6. Empire Conference

Satisfaction continues at the friendly atmosphere and the “hopeful augury for the future”.

While the joint declaration is generally welcomed, a small minority say it contains nothing new. People are now waiting for a fuller statement, - a few expecting changes in the structure of the Empire.

The speeches made by the Empire Premiers are praised as capable and forthright.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12. 13. 18 forty-eight P.D.Rs.)

7. Far East

Interest - though thought to have increased lately - continues small, except among relatives of men fighting there. More definite news and less “secrecy”, it is thought, would help.

Burma (Ten Regions). There is relief that the situation appears to be more satisfactory. We are felt to be getting the upper hand, though there is some appreciation of the difficulties still ahead. A few are disappointed that more progress has not been made.

China (Nine Regions). There is increased concern about China's position, and sympathy for her. Some feel she is not getting all the help the Allies ought to give.

Pacific (Six Regions). Some satisfaction with successes continues.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 18 thirty-two P.D.Rs.)

8. Russia

Very little comment; pleasure at the taking of Sebastopol and the clearing of the Crimea continues.

The belief that the lull is the prelude to a concerted attack when the second front begins, continues widespread. A few think it due to Russia's need to reorganise.

Political : Fears of Russia in the postwar world continue (Four Regions).

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 18 forty-nine P.D.Rs.)

9. The Balkans

During the past two weeks admiration for the Yugoslav partisans particularly for Marshal Tito, and the desire to give them greater aid, have continued. There is some appreciation for our apparent closer co-operation with them.

There continues to be some bewilderment and uneasiness about the political situation in both Yugoslavia and Greece.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. 12)

10. Neutrals

Spain : Comment is again on the same lines; satisfaction with the agreement being qualified by distrust of Spain and the feeling that we are still not being firm enough.

Portugal is also distrusted (Two Regions).

(1. 3. 5. 12. 18 ten P.D.Rs.)

11. Broadcasting and presentation of news

While some satisfaction continues, there is again criticism of too much detail, padding and repetition (Five Regions), and of scantiness of news (Three Regions). The handling of the news from Italy was liked, though it was thought a pity the first news of the capture of Cassino came from German sources. Eyewitness accounts from battle areas are looked forward to.

Programmes : Criticism of General Forces Programme continues on familiar lines (Six Regions); also of the poor quality of programmes in general (Five Regions).

Praise for : Godfrey Talbot's commentary, May 19; Postscripts; ITMA ... “still the most popular B.B.C. entertainment”; plays (Three Regions each).

Criticism of too many gramophone records (Two Regions).

The “Brains Trust” is both praised and adversely criticised (Four Regions).

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13)



12. Housing

During the past four weeks , complaints of the housing situation have increased in volume. Comment, in some cases extremely bitter, has again been reported from all Regions except Northern Ireland, and every week from Scotland, the North, North Eastern, North Midland, Midland, London and South Eastern Regions.

Complaints have been chiefly of:

(a) Shortage (Eleven Regions). Stories are reported from the Northern Region of 1,000 applications for a house advertised to let, and of a property owner who states that as soon as it is known that a tenant of hers is seriously ill, “let alone dead”, she is pestered all day long with telephone calls from would-be renters or purchasers.

The difficulty of finding accommodation causes particular resentment where “rows of houses are allowed to stand empty or packed with furniture while their owners have fled to the country”, or where there are “still large houses with only one or two inhabitants”. In areas where heavy raids are not generally expected, it is thought that houses at present reserved for bombed out people might well be released now.

Particular complaints come from (i) different families who have to share the same home (specially women with young children who are obliged to live with their in-laws), a condition which is said to encourage unhappy women to frequent the pubs and streets; (ii) young couples wanting to get married; (iii) people with children, against whom discrimination is alleged; (iv) workers for whom lack of accommodation is necessitating long daily journeys.

Overcrowding (Four Regions) is said to be a serious problem, affecting health; one report speaks of young colliers returning home after working in the mine all night and having to wait to go to bed till their brothers have got up, since they occupy the same bed.

(b) High rents and prices (Nine Regions). Much comment and many instances, particularly of the high prices at which houses are sold and re-sold. The sale and re-sale of house property purely for speculative profit is bitterly condemned, and people ask if nothing can be done to control the price of houses for sale (Five Regions). One suggestion for preventing the racketeering which is alleged, is that sales should be prohibited except to an intending occupant, with a stipulated period of occupancy before re-sale is allowed. The Rent Restriction Acts are said to enable some people to exploit the housing shortage by retaining possession of unfurnished houses at pre-war rent; they then partially furnish them and let them as furnished houses at exorbitant rents.

The need for some control of the rent of furnished rooms and complaint of the high charges in hotels are reported (One Region each).

(c) Repair difficulties (Four Regions). It is urged that more labour and materials should be available for making habitable war-damaged and partially completed property. One suggestion is that “surplus” munition workers be drafted into the building trade.

(d) The difficulty of finding billets (Three Regions), particularly for transferred workers and evacuees from London - though the latter present a less pressing problem at the moment.

See also Constant Topics, No. 2.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12)

13. Postwar

During the past four weeks comment has continued at the reduced level reported last month (April 27). However, people still seem as unhopeful as ever about the postwar world and the Government's intentions regarding it; anxiety, cynicism and scepticism being widely reported. The Beveridge Plan is thought of, by many, as “among the dreams that won't come true”. The win-the-war-first attitude which had been gaining ground during the previous two months has been less widely reported (Six Regions this month, eight last).

There has been increasing comment about:

  1. The cost of “all these new schemes” (Eight Regions), which is thought likely to be prohibitive. “Where is the Government to get the money for Education, Health and the rest?” Upper and middle-class people fear that “one quarter of England is going to pay for the other three quarters to live”, while businessmen point to “our impoverished condition now and the keener trade competition to be faced after the war”.

  2. Bureaucracy (Six Regions), which for many is synonymous with social security measures and Government control, and is said to be feared especially by businessmen, shopkeepers and doctors.

  3. The threat to British initiative and independence likely to result from introduction of large-scale social services (Three Regions). A minority fear that, if all the proposals come to pass, “the individual will lose all his identity and become a state responsibility from birth to death”.

Reported comment on specific postwar topics has declined, and has been chiefly about:

(a) Housing (Eight Regions). Though complaints of present conditions continue widespread (see Section 12), postwar permanent housing has been the subject of less reported comment during the past four weeks. Though not explicitly stated, this decline may be due to the appearance of the prefabricated house, which has aroused widespread interest as a temporary expedient. Anxiety and some lack of faith as regards the future continue, nevertheless, and people hope that the Government will be in a position to start its building programme immediately the European war is over - both to alleviate the “desperate” shortage and also to maintain employment.

Aspects of postwar housing which have been particularly discussed are:

  1. Prefabrication (All Regions). Comment this week is almost exactly the same as that fully summarised in our last two reports. The only marked difference is an increase in criticism of the lowness of the ceilings (Five Regions). Some fear is also expressed that the cost of running the water-heater and refrigerator will be prohibitive, particularly in places where electricity is dear.

  2. Housing and land development (Three Regions). There has been a marked decline in talk about the Scott and Uthwatt Reports and about local authorities being held up in their plans through not knowing the Government's land policy; but the nature of the comment remains unchanged.

  3. Rural housing (Three Regions). Rural dwellers continue to be very keen on improved water and sewerage services.... “I shouldn't want all those modern gadgets, but I should like a water tap in the house”.

(b) Employment (Eight Regions). Great fear of unemployment continues and many working-class people fear another slump.... “No blood or toil, but lots of tears”. Some people question whether the Government has any plans for postwar employment; an interim suggestion (from workers) is that the Essential Work Order should be continued after the war.

Emigration is the subject of increasing interest, and more information about its possibilities is wanted.

Postwar employment for demobilised servicemen - and women, too - is a matter of special concern: relatives of servicemen fear they may get a raw deal. It is asked how reinstatement will affect those who joined up as boys of 18 and will return as men. Reference is also made to the quandary of a manufacturer who has twice had to replace his male staff through the call-up and is legally obliged to find employment for both lots of men when they are demobilised; but in the meantime he has trained women, and finds them more skilful than the original men. Some people think that “those who have evaded service in the Forces, particularly by getting jobs in munition factories and Government departments, should be compelled to serve in the armies of occupation, thus releasing serving men and enabling them to get the best jobs”.

(c) Agriculture (Six Regions). Despite some appreciation for the recent E.P.T. concessions, anxiety continues among farmers and in agricultural areas about postwar farming; even factory workers are said to be anxious about it. Great dissatisfaction is reported at the lack of a postwar policy for farming and some people believe that the Government has no lasting interest in agriculture. “When the subsidies go, the farmer will be like a lame man without crutches.” Cheap loans are said to be regarded with disfavour; farmers “don't want loans tied round their necks again, but want to pay their way”. Agricultural labourers wonder if their present wage level will be maintained.

(d) The future of industry and trade has been the subject of very little reported comment this month (Four Regions, eight last month), though people in the Northern Region continue pessimistic over the industrial prospects of the north east.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12)

13a. Education Bill

The passing of the Bill has caused pleasure, especially to those who take it as indicating that “the Government really means to tackle social problems and improve conditions”.

Comment is scanty, but general approval for the Bill continues, tempered only by doubts about:

  1. The supply of teachers (Seven Regions). How will enough good teachers be produced? Two suggestions are: (i) Start the part-time training of postwar teachers now; some people now in commerce and industry would like to undergo part-time training, it is said. (ii) Raise teachers' pay and improve their conditions of work, and there will be no dearth of candidates.

  2. Raising the school-leaving age (Five Regions). Lower income groups still wonder how the additional financial burden will be met, some hoping for an allowance if their children are to remain at school a year (or more) longer than at present. Some are doubtful of a child's chances of getting a job if he has to stay at school till he is 16. “Children who show no aptitude to go beyond the three Rs should be taught a trade.”

  3. The cost (Three Regions). Some fear a consequent rise in rates.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12)

13b. White paper on a National Health Service

During the past four weeks comment has been limited; general approval for the scheme has continued (Seven Regions) and there has been some regret at the attitude of the B.H.A. (Four Regions). There has continued to be minority opposition, however (Five Regions), particularly from doctors.

Among the general public there is some fear that, if doctors are allowed to retain private patients, the new scheme will eventually prove to be merely an extension of the panel system.

Voluntary hospitals : Their position continues to be discussed (Five Regions) and their independence to be advocated by some people (Three Regions).

Local Authorities (Two Regions). There is some discussion of their possible loss of responsibility.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12)

14. Call-up and manpower

During the past four weeks reported comment has greatly increased:

(a) Delays in call-up and evasion of call-up (Seven Regions). There is criticism of young men and women “still in civilian life” through over-staffing of government factories, wire-pulling and anomalies (Five Regions), while “older family men” are put in the Services.

There are complaints of young wives without children doing no work, especially wives of servicemen, who “do nothing but follow their husbands round the country” (Three Regions). Other young women are said to gain exemption by making false statements as to their obligations (Two Regions), while older women are called up.

(b) Transfer and direction of labour (Seven Regions). Some criticism and discontent are reported because it is thought manpower is not always used to the best advantage, and the changes are believed often to be unnecessary. It is felt (Two Regions) that in some cases the Ministry of Labour officials are more interested in the number of people they post to different work than the proper distribution of labour. Workers are transferred and then, it is alleged, find nothing to do in their new jobs; others are directed far away from home when, they think, there is ample important work locally; for instance, in Coventry it is said “most local hostels are being enlarged” yet “the Ministry of Labour usually tries to get local people to work in other parts of the country”. Some married people complain that “it does not help morale” to be moved away from districts where they have homes. There are some complaints of loss of money through being transferred, either because of lower wages or because of increased fares incurred.

(c) Ministry of Labour officials (Two Regions). There have been complaints every week from London Region of the incivility and lack of imagination of interviewing officials. Older women again complain of being interviewed by younger ones (Northern Region).

(d) Call-up of older women (Two Regions). Some feel this is a waste of time because the women are so often medically unfit; others feel women with money wangle doctors' certificates, thus having an advantage over the poorer ones.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12)

15. Wages

During the past four weeks there has been a considerable increase in comment about wages. Main topics have been:

(a) Disparities in pay (Ten Regions), particularly:

Servicemen v. (i) Civilians (Six Regions)
(ii) Allied troops generally (Four Regions)
(iii) Dominion troops (Four Regions)
(iv) U.S. troops (Four Regions)

Skilled v. unskilled workers (Five Regions)

Clerical and professional people v. industrial workers (Two Regions)

Colliers v. munition workers (Two Regions)

Engineers v. munition workers (One Region)

Cotton workers v. munition workers (One Region).

(b) High wages (Eight Regions). Especially criticised are the wages earned by industrial workers generally (Three Regions), and munition workers in particular (Two Regions); also, unskilled workers (Three Regions) - “the dullest boy who attended the local school is now a man earning £10 a week”; and young people (Two Regions).

(c) Low wages (Seven Regions). Many workers, especially those whose basic pay is not high, are said to have suffered through recent cuts in hours of work (Four Regions). Engineers think their wages too low (Three Regions), and clerks, shipyard workers, railway workers and local authority labourers are also thought to be underpaid (One Region each).

(d) Wages and cost of living (Six Regions). Concern continues, especially among lower paid workers, at the prospect of an increased cost of living; some railway workers think their recent wage increase is already swallowed up by rising prices.

(e) Payment of wages . It is reported from Scotland that complaints from workmen of “short” payments in pay packets are fairly common. “Most works make up wages in opaque envelopes or wrapped in ‘pay lines’. This method leads to the possibility of cheating. Mistakes by the pay clerk are either denied, and the worker goes short, or are admitted, in which case workers sometimes take advantage and claim shortages where none exists.” Some workers believe the solution lies in cellophane wage packets; the men can then point out a shortage while the packet is still sealed - a method said to have been common in England for years.

See also Constant Topics Nos. 9, 11.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 18 two P.D.Rs.)

16. P.A.Y.E.

Comment is on familiar lines: the scheme is approved and thought to be working fairly smoothly, but there are still some complaints that it is not sufficiently well understood, and of employers' difficulties.

The belief that the scheme is causing absenteeism (Five Regions) and refusal to work overtime (Two Regions) continues. In the North Western Region, however, it is thought “not to have deterred workers”.

In the Midland and Northern Regions there are complaints that Land Girls and farm workers who receive bed and lodging as part of their wages are not taxed thereon, whereas those who do not are taxed on their full wages.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 9. 10. 11. 12. 18 five P.D.Rs.)

17. Industry

During the past four weeks comment has continued on similar lines to last month's.

Production : Reports continue of:

  1. Workers in factories and shipyards “with little or nothing to do” (Seven Regions).

  2. Reduced hours in munition and other factories, shipyards and engineering firms (Seven Regions), in particular the stopping of overtime and week-end Work.

  3. Overstaffing and wasted manpower in factories and shipyards (Six Regions) - shipyard workers on Wearside say 99% of the women employed in their industry could be dispensed with.

  4. Dismissal of workers (Six Regions), aircraft workers being specifically mentioned.

  5. Unemployment (Five Regions).

  6. Overstaffing in Government concerns, while private firms “have difficulty in struggling along” (Three Regions).

  7. Changing over to peace production , and engineering firms canvassing for private work for lack of Government contracts (One Region).

Workers' attitude : There are widespread reports (Eight Regions) of a belief among workers that production is no longer a matter of supreme urgency, or even that requirements have now been satisfied; this assumption is chiefly drawn from recent reductions in hours and enforced idleness, and has led to “damped enthusiasm” among workers. Apathy and slackness are also reported (Three Regions).

At the same time there are widespread reports of tiredness among workers (Seven Regions), felt by many to be due to long hours. For this reason, some welcome reduced hours and feel production will probably not suffer.

There is talk of increased absenteeism (Five Regions); variously put down to fatigue, taxation or the difficulty of getting alarm clocks.

See also Constant Topics Nos. 9, 11.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 18 ten P.D.Rs.)

18. Strikes

Defence Regulation 1AA (Six Regions): Comment has decreased, but continues on familiar lines. People generally, those in rural areas, and managements are said to favour the regulation, but workers, particularly miners and left-wing people, oppose it on the grounds that:

  1. The Government had enough powers already (Two Regions).

  2. It assumes the workers are always responsible for strikes , and fails to recognise that employers, too, are sometimes to blame (Two Regions).

  3. It creates a new privileged class - Trade Union officials (One Region).

  4. It savours of Fascism (One Region).

Bevin - Bevan controversy (Four Regions): Some interest is reported, but little comment.

People continue to deplore strikes (Three Regions), but comment is greatly reduced.

(1. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 18 ten P.D.Rs.)

19. Miners and mining

During the past four weeks there has been relief at the more settled state of the industry, but a number of people still think there is “something radically wrong”.

Strikes . Comment has decreased but condemnation continues to be widely reported (Nine Regions), especially among relatives of servicemen and those who blame the miners for recent fuel shortages. However, a considerable number continue to express appreciation of “the raw deal” the miners have had in the past and of their “real grievances” (Six Regions), at the same time feeling they should not strike now; some say their sympathy has been alienated by the strikes (Three Regions).

A number still, however, blame the Government for “allowing the position to become so bad” (Four Regions); others (Four Regions) think the owners “have come out much better than they deserve from the recent troubles”.

Nationalisation as the only solution to the problems of the industry is again advocated (Four Regions).

Bevin boys (Eight Regions): Comment has increased.

The general public are said to feel very sympathetic towards boys who want to join one of the Services and are called up for the mines (Six Regions), particularly those who have had pre-Service training. People disapprove of their being prosecuted, and some say “it is wrong to send boys to prison when miners get off scot-free”. A few still say it would be better to withdraw trained miners from the Forces, and put the boys there instead (Two Regions).

The boys themselves, and particularly those with pre-Service training, are said to dislike the ballot “as much as ever”, and from Glasgow comes the story that many of the boys had gone, leaving no address, when the papers were sent to them. However, in some cases (Two Regions) they are thought to be settling down - “it's not as bad as people make out”.

The miners' chief complaints are that the boys are getting the same wage rates as themselves, and will never become effective producers (Two Regions each). Other miners think that the scheme has been introduced “by the influence of coal owners, to produce cheap labour after the war”.

Some miners, however, think “the lads are a good lot on the whole”, others consider them “undisciplined”.

Accommodation for the boys . A little adverse comment from the public on the grounds that in some cases the accommodation found for the boys is much better than that of the troops. It is also said that some boys could have been found work near their homes instead of being sent to other areas.

Two hostels recently opened for mining trainees in Scotland (Muiredge and Methilhill) are said to be very popular, both food and accommodation being highly praised. The cost (a little over £2 a week for board and maintenance), and the fact that both hostels have been built a long distance from the pits (in one case, a seventy minute journey in a non-stop bus) has caused surprise.

Open-cast mining (Four Regions): Some feel the “tremendous costs”, including the high wages paid to labourers, make open-cast mining not worthwhile, particularly in view of “the broken-up and rubbishy condition of the coal”. Others complain of Government officials discounting the advice of colliery experts, with the result, it is alleged, that in one instance a site was prepared and railway siding constructed, and then everything abandoned because of “meagre” production.

Criticism is also based on a belief that the scenery is permanently marred by mining, and that the disturbed land suffers loss of productivity.

A few say open-cast mining would not have been necessary “if the mines had been properly organised”.

During the past three weeks, comment has continued about the Government's four year plan (Seven Regions), which seems to be generally regarded by the public as a real effort to solve the problems of the industry.

The plan is also welcomed by some miners (Four Regions), especially by piece workers, and in one district in the Northern Region the atmosphere is said to be more peaceful than at any time since the war. However, there is still criticism of wage rates and alleged anomalies.

For example (One Region each):

  1. Some officials are said to be earning less than the men for whom they are responsible.

  2. Deputy overmen are “very sore at receiving only 1/- a shift more than ordinary workmen”.

  3. The lower paid worker still feels the breach is too wide between his wages and those of higher paid men.

  4. It is said that “machine men” with little experience can now get more money than skilled hewers who have been in mines all their lives.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 18 three P.D.Rs.)

20. Fuel

Heating ban . Satisfaction at the lifting of the ban has continued (Four Regions), though some still think “it was not done till staff were ill”. (No reports since reimposition of ban).

During the past four weeks main subjects of comment have been:

Domestic supplies (Eleven Regions). Widespread complaints have again been reported, chiefly of:

(a) Shortage of coal (Nine Regions). Many people, particularly in rural areas, are said to be short of coal because of uncertain deliveries (Seven Regions) ... “The coal merchant calls when he likes and leaves what he likes”. Others, particularly in northern England, consider the allowance inadequate . People continue to feel strongly that the present arrangement is unfair on those who have no gas or electricity (Six Regions). It is felt that either these people should have an extra allowance or that there should be some priority system so that households entirely dependent on coal would be sure of supplies.

Others who find it difficult to manage are the old and sick, and people with shift workers or billeted workers in the house.

(b) Poor quality coal (Five Regions).

(c) High price of coal (Three Regions).

(d) Shortage of coke (Two Regions).

A number blame the miners' strikes for the position, and this increases their annoyance with difficulties (Four Regions). Others resent the extra coal allowances miners receive and the fact that mining officials, as well as the miners themselves, get the allowance. However, miners in one Region are said to be sharing their coal with friends and relatives.

Industrial fuel cut (Five Regions). Some complaints are reported from both managements and workers; from the former because of resultant loss in production, from the latter because of loss of pay due to shortened hours. However, other workers are enthusiastic - “it has really been a godsend; it has given an excuse for the removal of a lot of permanent blackout, with a subsequent brightening-up effect upon workers”.

See also Constant Topics No. 13.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12. 18 eighteen P.D.Rs.)

21. Clothing

During the past four weeks familiar complaints have been reported about:

Insufficient coupons (Thirteen Regions) for:

  1. Household and general clothing replacements (Twelve Regions each - many more than once). Complaints are becoming more vocal, and in some cases increasingly bitter, as, with pre-war stocks “rotten with long use”, people “want everything now”. Specifically mentioned are towels (Six Regions), curtains - “now in ribbons and can't be washed” (Four Regions), and loose covers (Two Regions). A particularly shrill cry comes from households with billetees.

  2. Clothing for growing children (Nine Regions - some more than once). “Parents often have to sacrifice their coupons”; on the other hand, “the use by mothers of their children's coupons” is reported from the Northern Region.

  3. Clothing for workers (Three Regions).

Footwear (Twelve Regions):

  1. Poor quality (Twelve Regions)

    1. Children's (nine Regions - many every week) “are worn out in two to four weeks and then sometimes unfit for repair”. According to one report, “even when new they are not waterproof”.

    2. Adults (Nine Regions).

  2. Shortage (Nine Regions), particularly of children's and women's shoes.

  3. Repairs (Nine Regions) - the time taken and poor quality of leather used.

  4. Difficulty of obtaining Wellingtons (Four Regions), for both children and adults - particularly agricultural workers.

  5. Wooden-soled shoes (Two Regions). These are said to wear out stockings, and to need constant repairing.

High prices (Ten Regions):

  1. Clothing (Eight Regions), particularly non-Utility. Specified are: (i) Hats - “Some at 30/- and more are a disgrace; before the war they'd have been heaped in the windows at 1/- each, and glad to sell them”; (ii) Footwear.

  2. Household linen (Seven Regions), particularly sheets.

Quality of clothing (Nine Regions):

  1. Corsets (Five Regions), said to lack support for older and heavily built women: “Plastic bones break very easily”.

  2. Stockings (Five Regions). According to the Scottish report “women deride the announcement that 731 stockings do not ladder; some say the N.F.S. use them for practice”.

  3. Underwear (Four Regions). “Outsize silk and wool vests shrink so badly they are not big enough for children.”

  4. Men's and boys' socks (Three Regions). “So short you can hardly keep your ankles warm.”

Laundries and dry cleaners (Six Regions - several more than once):

  1. Restrictions . The fact that there is to be less dry cleaning for civilians is “particularly unfortunate at this time of year”.

  2. Delay .

Too high coupon values (Six Regions), particularly of:

  1. Men's clothing (Four Regions). “One suit, and all your coupons are gone.” Shirts, underwear, mackintoshes and socks are also specified (One Region each).

  2. Children's clothing (Two Regions).

  3. Footwear (Two Regions).

The shortage of household linen (Five Regions), particularly Utility sheets - “in spite of the announcement that more were available” - and pillow cases.

Outsize garments (Five Regions): Large people continue aggrieved at the shortage.

Uniforms (Three Regions): Some feel material is wasted for uniforms “for all manner of civilian duties, when in many cases an armlet would suffice”.

See also Constant Topics Nos. 3, 6, 17, 19.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 18)

22. Food

Unrationed cooked ham and bacon (Eight Regions): This is said to be much appreciated. In the North Western Region, however, it is not yet in the shops, it is said.

New ration books (Three Regions): Hopes are expressed that the plans for the issue of the new ration books will go through smoothly and not result in last year's chaos. Some rural housewives would like them to be “delivered as formerly”.

During the past four weeks satisfaction with the general food situation has continued widespread and there has been much praise for the Ministry of Food. Comment has been mainly about:

Fish (All Regions): Complaints of the shortage of fish have declined gradually and there have been increasing references to improved supplies, but shortage is reported in rural areas (Four Regions), and is thought to be due to transport difficulties. There have been some complaints of priority supplies to restaurants and hotels (Four Regions), and under-the-counter sales (Three Regions). Where supplies have improved, the quality of the fish is criticised (Seven Regions), and it is said sometimes to be stale (Three Regions).

Green vegetables (Twelve Regions). The high price continues to arouse much adverse criticism and resentment, especially the price of lettuce (Seven Regions). There is some desire for the fixing of a ceiling price for lettuce (Two Regions), but it is pointed out that where maximum prices are fixed they are always charged. Housewives are also critical of the amount of dead leaves and stalk in greens, said often to be more than half the weight of the eatable part (Two Regions).

Sugar or jam (Twelve Regions): There has been widespread confusion over the sugar/jam ration (Eleven Regions). Housewives are said not to be sure how much sugar they are entitled to and believe the shopkeeper is keeping back part of the ration (Five Regions). Some shopkeepers are reported to be refusing to give the whole amount in sugar. There are some complaints that the sugar ration is too small (Five Regions), and that the amount allowed will not make a long-keeping preserve.

Milk (Twelve Regions): Satisfaction with the increases in the milk ration continues and it is hoped it is a lasting concession. There are, however, some complaints of the poor quality of milk (Three Regions).

Cut in the cheese ration (Nine Regions): Regret continues, particularly among rural workers and heavy manual workers who have to take packed lunches.

Inadequacy of the fat ration (Eight Regions): By preventing home cake baking, the small fat ration is looked on as one of the causes of queues.

Fruit (Seven Regions): People are longing for fresh fruit; it is hoped it will be allocated in a fairer way than last summer. The recent frost, however, has made people fear a shortage (Four Regions).

Meat (Seven Regions): There are complaints of the poor quality of all meat (Six Regions), and of too much pork. The smallness of the ration is mentioned specially by heavy manual workers (Three Regions).

Comparisons (Seven Regions):

  1. People living in the country feel they are badly off in comparison with those in towns, especially as regards food on points (Five Regions).

  2. People in the Northern Region and Wales feel that supplies in other parts of the country are better both in quantity and variety (Two Regions).

Beer and whisky (Five Regions): Complaints of inadequate and unadjusted supplies of beer, especially where populations have doubled since the start of the war. In certain parts of the South and South West the shortage is described as acute, public houses remaining shut for half the week. American troops are said to drink the pubs dry.

The high price of whisky is also criticised (Three Regions), and control is urged. Following a broadcast on May 20th, people in Scotland are said to be “hoping the B.B.C. will let them into the secret of where whisky can be bought for 25/9, the usual selling price there being from 50/- to 60/-”.

Monotony of food (Five Regions): This is deplored more than the scant supply.

Small families (Four Regions): Difficulties in managing on the basic rations are reported (Three Regions). In this connection it is asked if points goods could be packed in smaller sizes.

Sweets (Four Regions): There is complaint of the poor quality of some of the sweets available. In the Northern and North Eastern Regions there is said to be a shortage.

Tinned marmalade (Four Regions): This is said to be unobtainable in some rural districts (Three Regions). It is also thought to be packed in too large tins.

See also Constant Topics Nos. 5, 10, 14, 16, 18. 23.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 18 passim).

23. Shopping difficulties

During the past four weeks complaints have continued of:

  1. Queues (Ten Regions). Women workers complain that they have no chance to obtain goods in short supply as they have no time to queue; fish and cakes are particularly mentioned. The difficulties of mothers with young children (Three Regions) who cannot queue in the mornings, and of elderly people (Two Regions) who cannot stand in queues, are also mentioned. The necessity for queuing is criticised, and it is suggested it should be made illegal. In the London Region it is reported that queues are fostered by some tradesmen, and could be done away with if the staff gave more attention to the shopper.

  2. Early and mid-day closing (Five Regions).

See also Constant Topics, No. 8.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 18 six P.D.Rs.)

24. High prices

The high price of uncontrolled goods continues to be criticised (Twelve Regions. See also Housing, 12; Food, 22; and Clothing, 21). Again specified are furniture, floor coverings - rugs, linoleum and coconut matting - and bedding.

Control of second-hand furniture prices is welcomed (Five Regions).

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12)

25. Service pay, allowances and pensions

People continue to be pleased with the increases, but think “they could have been better” (Seven Regions). Comparison is again made between our servicemen's pay and that of (a) Dominion and Allied troops, (b) Industrial workers.

Some comment is also reported about the consequent reduction of War Service Grants and proficiency benefits, where this applies; and about the need for pensions for the parents of some servicemen killed in action (Two Regions).

During the past four weeks , three Regional reports mentioned discontent over the inadequacy of disabled servicemen's pensions. It is also still held that men, taken into the Services A1, should automatically get pensions if discharged on health grounds.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. 9. 12. 18 five P.D.Rs.)

26. Old age pensions

During the past four weeks there has been considerable complaint about the inadequacy of old age pensions, and a demand for their increase “from poverty level” (Seven Regions - the Northern Region each week). People feel that the increase in the cost of living has hit old age pensioners harder than anybody else.

The means test (Four Regions) in respect of supplementary pensions “should be done away with”; it is resented as degrading, and also as penalising the thrifty.

(1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 8. 9. 12)

27. Transport

During the past four weeks there have been increased complaints - on familiar lines - about transport difficulties. Some people, however, think the position has been easier recently (Three Regions). At the same time, there is a general belief that when the second front opens, travel will be drastically cut, if not banned altogether.

Comment otherwise has been chiefly about:

  1. Overcrowding (Eight Regions). Workers complain of being crowded out by shoppers, pleasure-seekers and short-distance travellers. In holiday resorts, there is some concern among residents as to whether “last year's troubles” will be repeated this summer; in some districts “day holiday makers” are said already to be aggravating the position.

  2. Inadequate services (Eight Regions), especially at rush hours, and in rural districts. Schoolchildren and short-distance travellers are blamed.

  3. Workers' transport (Five Regions). Complaints continue from the general public about being left stranded at night while half-empty workers' buses pass them, and of some factories having more vehicles than they need. Workers in the country compare “hardships” they suffer through lack of transport, with the lot of Italian prisoners. Members of the A.E.U. complain they cannot get priority; at the same time, it is complained that priority is given to students at a commercial college (Northern Region).

  4. Rudeness of bus employees , (Five Regions) and their “malpractices” , especially refusing to stop at recognised places, though the bus is half empty (Two Regions).

  5. The lack of late evening services (Four Regions). The 9 o'clock curfew is deplored in view of D.B.S.T.

  6. Queues (Four Regions). People complain of the lack of queues in country areas, and of the time wasted standing in them in towns. Tram queues in Glasgow are said to break up, so that to board a tram is “a survival of the fittest”.

  7. Lack of Sunday transport (Four Regions). However, pleasure is reported from Darlington at the restoration of Sunday trolleybuses.

  8. Difficulty of getting on buses at intermediate points (Three Regions).

  9. Careless driving, unpunctuality, glass on the streets and lack of co-ordination between buses and trains (Two Regions each).

  10. Transport difficulties caused by the coastal ban (Southern Region), and chaotic conditions produced by the priority system on buses (Northern Region).

See also Constant Topics No. 7.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12)

27a. Petrol

During the past four weeks comment has been similar in both tenor and volume to that reported last month. There has been talk about:

  1. The allocation of petrol (Five Regions). It is felt that this is not done according to need - “Bookies are still allowed it to go to race-meetings”, but “a man cannot use his own car to take his wife to hospital”. Others feel that in view of “blatant waste” by individuals, and Americans “getting petrol for jeeps to take them to the cinema”, an extra bus or two might be allowed on the road. Petrol, it is thought, is saved at the expense of the public.

  2. Use of taxis and hired cars for “frivolous” journeys (Five Regions). Complaints continue of people, especially those with money, hiring transport to go shopping, and to race-meetings and offices.

  3. Misuse of petrol (Five Regions) by public officials, business men, doctors, Americans, C.D., N.F.S., the Forces and farmers, - the latter, it is thought “cover up pleasure trips by carrying a sack of potatoes in the car”. At the same time, it is felt, small traders have insufficient petrol for carrying on their business and delivering goods (Three Regions). There is also criticism of cars used recently for race-going at Newmarket (Two Regions).

The rumour that the basic petrol ration is to be restored continues (Two Regions).

See also Constant Topics No. 12.

(1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12)

28. Health

During the past four weeks complaints of tiredness, weariness, strain and general debility have continued widespread (Twelve Regions). People are thought to be “played out” physically, thanks to the “long drag”. Other factors mentioned are:

  1. Wartime diet (Seven Regions) - particularly lack of fats and fruit. Stomach troubles (Two Regions) and skin rashes (Two Regions) are blamed on some deficiency in diet.

  2. Long hours of work (Seven Regions).

  3. The ban on heating (Five Regions).

Some, however, consider health - particularly children's - to be very good for wartime.

Other comment has been of:

Shortage of accommodation for maternity cases (Three Regions).

Shortage of doctors (Three Regions): Too many are thought to have been called-up.

Blood transfusion : In the North Western Region it is feared that the campaign is meeting with little enthusiasm. The feeling that, with wartime feeding, blood cannot well be spared, and nervousness as to how blood is taken, are thought partly responsible.

In the South Western Region, there is some fear that medical examination before people are accepted as blood donors is inadequate.

See also Constant Topics, No. 1.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12)

29. Domestic help

During the past four weeks complaints of hardship arising from the shortage of domestic help have continued widespread. Those particularly affected are again:

  1. Old people (Six Regions)

  2. Mothers with young children (Six Regions)

  3. Hospitals and Institutions (Four Regions)

  4. Nursing and expectant mothers (Three Regions)

  5. Invalids (Three Regions)

  6. Boarding houses (Two Regions)

The high wages of cleaners and domestic servants are also complained of (Four Regions). There is some desire for the imposition of a standard hourly wage, as domestic help now goes to the highest bidder.

There has also been criticism that some households have more than one maid to look after one or two people (Four Regions).

See also Constant Topics No. 4.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12)

30. Agriculture

This week anxiety about the extensive damage caused by the frost to fruit and vegetable crops has been reported (Seven Regions). The Ministry of Home Security is criticised for short-sightedness in not allowing fruit growers in affected areas to burn oil lamps on the night of May 6th; it is also suggested that with foresight and co-operation between the Ministries of Food and Home Security, some heating could have been arranged without lights showing (One Region each).

During the past four weeks : While some people think farmers are doing well and being “spoon-fed” by the Government, a few suggest that the industry appears healthier than it really is, and farmers themselves continue anxious about the future. (See also Section 13, Postwar).

Labour shortage (Five Regions) is causing growing anxiety about the harvest, particularly if the season should be a wet one. In the North Tyne district farmers say their labour problem is especially difficult as young men and W.L.A. girls prefer more populous neighbourhoods; rumours in the Northern Region of the withdrawal of Italian prisoners from the land are adding to the anxiety.

Holiday help (Six Regions): The prospects of harvest camps are being discussed and interest is reported among workers, though some resent being urged again to give up their week's holiday to go farming ... “It won't be much of a rest”. Others are concerned about damage to their clothes, and feel they should be issued with coupon-free overalls.

Pay (Four Regions): Some farmers are said still to complain about wages, and workers wonder if their present wage level will be maintained in coming years. It is felt that a “decent basic wage” is most necessary; while some say they are satisfied, others living near industry draw comparisons between the respective wages.

Ploughing and cultivation of land (Four Regions): Some farmers complain of “regimentation” and that too much ploughing of land is demanded, particularly in areas where autumn weather conditions prevent the harvesting of crops.

Some fear the land is being overworked, and potato growers wonder how long the potato crop will stand such a high percentage of artificial manuring - “the failure of the 1917 German potato crop was due to this cause”.

W.A.E.Cs. and official inspectors (Three Regions): Criticism is made of farmers being tied by the instructions of officials who are often without experience of practical farming, and of the frequent unnecessary visits by officials who seem to “command unlimited petrol and motor vehicles”. In one Region there is complaint that the W.A.E.C. favours big farmers to the detriment of small in the use of machinery and implements.

Milk (Three Regions): Some farmers say the drive for milk production is being overdone and causing deterioration of English beef, and there is also “some question as to how grazing land can be increasingly utilised for food and yet provision made for a possible removal of restrictions on the milk supply” (One Region each). Little reaction to the Milk Bill has been reported.

Form-filling (Two Regions): Complaints continue of the amount of time and energy used in filling in returns.... “More work could be done if we received less forms”.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 12. 18 seven P.D.Rs.)

31. Water supply

During the past four weeks grave concern about the water shortage has again been reported (Six Regions, North Midland continuously). Though recent rain has been greatly welcomed, people remain anxious about what the water supplies may be at the end of the summer.

In the North Midland Region it is thought that the position would not have arisen if more thought had been given to the siting of camps and the choice of places to which evacuees were sent. Some of these places had only enough water for the pre-war population. In Berkshire, it is feared that the establishment of a pumping station on Bucklebury Common, proposed by the Army authorities, will result in the draining of all the wells in the village of Bucklebury.

The Government Water Scheme : The Government proposals for a piped water supply to rural areas is greatly welcomed (Three Regions), and it is hoped plans will be implemented after the war. Some people feel that a necessary service like this should come under a national scheme and not be left to the mercies of so many local authorities and private companies.

(2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 9. 12)

32. Home Guard, Fire Guards and Civil Defence

During the past four weeks comment has consisted chiefly of grumbles about the “irksomeness” of duties and complaints of the apathy of personnel (Eleven Regions).

Complaints have been of:

(a) Home Guard duties (Ten Regions), particularly from farm workers, men in heavy industry, and older men. Too many parades and drills are thought to be held and some relaxation of these is felt necessary. In some cases, however, Home Guard members are said to take pride in the responsibility they will have when the second front starts and to take their extra duties in good part.

There is some concern about farm work, if the Home Guard are called out.

(b) Fireguard duties (Six Regions). Practices are particularly resented, especially by people who “are fully trained in their duties already”. In London, however, fireguard personnel is said to be keen.

The Fireguard Order (Three Regions) continues to be criticised as “incomprehensible” and is thought to be leading to much confusion. It is thought to result in less efficiency than existed under the old system.

(c) Civil Defence duties generally (Three Regions).

Other comment has been of:

Waste of manpower in the Civil Defence Services (Three Regions) - particularly the N.F.S., and waste of petrol (Two Regions) particularly in the N.F.S. In the Northern Region “the Newcastle Enquiry revelations have not tended to diminish feeling about this”. Chevrons for fireguards and Civil Defence workers, which are thought “absurd” (Three Regions), and criticised as an “awful waste of time, money, and material” (Two Regions).

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12)


(Covering period from 25th April to 23rd May, 1944)

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. Tiredness, ill-health and war weariness

4 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 10. 11. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

2. Housing difficulties

(a) Shortage of accommodation

4 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11. 12.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. 11. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

(b) High rents and prices

4 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 9. 11. 12.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 5. 7. 8. 9. 11. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 9. 11.
25 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 8. 9. 11.

3. Inadequacy of clothing coupons for :

(a) Renewing household goods

4 May Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 10. 11. 12.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 10. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

(b) General

4 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 9. 12.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 5. 9. 10. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
25 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

(c) Children

4 May Regions 4. 6. 10.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 5. 9. 10. 11.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 5. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 2. 9. 12.

4. Shortage of domestic help for :

(a) Private Houses

4 May Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. 9.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
18 May Regions 1. 3. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 12.

(b) Hospitals, etc .

4 May Regions 4. 9.
11 May Regions 9. 10. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 3. 9.
25 May Regions 5.

5. High price of green vegetables, including lettuces

4 May Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 10. 11. 12.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. 10. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 9. 10. 11.

6. Footwear difficulties

(a) Poor quality

(1) Children's

4 May Regions 5. 6. 8. 10. 12.
11 May Regions 2. 3. 5. 6. 10. 12.
18 May Regions 2. 3. 4. 6. 11. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11.

(11) General

4 May Regions 3. 4.
11 May Regions 2. 4. 6. 10. 12.
18 May Regions 2. 3. 5. 6. 10. 11.
25 May Regions 1. 2. 3.

(b) Shortage

(1) Children's

4 May Regions 2. 8.
11 May Regions 2. 3. 6.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 4. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 5. 6. 7. 9.

(11) General

4 May Regions 4. 6. 10. 12.
11 May Regions 3. 4. 6.
18 May Regions 1. 3.
25 May Regions 3.

(c) Repairs

(1) Long delay and other difficulties

4 May Regions 5. 6. 9. 10.
11 May Regions 1. 6. 7.
18 May Regions 1. 6. 7. 10.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 12.

(11) Poor quality

4 May Regions 11.
11 May Regions 5. 6. 11. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 5. 7.
25 May Regions 1. 9.

7. Transport difficulties

(a) General

4 May Regions 1. 4. 8. 10.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 10. 11.
18 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 8. 9. 10.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 8. 9. 10. 12.

(b) Rural

4 May Regions 4. 6.
11 May Regions 2. 6.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 7.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 6.

8. Shopping difficulties and food queues

4 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 10.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 5. 7. 8. 9. 11. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 7.
25 May Regions 1. 5. 8. 12.

9. High wages

4 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 7. 12.
11 May Regions 3. 5. 8. 9. 10.
18 May Regions 1. 3. 7. 10. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 10.

10. Cut in cheese ration

4 May Regions 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 12.
11 May Regions 1. 5. 6. 7. 12.
18 May Regions 6. 7. 12.
25 May Regions 2. 3. 4. 7. 12.

11. Disparities in pay

4 May Regions 1. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9.
11 May Regions 3. 5. 10.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 9. 10. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 10.

12. Waste and misuse of petrol

4 May Regions 3. 5. 7. 10.
11 May Regions 2. 3. 9. 12.
18 May Regions 3. 9. 10. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 3. 8.

13. Coal supplies

(a) General shortage

4 May Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 8.
11 May Regions 5. 6. 7.
18 May Regions 1. 5. 6. 7.
25 May Regions 2. 3.

(b) Bad distribution and delayed deliveries

4 May Regions 2. 5. 8. 10.
11 May Regions 2. 9.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 3.
25 May Regions 2. 5. 6.

(c) Poor quality

4 May Regions 6. 12.
11 May Regions 3. 5. 9. 12.
18 May Regions 9. 12.
25 May Regions 6. 9.

(d) Inadequate allowance

4 May Regions 2. 8. 12.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 8.
25 May Regions Nil

14. Preferential treatment by shopkeepers and conditional sales to the public

4 May Regions 5. 6. 7. 10. 11.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 4. 9. 12.
18 May Regions 11.
25 May Regions 1.

15. Poor collection of salvage .

4 May Regions 8. 10.
11 May Regions 10. 12.
18 May Regions 3. 8. 9. 10.
25 May Regions 2. 3. 9. 10.

16. Inadequacy of fat ration

4 May Regions 4. 5.
11 May Regions 2. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 7. 9.
25 May Regions 1. 3.

17. Criticism of Utility clothing

4 May Regions 3.
11 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 6.
18 May Regions 1. 10.
25 May Regions 4. 12.


18. Shortage of fish

4 May Regions 2. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 11. 12. 13.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 12. 13.
18 May Regions 1. 5. 6. 8. 10.
25 May Regions 1. 2. 9. 12.

19. Shortage of bedding and household linen, including sheets

4 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 10. 11.
11 May Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 7.
18 May Regions 1. 3. 5. 6. 7. 10.
25 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 10. 12.

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

4 May Regions 1. 8. 10. 12.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 4. 10. 12.
18 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. 10. 12.
25 May Regions 1. 2. 6. 8. 10.

21. Shortage of matches

4 May Regions 1. 2. 10.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
18 May Regions 2. 4. 10.
25 May Regions 1. 2.

22. Shortage of scrubbing brushes

4 May Regions 2. 8. 10.
11 May Regions 2. 10.
18 May Regions 2. 10.
25 May Regions 1. 2.

23. Shortage of dried fruit

4 May Regions 1. 2.
11 May Regions 1. 2. 8.
18 May Regions 2. 4.
25 May Regions 1. 2.

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: (1) Monotony of food ; (11) Shortage and poor quality of corsets .

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