A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46

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Wt 16746. 10M 5/44. W.R.R. & S. Ltd. GP 38. (14).

No. 194. 22nd June, 1944

(Covering period from 13th to 20th June, 1944)


1. General

The prevailing mood remains one of calm and hopeful confidence. There is great satisfaction over the progress of the Normandy, Italian and Russian campaigns, but most people are described as guardedly optimistic, realising that a colossal task still lies ahead.

The pilotless aircraft has for the time being taken first place as a topic of conversation; it has given rise to a good deal of anxiety and speculation, and, in those parts of Southern England most affected, to considerable nervousness and tiredness.

There is increasing discussion of the French National Committee; most people seem to favour its recognition.

Much hopeful talk about war ending this year, encouraged by Allied successes, optimistic remarks by General Montgomery and Mr. Arthur Henderson, and by the Prime Minister's affirmative nod on being asked whether the blackout would be done away with before Christmas.

Home Front : Grumbling continues to be on a much reduced scale, though there is a good deal of talk about postwar conditions - particularly housing and employment - and some talk of clothing and housing now.

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

2. Pilotless Aircraft

Since Friday, the arrival of the pilotless plane has been a major topic of discussion throughout the country; in most places, it has displaced the invasion as the main subject of conversation. News that something unusual was happening spread rapidly. There were stories of an exceptionally long alert in London; and talk of paratroops landing and even of gas having been used. First stories of a flying bomb were greeted with shocked horror. Then came Mr. Morrison's statement. Most people found this distinctly reassuring, though some felt it was unduly alarming. Since the statement the more fantastic rumours have vanished, but everywhere there has been much discussion and speculation - about the mechanism of the device and about ways of countering it, and many stories of extensive damage in London and of considerable evacuation.

The general view appears to be that our technical experts will soon find an answer to it. A considerable minority, however, are less certain; and there is some criticism because no answer was ready beforehand despite our advance knowledge of it.

As to its military value, there is general agreement that it will have no effect on the course of the war as a whole. It is thought to have arrived too late. It is looked on as a morale weapon against the people of the South of England, or as a propaganda weapon, primarily for German home consumption.

It is variously spoken of as “Hitler's last kick” ... “his last desperate fling” ... “the worst he can do” ... “his last patch of awfulness”. There appears to be no discussion of any other possible secret weapons.

LONDON . Most Londoners confess to feeling considerably shaken, despite their calm behaviour. Only at the scene of some incidents has there been anything approaching panic. The main feeling is one of “incredible tiredness” from lack of sleep, coupled with nervous anxiety, arising in part from the “weird and uncanny” nature of the device, and in part from the strain of listening for and to their approach. Aerial reprisals had been expected, but nothing quite like this.

Defences : The stopping of the A.A. guns was generally welcomed for two reasons:-

a. They were disturbing in themselves, and appeared to do little good, while effectively preventing sleep.

b. The cessation of firing was taken as a sign that fighters were after the flying bombs, and this was regarded as a better way of tackling them.

It is now believed that many of them are being brought down before they get to London, either in the country or over the Channel, though whether this means we are on the way to mastering them appears to be little discussed. Indeed, Londoners appear too tired to speculate much on methods of dealing with the bombs; and there is less talk in London than elsewhere about confidence in our technical experts being able to master them. There is beginning to be some talk about the necessity for inflicting pilotless planes on the Germans.

Sirens : It is felt that the sirens should be sounded only in the areas lying along the course of the bombs.

Shelters : Shelters are said to be more crowded than ever before. Mr. Morrison's advice on seeking shelter was welcomed, and many are following it, getting off the streets quickly when they hear the noise approaching, and quicker still when it stops. On the other hand, many cannot resist looking from windows etc., to get a glimpse of the machines.

Some wonder if surfaces shelters are adequate; and mothers are keeping their children from school because of doubts about school surface shelters.

There is some demand for the opening of the deep shelters mentioned by Mr. Morrison early this year. They are looked on as “London's own”.

Some tube shelterers are worried about the risk of vermin, and about the risk of catching V.D. from the seats in the tube shelter lavatories.

Owing to the crowding of the platforms, some regular tube travellers are taking to buses.

Evacuation : There appears to have been a small amount of evacuation of women with children - mainly upper and middle-class. But many more people are trying to make up their minds whether or not to evacuate. Among poor people, women with children under three are inclining towards evacuation, but do not know how to set about it. Those with older children are inclined to stay, for two reasons - the existence of deep shelters in London, and memories of the unhappy times they had when previously evacuated.

Firewatchers : Firewatchers are bitter in their complaints. They point out that the bombs do not cause fires, but do kill people in exposed positions. They therefore feel that firewatching is both useless and dangerous, and that they are simply losing more sleep than the rest of the population. Some revision of the scheme is felt to be urgently needed. A late report states that the relaxation of the regulations “has given a certain amount of relief”.

Under-river traffic : The cessation of underground traffic beneath the Thames during alerts is the cause of some irritation; it is thought not to be necessary, as the penetrating power of the flying bombs is considered relatively slight.

News presentation : Feelings are divided. Some would like to see more news of London's ordeal in print; others regard the censorship as a wise move.

Servicemen's relatives are wondering how they are getting on for accurate news, and are hoping they are not being kept in the dark.

THE SOUTH EAST . People in the South East had specially expected retaliation, though not in the form it has taken. Their main problem is sleeplessness, due to the noise of the bombs passing overhead, and guns in action. The work of the fighters is much appreciated. Earlier statements about the relatively slow speed of the bombs were treated with incredulity. On the whole, people in the South East appear considerably less shaken than Londoners.

THE REST OF THE COUNTRY . Apart from the general points mentioned above, the main reactions are as follows:-

The range of the bomb : In Scotland and the North people feel safe. In Wales and the Midlands, people wonder if its range can be increased. In the Midlands, it is asked if there is any truth in the German story that it got as far as Daventry.

General state of feelings is to some extent determined by views on the range. In the Eastern and South Western Regions and Wales, an uncomfortable feeling is said to be pretty general. Many in the Midland Region were inclined to wash their hands of the thing, when they heard about the line from the Wash to the Bristol Channel. Further north, there has been much sympathy for Londoners and considerable anxiety over relatives and friends in the South.

Big Ben : The substitution of gramophone records for the original chimes has led to a number of rumours that the clock has been damaged by a flying bomb.

Admiration for the weapon : There have been isolated examples, both in London and elsewhere, of admiration for German inventiveness.

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

3. The invasion of France

There is great satisfaction at the Allied progress so far, but a fairly general realisation that there may be big battles ahead. Few expect any spectacular developments at this early stage.

Praise for all concerned, particularly for General Montgomery, is widespread and unbounded. The planning and organisation, and the co-operation of the different Services and Allies are the subject of special admiration. The public's opinion of the Americans has gone up and there are said to be many admiring references to their “fighting spirit and success” in the Cherbourg peninsula.

Comment on the operations is not detailed. Attention is now mainly on the fight for Cherbourg, which people expect will soon be taken.

The Channel Isles continue the cause of much speculation, and there are rumours that paratroops landed there and were wiped out to a man. Alternatively, some people ask why we have not tried to capture the Islands.

The situation round Caen had also caused uneasiness earlier in the week. Some people believe we intended to capture Caen as an early objective and that here, too, paratroops were landed only to be wiped out.

Casualties : Relatives' anxiety about casualties remains very strong, though there was great relief that they were fewer during the first assault than had been expected. Some treated this news with reserve, however, and rumours of heavy casualties persist. There is, too, a feeling that statements have been contradictory. People ask why details of U.S. casualties were given, while British losses are withheld; it is hoped that some announcement will soon be made.

There is much appreciation for the care that is being taken of the wounded, particularly the organisation of air transport, though one report mentions surprise at a rumour that both killed and wounded are being conveyed home in the same ship. A few, too, are resentful that “German wounded - even the arrogant ones - are treated just like our own men”.

Dissatisfaction continues at the thought that relatives may not be able to visit the wounded if the hospitals are in banned areas.

The postal services continue to be appreciated.

The people of Normandy : Great surprise is felt that they are so well fed and clothed; it had generally been assumed that everyone in countries overrun by the Nazis was starving and in rags ... “Has our Government fooled us with stories of short rations in Europe?”

The attitude of the French to their deliverers is also the cause of considerable surprise, suspicion or resentment. 100% co-operation had been expected, and the news of sullen reception in some places and of girl snipers has astonished people, and stirred up anti-French feeling. Some people are afraid that fifth columnists will once more be active.

An article in the Sunday Pictorial (June 18) by Rex North has caused some concern as it is feared it will have made the general public less sympathetic to the French than ever.

There are rumours of evacuees from Normandy expected at any moment. Some Londoners resent the idea of their “coming here and eating our food”.

Women snipers : There is surprise, considerable interest, and some difference of opinion as to how they should be treated. The majority view, however, is “Shoot them on sight”. People ask why we brought back Myra alive, silk stockings and all. If the Russians had captured her, “her fate would have been sealed - What a soft-hearted lot we are!”

Visits to the beaches : The fact that H.M. the King and the Prime Minister visited the beaches is taken to show how strong our hold is, though some people's blood ran cold at the thought of Mr. Churchill and Generals Eisenhower and Smuts all being in one spot where a single German bomb could have finished them all off together. There is great admiration for Mr. Churchill's spirit and for his determination to see everything for himself, and it is thought that his visit must have been a great tonic for the troops and also for their relatives here. Captain Cunningham Reid's solicitude is resented and Mr. Bracken's reply thought excellent.

Nevertheless a minority fear the Prime Minister takes too many risks; and some object on the ground that the generals in the field and other service personnel should not be employed in conducting tours of the beaches - “Monty has something better to do than show people round France”. Another minority consider that General de Gaulle should have accompanied Mr. Churchill, rather than General Smuts, whose comments on France in a recent speech are remembered.

News presentation : Approval continues almost unanimous, and reactions generally do not differ from those reported last week. The only new points are:

  1. Some of the recordings by B.B.C. Observers in the nightly war reports are hard to hear (Two Regions).

  2. Eyewitness accounts sometimes conflict with press and B.B.C. announcements (Two Regions); e.g. Robert Barr on the West Wall; Roger Green, A.P., on the reaction of the French population.

  3. The attention given to the U.S. army in the newsreel of the invasion (Scotland); in Falkirk, during the showing of the film, cinema patrons are said to have called out: “Where is the British Army?”

Stalin's tribute to the Allied invasion has been greatly appreciated.

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

3a. The next move

Further landings are generally expected in due course.

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

4. General de Gaulle and the French National Committee

Comment has increased, but is mostly on familiar lines. There is considerable uneasiness at the present situation, and people are unable to understand what is wrong.

Many are very concerned that if things are left as they are our men's lives may be sacrificed for political reasons. They feel we cannot wage war in France unless we have the confidence of the French people; it is thought we should explain to the French the reasons for our attitude in order not to antagonise them, both now and in the long run.

The majority feel that General de Gaulle stood by us “in the darkest days” and embodies the spirit of the Fighting French, that the French National Committee should be fully recognised - at least until elections can be held, that the U.S.A. stands in the way of agreement and that we are weak in giving way to them. Various sinister motives are suggested by a few to account for the present situation.

A minority, however, have considerable reserve about recognising General de Gaulle and the Committee, believing the former to be ambitious and dictatorial and the latter unrepresentative.

On the whole people were pleased that General de Gaulle visited France; they noted with interest the enthusiasm with which he was received in Bayeux.

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

5. Italy

Although still overshadowed by events in Normandy, progress in Italy is followed with great pleasure. High praise for General Alexander and the troops, and pleasure at the freeing of Rome, continue. The news of the landing of the Fighting French in Elba is welcomed. People feel we are getting somewhere at last and hope Italy will soon be cleared of the enemy.

Political : Pleasure at the retirement of King Victor Emmanuel and Badoglio continues, and people hope the political situation will soon be cleared up. Some are inquiring about the “trend towards communism in Italy”.

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

6. Russia

Satisfaction with Russian successes against Finland is qualified to some extent by surprise that her offensive did not take place further south; it had been expected “to link up more closely with our invasion”. A further attack somewhere else is, however, expected - in some cases impatiently.

Little or no sympathy is said now to exist for the Finns. Their early capitulation is expected.

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

7. Far East

The bombing of Japan has given satisfaction. People are pleased that “a new phase of the Far Eastern war has begun”.

Advances in the Mariana Islands have also been greeted with pleasure.

Interest otherwise remains limited and comment is on familiar lines.

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

8. Turkey

Her action in allowing enemy ships through the Dardenelles has given rise to strong resentment and suspicion. It is thought that after the way she has been favoured by our Government, she is not playing the game; some hold she would just as soon link up with Germany. There are a few satisfied comments that we have taken a firm line; it is hoped that now the Turkish foreign minister has resigned, her policy may alter.

(1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 8. 9. 12. 13)

9. Parliamentary debate on Regulation 18b

Very little comment or interest. However, Mr. Morrison's firmness is approved (Two Regions), though opinion is divided as to the merits of the Regulation.

(2. 7. 11)

10. Broadcasting and presentation of news

(See also: Invasion of France and Pilotless Aircraft)

There is little general comment this week. It is thought there is too much publicising of the American contribution to the Allied cause and not enough of the Russian, Chinese and our own efforts (Three Regions).

Programmes (Seven Regions). There are thought to be too many dance bands and too much crooning. Opinion is divided over the General Forces programme (Three Regions); some say it has improved lately.

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



11. Postwar

During the past four weeks great and widespread discussion have been reported, though it is said in some cases to have been less detailed and more vague than previously. There are some who still think the war should be won before planning begins (Five Regions); others have had their interest “pushed into the background” by the invasion news (Four Regions).

Doubt and trepidation about postwar prospects, and cynicism about the implementation of the various White Papers, continue. The Government is variously accused of slowness, vagueness, and making promises which are beyond either its intentions or its powers. Some are tired of “proposals”, which are thought to be “mere talk”, and want the schemes passed into law, so that they cannot easily be repudiated in the future.

A small minority accept the Government's plans as signs of “serious preparation” (Two Regions).

Paying for the schemes ” is discussed on a reduced scale (Five Regions). Some, particularly those with money, doubt whether it will be possible to defray the cost, though a few of these people fear it will be done at their expense. Some workers, on the other hand, want “the whole thing at any cost”. It is suggested that an outline of how it is proposed to finance the plans should be made public; or, on the other hand, “if we are to be very poor”, schemes should not be “dangled before our eyes”.

As regards specific subjects of discussion, housing and employment are people's main preoccupations, dwarfing all other subjects.

Comment has been on the following lines:

(a) Housing (All Regions). It is the dominant interest and worry of many, and is discussed by all sections of the population. Particular anxiety is felt about the prospects of people with children, and demobilised servicemen and women.

The Government is criticised for slowness - “so much is said, so little done”. Some think plans should come into operation immediately; local authorities are said to await a lead on the financial aspects of planning, and builders on the Government's long term policy. Women want to be consulted more about plans (Two Regions).

Rural housing is much discussed by country people and others (Six Regions). The need for improvements on present “lamentable” conditions is frequently stressed, and some fear that all thought and effort will be concentrated on the urban aspect of the housing problem.

Country people stress first and foremost the need for an adequate water supply (Six Regions); though electricity (Four Regions), modern sanitation (Three Regions) and gas (One Region) are also hoped for.

(For “Prefabricated houses” see section 13.)

(b) Employment (All Regions). Discussion is second to that on housing, and among many workers, particularly in the industrial areas of Wales and the North, the desire for a guarantee of work overshadows everything. A postwar slump, especially in heavy industries, is feared and expected. (Building is excepted). It is asked what work there will be for demobilised and disabled Service people, and for transferred workers, on their return home. People want a plan which will assure them that there will be no more depression or distressed areas.

The Government White Paper on Employment Policy (dealt with in our Reports of 2nd and 8th June) still arouses little interest. Few people know anything about it, and more exposition is asked for. Opinion is now about equally divided between those who find it reassuring and those who either have little faith in the plans proposed or in their being carried out.

Emigration as a solution to the employment problem continues to appeal to some, particularly young people (Three Regions).

(c) Town planning and land development (Eight Regions). Interest is reported, especially in town planning and the plans published for the rebuilding of specific towns. Discussion of the Scott, Barlow and Uthwatt reports continues, and people hope for Government control in order to avoid jerry-building.

(d) The Beveridge plan and social security (Seven Regions). Desire for the implementation of the Beveridge plan, coupled with scepticism, continues.

(e) Government controls (Seven Regions). It seems generally to be realised that controls will have to remain, both as they affect industry and the individual, but it is nevertheless hoped they will be removed as early as possible. “People want to co-operate rather than be ordered by officials.” Employers want many present controls discarded “to give private enterprise a chance”, and, in the case of the Essential Work Order, so that they can get rid of redundant workers.

(f) Agriculture (Five Regions). Anxiety among both farmers and laymen, and fears of “another slump”, continue.

(g) Trade and commerce (Four Regions). There continue to be fears that we shall not regain our export markets and, to a lesser extent, concern about the re-establishment of peace-time industry.

(h) Small traders v. combines (Three Regions). Concern is reported lest small businesses are unable to get started again after the war, through being squeezed out by large combines. A few feel that the latter are powerful enough to be able to suggest controls which suit their own interests but hit smaller businesses.

(i) Location of industry (Four Regions). Interest in this subject comes largely from former depressed areas in Wales and the Northern Region, where great importance is attached to new light industries being established locally. People in the South East view with concern the prospect of a further drift of industry to the South.

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

11a. Education Bill

During the past four weeks pleasure at the passing of the Bill has continued, though interest is said to be limited, and there is some fear that the Bill may be impracticable for some years.

Discussion is chiefly of:

  1. The supply of teachers (Seven Regions). Some fear the shortage will prove the chief stumbling block to making the Bill effective (Three Regions). Conditions generally, and especially low salaries and large classes, are thought to militate against recruitment, and a number, including some teachers, believe the question of supply will not be solved until improvements are effected. A few criticise the quality of present teachers, think more specialisation is wanted, and fear the emergency training scheme may lower standards.

  2. Raising the school leaving age (Three Regions). Some, including elementary school teachers, think the children will not benefit unless the curriculum is adapted, the need to introduce more “practical” work being emphasised. Some workers and farmers continue to disapprove of the change because it postpones the time when their children start earning money.

  3. School buildings (Two Regions). These are felt to be quite inadequate, and to be a further impediment to implementing the Bill.

  4. Rural schools (One Region). Country women want less disparity between conditions in country and urban schools. They resent, for instance, “one teacher, in one room, being responsible for 24 children aged 5-14 years”.

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

12. Housing and accommodation

During the past four weeks , although complaints about the housing position have continued widespread (All Regions), they appear less violent than last month.

Criticism has again been chiefly of:

(a) Shortage of all types of accommodation (Twelve Regions). People's resentment is increased by the belief that the situation could be eased if all the available accommodation were used. It is thought that many houses are permanently shut up, the owners living elsewhere; that there is plenty of unused room in many large houses; that rooms over empty shops, which could easily be made habitable, are left unoccupied; that some people are still allowed to keep week-end cottages; and that houses requisitioned by the War Office are now empty. People think local authorities should see that such accommodation is used.

Those particularly hard hit are (i) families with children (Three Regions); (ii) young married couples, who “have never had a chance to live a married life under decent conditions” or who have to live with parents (Two Regions); (iii) war workers, some of whom are said to travel up to three hours a day because of shortage of accommodation near their place of work; (iv) discharged soldiers (One Region each).

(b) High prices and rents (Eleven Regions). Resentment continues. Especially outrageous are thought the prices of houses for sale (Six Regions), particularly those with vacant possession; rent of furnished accommodation generally (Three Regions); lodgings (Three Regions).

Some continue to urge price control (Four Regions); others “daren't complain for fear of being turned out”; others, again, are “so desperate they will pay anything”.

(c) Repair difficulties and delays (Five Regions). Some feel the position would be eased if repairing and reconditioning, particularly of blitzed properties, were speeded up. There are also complaints (Two Regions) that local authorities are “stymied” by the long delays of government departments in answering queries about reconditioning empty premises, and by the apparent inability of various departments to work together.

Agricultural cottages (Five Regions): There are some complaints of delays in building these cottages, and it is also felt that the rents are too high for agricultural workers ... “If the Government is going to charge a big rent, it is not much good raising farm wages”. There are complaints from one county that “one in every four” of the cottages is being reserved by members of the W.A.E.Cs.

Billeting (Four Regions): This is said still to be a problem in some areas; some have been upset to find they have to give up a room they have kept for their son or daughter in the Forces when on leave.

See also Constant Topics No: 1.

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

13. Prefabricated houses

During the past four weeks , widespread and detailed interest in the Portal house has continued, and there are many requests for specimens to be on show in all parts of the country, and for a chance to see over the house (Nine Regions); Londoners complain they cannot get tickets. The erection of a house in Edinburgh has aroused great interest there.

Criticism is more widespread and much more detailed than approval (Eleven Regions). It is objected that:

  1. The ceilings are too low (Seven Regions) ... “Even factory roofs have to be 9 ft. 6 ins.”.

  2. The house will be hot in summer and cold in winter; and unsuitable to the climate, particularly in the North (Seven Regions).

  3. It is not such as to encourage people to have children (Six Regions), mainly because it is so small, but also because it is “flimsy”.

  4. It is too expensive (Five Regions), especially in view of its size and short life. At the same time, some are confused about the cost, not knowing how inclusive it is, or whether the houses will be rented or not.

  5. There is no back door (Five Regions).

  6. It is unattractive to look at (Five Regions) - “a glorified shed”. Some think this may prove detrimental to the value of surrounding property.

  7. The house as a whole is too small, and also the individual rooms (Four Regions each); the kitchen is particularly mentioned - “all right for working and eating, but no good for living in”.

  8. Washing facilities are inadequate (Three Regions).

  9. The lay-out could be improved (Three Regions). People do not like the bedrooms leading out of the other rooms, or the lavatory being opposite the front door.

Approval : Despite the criticism, many approve the house (Seven Regions) and an even greater number (Eight Regions) accept the scheme “as a temporary measure” because “it would at least be a place of our own” and “better than lodgings”. Many are, however, apprehensive lest the houses be allowed to remain permanently and degenerate into “slums”. Women particularly like the kitchen, with its labour-saving devices; the fittings, especially the built-in wardrobes; and the sound-proof walls.

The only reference to the fact that alterations are to be made is a suggestion that this should be given more publicity.

The Tarran house (Two Regions). Some prefer this type of house, because of the back door and the fact that it has two storeys.

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

14. Industry

The invasion has acted as an incentive to industrial workers, who are now “going to it”. “Now real fighting has started, very few will seriously consider striking.”

Nevertheless, during the past four weeks comment has again been about:

Reduced production “at a time when an all-out effort is asked for”. Tales continue of:

  1. Workers in factories - aircraft factories particularly - and in shipyards with little or nothing to do (Nine Regions).

  2. Reduction or stoppage of overtime (Six Regions).

  3. Workers being paid off (Six Regions). This is felt to be a bad sign for postwar industry - workers on Clydeside and Tyneside are particularly anxious, and “greet with derision statements that there will not be a recurrence of mass unemployment”. Rumours are also reported of forthcoming wholesale discharges in large works in the North Midland Region and in a Wearside shipyard.

  4. Production being at saturation point (Five Regions); e.g. the finishing of war contracts, demand for production slacking off, war factories no longer busy.

  5. Unemployment (Four Regions). Both ex-servicemen and redundant workers are said to be on the dole.

Transfer of labour (Six Regions): Apart from the fact that “finding digs away from home is not a pleasurable matter now”, there are allegations of:

  1. Local people transferred from certain works while workers from other districts are being directed to these works.

  2. People directed to factories where there is little to do, although in some cases “firms near to their homes are in urgent need of staff”.

  3. People transferred to work where their wages are lower than at their previous work. Young girls, particularly, “find it difficult to manage on their pay”.

  4. Men who have been directed into various industries because of the slackness in their own, not being allowed to go back to their own trade when it revives.

Tiredness and ill-health (Six Regions): Some workers still complain of long hours. Women workers with household responsibilities, particularly those with children, are suffering from the strain. Reduced hours or reduced overtime have for this reason been welcomed in two specified factories: “Some consternation was caused by smaller pay packets, but workers appreciate the extra leisure”.

On Teesside there was “dissatisfaction over the fines imposed on welders (who suffer badly through constant breathing of fumes) for being a few minutes late each morning while nothing is said to foremen or managers who are late”.

Slacking of workers, and absenteeism (Six Regions). Young girls and lads are felt to be the chief culprits.

Regulation 1AA (Five Regions). Talk is dying down. Opinion remains divided between the general public who accept it as a necessary evil, and many workers, shop stewards and left wingers who oppose “this piece of British fascism”.

There is some criticism among workers of the T.U.C. for its action in the matter.

Strikes (Three Regions), which continue to be strongly condemned.

Shortage of labour (Three Regions), particularly in the cotton trade.

See also Constant Topics Nos. 10. 14.

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

14a. Manpower

During the past four weeks comment has decreased, but allegations continue of:

  1. Evasion of call-up (Six Regions) by young women and able-bodied young men. Workers doing long hours and older men and women on war work are particularly resentful.

  2. Unsympathetic treatment by Ministry of Labour interviewing officials (Three Regions). One mother, called up for an interview about part-time work, with 7 children at home, including twins of 5 weeks old, is said to have been asked, “Well, what do you do in your spare time?”

  3. Delay in call-up (Two Regions).

(1. 3. 5. 6. 8. 10. 11. 12)

14b. Domestic help

During the past four weeks complaints of hardship due to shortage of domestic help have continued, but latterly on a reduced scale. Those chiefly affected are:

  1. Old people (Six Regions).

  2. Mothers with young families (Five Regions).

  3. Expectant and nursing mothers (Three Regions).

  4. Sick people and invalids (Three Regions).

  5. Hospitals and maternity homes (Two Regions).

There is again criticism that available help is not fairly shared ... “One household of three adults, with eight indoor servants and three gardeners, who, furthermore, refused to billet officers”.

See also Constant Topics No. 6.

(1. 3. 4. 6. 7. 9. 12)

15. Miners and mining

Miners - those in the Forest of Dean possibly excepted - are now said to be “whole-heartedly behind the lads in the Army”. An increase in output in important mining areas in Wales is reported; some pits have for the first time reached their target.

During the past four weeks comment has been about:

The pit ballot scheme (Twelve Regions): People generally continue to criticise the scheme, and the youths concerned continue to dislike it. There is particularly strong feeling against the direction of pre-Service trained boys to the mines. This is considered uneconomic, very hard on the boys “who are eager to fight”, and unlikely to produce good miners, as “their hearts aren't in it”. Much sympathy is still felt with those who refuse to go to the pits, and there is indignation at recent court cases.

The view persists that it would be better to recall all ex-miners from the Forces and industry.

Accommodation for the Bevin boys (Five Regions): It is believed that in some cases landladies exploit the boys, but landladies also complain of their difficulties. In Rotherham, for instance, people are pleased that huts are being built for the boys as “they do not like billeting them in their homes”.

In the Northern Region there is “much resentment at hostels for the Bevin boys because they are so elaborately and extravagantly fitted out. They are said to cost £50,000 to £100,000, and miners and their wives contrast them with their own miserable hovels, and say ‘If they can build for the lads, why can't they do something for us?’”

Strikes (Four Regions): Condemnation continues, even where it is felt that miners have a grievance. There is particular resentment against miners in Scotland because of alleged incidents such as the following: A colliery bus broke down near East Linton, five minutes from the pits; the miners would not get out, but waited until repairs were effected.

The more settled state of the mining industry (Four Regions) is again referred to with satisfaction.

Wages (Four Regions): Discussion is dying down about the four years' wage plan, but there is some dissatisfaction at its interpretation. Some miners consider their earnings of £5 or £6 a week are only a fraction of what they should be receiving under the agreement. On the other hand pleasure at wages, and at advances for pieceworkers, is also reported.

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

15a. Domestic fuel

During the past four weeks comment has been mainly about:

  1. The difficulty of obtaining coal supplies (Ten Regions), both for use now and for laying in supplies for next winter. Households with no alternative fuel are particularly worried. People ask “what is the use of urging us to stock up now for winter if we don't get enough to do us now?” Bad distribution and irregular or delayed delivery are considered chiefly responsible, but the small allocation is also blamed. There is particular annoyance (Two Regions) with “the absurd announcement” that the maximum allowance for the North would be 15 cwt “when the authorities must have known that the retailers would scarcely have enough coal to give their customers 10 cwt”. In Barrow, householders have so far only had 3 cwt for April and 3 cwt for May.

  2. Poor quality coal (Five Regions).

  3. The Otley case (Two Regions), where a householder was fined for borrowing coal: “In times of acute shortage borrowing and lending in the interests of children or invalids should be encouraged as Christian charity, and not penalised”.

See also Constant Topics No: 9.

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

16. Wages

During the past four weeks , comment has continued about:

Disparity of pay (Six Regions) between:

  1. Our servicemen and (i) industrial workers, (ii) U.S., Dominion and Colonial troops.

  2. Black-coated workers and munition workers.

  3. Skilled men in their regular trade and unskilled and semi-skilled workers in war industries.

High/wages (Five Regions) paid to young people, and to unskilled men and women in industry.

Low wages (Three Regions) paid to non-industrial workers, such as shop assistants, waitresses and nurses, all of whose wages are said not to have risen with the cost of living; also agricultural workers and foresters, colliery clerks, workers in the building trade and in basic industries, and girls and women in factories. Some of the latter say that “with fares, meals out and income tax it is not worth working”.

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

16a. P.A.Y.E .

During the past four weeks approval for the scheme in general has continued. There have, however, been references to workers being puzzled (Eight Regions), and in particular failing to understand why the deductions should vary on a wage that is the same each week.

There are also a few complaints from people who think they are paying more tax under the new scheme than they did before. It is also alleged that holiday pay is taxed as unearned income.

It is thought there is a need for more explanation and that tax tables should be more accessible, though the official booklet is appreciated.

Some workers, both agricultural and industrial, are said to watch their earnings, and decline to do Saturday work or overtime in order to keep the income tax down (Ten Regions). They resent having overtime taxed and believe that the rate is 10/- in the £ (Three Regions). Agricultural workers are said in some cases to work in private gardens in the evening for payment from which tax is not deducted, instead of doing overtime at useful agricultural work (Two Regions).

National Savings are said to be affected in some works by P.A.Y.E. (Four Regions). Workers regard their income tax deductions as their share of the war effort, and no longer put money into savings.

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

17. Clothing

During the past four weeks complaints about insufficient coupons have continued at the increased volume reported last month. There appears, however, to have been a slight decline in complaints about footwear difficulties, while about other aspects of the clothing situation complaints appear to be much fewer than they were a month ago.

Detailed comment has been reported about:

Insufficient coupons (Twelve Regions) for:

(a) General clothing replacements (Eleven Regions - several every week). Complaints continue on the same lines as last month, and there are the familiar references to the sad plight of people with clothing worn to shreds after nearly five years of war and without either reserves to fall back on or coupons to buy more. Some people are said to be very bitter. Men are said to be particularly hard hit, as a suit uses up an allocation; so, too, are the lower paid workers who cannot afford the best quality.

Some concern is reported over alleged trafficking in coupons (Two Regions). In Scotland, the scarcity is such that the price is now said to have reached 1/9 apiece.

There is great keenness to know how many coupons there will be in the next allocation; some hope for and expect an increase, and it is suggested that if people knew more about the next allowance, they could plan better.

(b) Household replacements (Eleven Regions - several every week). Many and familiar complaints of household textiles worn and torn, and of lack of coupons for replacements. The provision of towels is said to be the greatest difficulty. Some parents say they are already sacrificing their coupons for their children, and cannot spare any for household goods. Householders feel they are unfairly treated as compared with women who have not got homes to keep going, and newly-weds are thought to need a special allocation of coupons. The wish for special household coupons persists.

(c) Children (Six Regions - as compared with nine last month).

(d) Workers (Four Regions).

Footwear (Eleven Regions):

  1. Poor quality (Nine Regions).

    1. Children's (Seven Regions). It is said to be especially difficult to keep children shod, particularly country children who have to walk two or more miles to school. Mothers particularly resent having to pay such high prices and give up so many coupons for shoes which are, in many cases, unrepairable. Some people ask that they should be a lower coupon value or even coupon free ... “No mother in her senses is going to buy more than she needs when the kiddies grow out of them so quickly”.

    2. Adults' (Six Regions).

  2. Repairs (Nine Regions) - particularly the time taken and the poor quality of leather used. Newcomers to a district are said to find difficulty in getting footwear accepted for repairs.

  3. Shortage (Seven Regions - as compared with nine last month).

Household linen (Nine Regions):

  1. Shortage (Eight Regions) - particularly of the Utility kinds - made more acute by laundry delays and in households which have had lodgers for a long time. Pleasure is expressed that priority to buy linen is to be granted to holders of permits for Utility furniture.

  2. High price (Four Regions), particularly of non-Utility ... “Working-class women can't afford £3 - £4 a pair for non-Utility sheets”. In one area poor people are said to be sleeping under old coats and dirty carpet felts because they cannot afford the expensive sheets and blankets, and there are none available at controlled prices.

High prices (Seven Regions) of clothing generally, with particular reference to hats (“Why no Utility hats?”) and shoes. Uncontrolled prices are said to be a serious problem to those whose incomes have not increased during the war.

Poor quality (Seven Regions) of clothing, with particular reference to Utility clothing (Four Regions - as compared with seven last month), socks, stockings, corsets, brassieres and vests.

Shortage and poor quality of elastic (Five Regions): Some people think that such articles as suspenders and braces are now of such poor quality, it is a waste of labour and material making them.

Laundries and dry cleaners (Four Regions - as compared with six last month) - chiefly delay or difficulty in getting things accepted. Also a little uncertainty about the customer's due, when the laundry loses things.

Outsize garments (Three Regions), and the difficulty of obtaining them.

Coupons for uniforms : Complaints that Scout uniforms require coupons, that Wardens have to give up so many coupons for their uniforms, and that “full time N.F.S. personnel have to surrender a quota of coupons annually, whether they get replacements or not” (One Region each).

See also Constant Topics Nos. 2, 8, 15, 16.

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

17a. Furniture and perambulators

During the past four weeks there have been a few references to the high price and scarcity of new and second-hand furniture (Three Regions), and approval for the price of the latter being controlled.

There are some complaints of the small number of units allowed for Utility furniture (Two Regions). It is thought, too, that families whose numbers are increasing should get Utility furniture permits.

Perambulators : Shortage (Two Regions), poor quality and high price (One Region each). It is alleged that Utility prams do not stand up to country roads.

(1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 11. 12)

18. Transport

During the past four weeks , in addition to comment on train cancellations, complaints have been on familiar lines. There was some surprise, however, that the invasion caused so little disruption of transport services.

Comment has been of:

  1. Inadequate bus services (Twelve Regions), particularly in rural areas (Eight Regions).

  2. The crowding out of workers (Eight Regions), by (i) shoppers at rush hours (Three Regions); (ii) holiday makers (Three Regions); (iii) schoolchildren (One Region).

  3. Lack of late evening services (Five Regions), particularly during the light nights. It is suggested that later buses would help Holidays at Home.

  4. Rudeness of bus employees (Four Regions).

  5. Queues (Three Regions).

  6. Need for better supplies of cycle parts (Three Regions) since cyclists help to relieve the strain on transport.

  7. Lack of Sunday buses (Two Regions) - particularly for church-goers.

  8. Workers' buses not picking up passengers when they have room (Two Regions).

  9. Road deaths (Two Regions). Excessive speed and careless driving - especially by the military - are thought responsible.

  10. Members of the Government touring the country in special trains (Two Regions).

Holiday transport has been the subject of considerable speculation (Eight Regions). Some are reconciled to doing without holidays away from home but others think they are entitled to them and in some cases mean to take them. A definite lead from the Government continues to be asked for.

See also Constant Topics, No. 3.

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

18a. Petrol

During the past four weeks complaints have continued on familiar lines as follows:

  1. Petrol wasted on “joy riding” (Eight Regions), including trips to cinemas, dances and races. Allocation of petrol for race meetings is thought absurd (Three Regions).

  2. Uneconomic use of petrol (Five Regions) by Civil Defence, Army, Home Guard and farmers.

  3. Cars being used when buses are available (Two Regions).

  4. Unfair distribution (Two Regions). It is complained that while some waste it, others find it difficult to get for legitimate needs.

See also Constant Topics No. 11.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 7. 8. 9. 12. 13)

19. Food

During the past four weeks satisfaction with the food situation has continued widespread and there has been praise for the Ministry of Food. The smooth working of the ration book distribution has also been the subject of much satisfaction.

Comment has been of:

(a) The cheese ration (Ten Regions). Earlier there were complaints of the inadequacy of the ration - particularly from agricultural workers. The prospect of an increase has given pleasure, however, though some think three ounces would still be too small.

(b) Fish (Ten Regions). Complaints of shortage are fewer and some pleasure at increased supplies has been reported. Some country districts still feel they do not fare as well as towns; and hotels and restaurants are thought to have preferential treatment.

(c) Milk (Nine Regions). The prospect of a milk cut is causing some disappointment, particularly as prior to the announcement of the impending cut, there had been pleasure at the extra milk received and at the prospect that rationing might be done away with. There is some criticism of the Ministry of Food for its alleged inconsistency. A few, however, think the cut may be caused by milk going to the hospitals or to the Forces.

(d) Meat (Eight Regions). Complaints continue of (i) Too much pork (Seven Regions); it is said that children, old people and invalids cannot eat it. (ii) The poor quality and toughness of meat (Four Regions).

(e) Fruit (Eight Regions). The longing for fruit, and regret at the damage to the fruit crop continue. There is pleasure at the prospect of more fruit being imported.

It is hoped jam manufacturers will not get all the soft fruit crop.

(f) The high price of green vegetables and salads (Seven Regions) - “rampant profiteering”. Shortage is also referred to in reports from four Regions.

(g) Jam (Six Regions). The promise of extra sugar for jam continues to be welcomed (Three Regions), as does the promise that the quality of the jam will be improved - “it can do with improvement”.

There continues to be some confusion over the sugar or jam scheme.

(h) Dried fruit (Six Regions). The shortage - particularly of prunes - continues to be complained of. Some are pleased with recent supplies, however, and particularly with the promise of more.

(i) Tomatoes (Six Regions). People are grumbling at the difficulty in obtaining them and are wondering whether more will be made available. It is hoped they will be distributed more equitably this season.

(j) Poor distribution of off-the-ration goods (Six Regions). Country districts, and towns with large influxes of visitors for shopping or holidays, are thought to do very badly compared with other places.

(k) Recent supplies of “off-the-ration” ham and bacon (Six Regions). Pleasure continues.

(l) Monotony of diet (Five Regions).

(m) Inadequacy of rations for heavy workers (Four Regions) - particularly agricultural workers.

(n) Beer shortage (Four Regions). In the South West, however, supplies are thought to have improved since the invasion.

(o) Difficulties of small families and people living alone (Three Regions).

See also Constant Topics Nos. 7, 13, 18, 19.

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

20. Shopping difficulties

During the past four weeks complaints have continued on familiar lines. Comment has been chiefly of:

  1. Preferential treatment and under-the-counter sales (Eight Regions), particularly fruit and tomatoes. People growing their own vegetables are becoming anxious that they will find difficulty in buying fruit again this year.

  2. Shopping difficulties of workers (Seven Regions), largely as a result of lunch-time and early evening closing. Women complain of being unable to get off-the-ration goods and extras. There are also complaints of the difficulty in buying shoes when shops impose a quota system.

  3. Queues (Six Regions) chiefly for cakes, fish, and tomatoes. Some think goods in short supply should be rationed, to give everybody a fair chance.

See also Constant Topics, Nos. 5 and 12.

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

21. Service allowances, pensions and pay

During the past four weeks very little pleasure at the recent increases in pay and allowances has been reported. There has been increased adverse criticism, as well as considerable confusion and disillusionment from dependants who are bewildered to find themselves “pretty much where we were”.

Complaints are chiefly that :

  1. The increases in both pay and allowances are meagre and inadequate (Seven Regions), especially in view of the wages earned by many civilians.

  2. It is unjust for dependants to suffer financially because a man is killed (Four Regions).

  3. The Government promised extra pay for wives of servicemen and then “deducted from the men's pay” (Four Regions).

  4. The increase is nullified where it is offset by a corresponding reduction in the War Service Grant (Three Regions).

  5. Wives and widows are liable for Income Tax.

  6. Childless wives do not get the same increase as those with children.

  7. The disparity between the pay of our men and that of Dominion and Allied troops continues.

  8. Servicemen will be discouraged from trying for promotion (Two Regions each).

R.A.F. (Four Regions): There are complaints that very few wives of R.A.F. men will benefit from the increases, and some (without children) “are from 1/9 to 7/- worse off”.

During the past four weeks there has been little comment about servicemen's pensions (Four Regions). People are, however, anxious that disabled men should have “decent” pensions - “we can find millions a day to run this war and ought to be able to find it for the lads when they come back”. It is felt Pensions Tribunals are sometimes unfair and that “fit for service, fit for pensions” should be the principle acted upon by the Ministry of Pensions.

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

22. Pensions (other than Service)

Old age pensions (Five Regions): During the past four weeks comment has declined. However, complaint continues of the inadequacy of old age pensions (Four Regions), particularly the basic rate; a few believe old age pensioners cannot afford to get enough to eat.

Both old age pensioners themselves and other people think that there should be an adjustment to meet the present cost of living.

More sympathetic consideration of claims is suggested; and there is some resentment that when an old age pensioner works his pension is taxable.

Pensions generally (Two Regions): News of wages and salaries being increased “all round” is said to make “bitter reading” for elderly people “struggling” to live on pre-war pensions; and there is resentment, also, at the taxing of pensions.

(1. 3. 4. 5. 9)

23. Health

During the past four weeks complaints of war weariness, tiredness, strain and general debility have continued (Ten Regions), though the volume has appreciably declined since the invasion of France.

Causes mentioned are:

  1. Long hours and continuous over-work over a long period (Five Regions). Particular reference is made to the effect on elderly workers, and women with household responsibilities.

  2. War-time diet (Three Regions).

  3. General state of health (Four Regions). While some feel that the nation's health is fairly satisfactory, it is “thought absurd to say that health has never been so good”. People find it particularly difficult to throw off illness.

Shortage of hospital accommodation for maternity cases (Four Regions). This again causes anxiety and deep concern.

Shortage of doctors (Two Regions): It is thought that consequent over-work is lowering the efficiency of doctors.

See also Constant Topics, No: 4.

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

24. White Paper on a National Health Service

During the past four weeks comment has again been limited. Approval in general continues, as does resentment at the doctors' opposition to it (Four Regions). People would like to know if pride and prejudice are their real motives, or if they have a genuine complaint. People hope that hospital and medical services will be fully and equally available to all.

Voluntary hospitals : Opinion is divided on their future (Five Regions). Some hope they will retain their individuality. Others are against them and think that doctors and specialists have a vested interest in them.

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

25. Civil Defence, Fire Guard and Home Guard

During the past four weeks reported comment has again consisted mainly of grumbles about duties and parades, variously regarded as tiring, excessive or completely unnecessary.

Civil Defence and Fire Guard duties (Eight Regions) are both the subject of complaint on the grounds that they are a waste of time, money, manpower and energy. This feeling is particularly reported in Scotland, the Northern, North Eastern and North Western Regions where heavy raids are thought by many to be a thing of the past. Apathy and, in some cases, irritation are reported in consequence. Some people, particularly in the Northern Region, feel that relaxation of duty might be made in less vulnerable areas, and take particular exception to daylight firewatching.

Other complaints are of: (i) People evading or refusing to do duty; (ii) Waste of money and material in providing chevrons, badges and clothing; (iii) Anomalies in the hours and conditions of duty; (iv) Fire Guards being compelled to attend lectures which turn out to be “mere revision of a very simple procedure”.

The Home Secretary's circular about the position of members of local authorities in relation to the Civil Defence Services is said to have caused some annoyance (local in two Regions).

Home Guard (Six Regions): Complaints of (i) Unnecessary drills and parades, e.g. fully trained men being paraded on Whit Sunday; (ii) Farmers and allotment workers being too busy for H.G. duties during the summer months; (iii) The tiring effect of parades and duties on top of a day's work - elderly men are said to be unfit for work after a night on duty following a 10 or 11 hours' shift; (iv) Parades ending too late for men to catch the last bus home, due in some cases to those in charge turning up late for parade.

The Home Guard had expected to be called on to take a more active part when invasion started; it is feared there will be much disappointment if their four years' work is completely wasted.

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

26. Agriculture

During the past four weeks comment has been chiefly about:

Labour (Eight Regions): Shortage of labour is causing anxiety. Farmers say they will need all the help they can get, and hope camps will be set up wherever possible; though, even with volunteer help, some fear they will not be able to cope with the coming harvest. Some agricultural workers feel they should be released from Home Guard duties and hope their officers will be very tolerant at harvest time. In the Northern Region, the loss of Italian prisoner of war labour is deplored.

Some interest is reported in the Holiday Help scheme , though a few workers feel too tired this year to take part, and they want a real holiday. In the North Eastern Region “war workers feel they are being frustrated in efforts to volunteer because some R.O.F. centres and various officials take the view that workers cannot be released”. Farmers are said to appreciate the Help from Schools scheme.

Drought and frost damage (Seven Regions): Farmers and smallholders are concerned about the effect of the drought on all crops, but particularly the hay, and the consequent problem of feeding livestock in the coming winter. Anxiety about frost damage to potato and fruit crops is again reported, though in some areas the loss is believed to be less than was at first anticipated.

Food and Drugs (Milk and Dairies) Bill (Seven Regions): Though a few say it is time something was done, much resentment is reported at the bureaucratic methods proposed.

Four-year price guarantee (Four Regions): Mr. Hudson's “unexpected” announcement about the stabilisation of prices until the summer of 1948 has given considerable pleasure and is thought to have made farmers more contented.

Forms and permits (Four Regions): Farmers again complain of continual form filling, and plead for fewer forms and more simple wording of those which are essential.

Wages (Three Regions): While some people feel that small farms cannot support the fixed wages, some workers are said to want an increase and to be growing dissatisfied with the attitude of the farmers. It is thought that men will not be attracted to farming as a career while the basic wage is only sixty-five shillings.

Seed potatoes (Two Regions): Some complaints are reported about seed potatoes, many of which have had to be thrown away.

Pests (Two Regions): A plague of rabbits and other farm pests is said to be adding to farmers' difficulties in the Southern and South Western Regions.

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

27. Government Water Scheme

During the past four weeks difficulties caused by the drought have been constantly reported. The Government Water Scheme has aroused pleased interest, and people in rural areas look hopefully for improved supplies. The only fear expressed is that some local authorities will fail to take action without Government pressure.

(1. 3. 6. 7. 9. 11. 12)

28. Salvage

During the past eight weeks there have again been complaints of non-collection or careless collection of salvage (Seven Regions), with consequent “slumps” in enthusiasm for the salvage campaign. Some householders are uncertain whether tins are still required for salvage.

Railings and scrap metal (Five Regions): Complaints are again made of metal lying about in dumps, often of long-standing, while railings are still being taken down. A case is given of a woman having to pay to get rid of some scrap metal, yet a month or so later her house railings were removed.

Paper (Four Regions): People are thought to be getting careless about paper and cardboard, and there is also criticism of non-collection, and of paper wasted in advertisements and posters. In two Regions, book drives are said to create interest.

(2. 3. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 12)


(Covering period from 25th May to 20th June, 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. Housing difficulties

(a) Shortage of accommodation

1 June Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11. 12.
8 June Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11. 12.
15 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11. 12.
22 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 13.

(b) High rents and prices

1 June Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 9. 11.
8 June Regions 1. 3. 5. 9.
15 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 9. 11.
22 June Regions 1. 4. 6. 9. 11. 12.

2. Inadequacy of clothing coupons for :

(a) General

1 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 9. 10. 11. 12.
8 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 12.
15 June Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 9. 10. 11. 12.
22 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 9. 10. 11. 12.

(b) Renewing household goods

1 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11.
8 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 9. 10. 11. 12.
15 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 9. 10. 12.
22 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9.

(c) Children

1 June Regions 3. 9.
8 June Regions 3. 6. 9. 11.
15 June Regions 1. 3. 9.
22 June Regions 1. 3. 9. 12.

3. Transport difficulties

(a) General

1 June Regions 1. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
8 June Regions 1. 2. 6. 10. 11.
15 June Regions 2. 3. 5. 10. 12.
22 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 9. 10.

(b) Rural

1 June Regions 1. 9.
8 June Regions 1. 3. 10.
15 June Regions 2. 3. 6. 7.
22 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4.

4. Tiredness, ill-health and war weariness

1 June Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
8 June Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 7. 9.
15 June Regions 1. 10.
22 June Regions 1. 2. 5. 7.

5. Shopping difficulties and food queues

1 June Regions 1. 5. 7.
8 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 11.
15 June Regions 1. 2. 5. 6. 10. 12.
22 June Regions 1. 3. 5. 7.

6. Shortage of domestic help

1 June Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 9. 12.
8 June Regions 1. 4. 6. 7. 9. 12.
15 June Regions 1. 6. 8. 12.
22 June Regions 1. 6.

7. High price of green vegetables, including lettuces

1 June Regions 1. 2. 5. 10
8 June Regions 1. 2. 3
15 June Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 10.
22 June Regions 1. 2. 5. 11. 12.

8. Domestic fuel: bad distribution, delayed deliveries and difficulty of stocking up for winter now

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

9. Footwear difficulties

(a) Long delay and difficulty in getting shoes repaired

1 June Regions 1. 3. 6. 8. 10.
8 June Regions 1. 6.
15 June Regions 1. 4. 5.
22 June Regions 1. 6. 9. 10.

(b) Poor quality

(i) Children's

1 June Regions 1. 4. 6. 7. 9.
8 June Regions 6.
15 June Regions 1. 5. 11.
22 June Regions 1. 4. 6. 11.

(ii) General

1 June Regions 1. 3. 5. 10.
8 June Regions 1. 3. 4.
15 June Regions Nil
22 June Regions 4. 7.

(c) Shortage

1 June Regions 1. 3.
8 June Regions 1. 3.
15 June Regions 1. 2. 5.
22 June Regions 1. 5. 6. 7. 8.

10. Workers with little or nothing to do

1 June Regions 2. 5. 6. 7. 12.
8 June Regions 1. 2. 9.
15 June Regions 1. 3. 5.
22 June Regions 6. 10. 12.

11. Waste and misuse of petrol

1 June Regions 9. 12.
8 June Regions 1. 3. 7. 9.
15 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4.
22 June Regions 1. 3. 8.

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

1 June Regions 1.
8 June Regions 1. 2. 10.
15 June Regions 2. 3. 4. 10.
22 June Regions 1. 5. 7. 8.

13. Cut in cheese ration

1 June Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 12.
8 June Regions 1.
15 June Regions 9.
22 June Regions 6.

14. Workers being paid off

1 June Regions 1. 6. 11.
8 June Regions 1. 2.
15 June Regions 1.
22 June Regions 1. 7. 9.

15. High price of clothing and footwear

1 June Regions 1. 4. 7. 10.
8 June Regions 1. 2.
15 June Regions 1. 3. 5.
22 June Regions Nil.


16. Shortage and high price of bedding and household linen

1 June Regions 4. 6.
8 June Regions 1. 3. 4. 9. 11. 12.
15 June Regions 1. 4. 5. 10. 11.
22 June Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 7. 9. 11. 12.

17. Shortage of crockery, glass and kitchenware

1 June Regions 1. 6. 10. 12.
8 June Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 10. 12.
15 June Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 10.
22 June Regions 1. 4. 10.

18. Shortage of fish

1 June Regions 1. 2. 7. 8.
8 June Regions 1. 2. 9
15 June Regions 2. 4. 5. 6
22 June Regions 1. 2. 5. 9. 10.

19. Shortage of dried fruit

1 June Regions 2. 10.
8 June Regions 1. 2.
15 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 6. 10.
22 June Regions 2. 6. 10.

20. Shortage of scrubbing brushes

1 June Regions 1. 2. 10.
8 June Regions Nil.
15 June Regions 1. 10.
22 June Regions 1. 2. 8. 10.

21. Shortage of good quality soap and of soapflakes

1 June Regions 1. 2.
8 June Regions 1. 2. 3. 4.
15 June Regions 2.
22 June 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: (i) High wages ; (ii) Disparities in pay ; (iii) Poor collection of salvage ; (iv) Inadequacy of fat ration ; (v) Criticism of Utility clothing ; (vi) Shortage of matches .

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