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. 206. 14th September, 1944

(Covering period from 5th to 12th September, 1944)


1. General

For the sixth week running there is a further rise in spirits, due this time to:

  1. The thrilling war news, particularly that of fighting on German soil. (There is, however, a wave of pained surprise at the French and Belgians looking so well dressed and fed).

  2. The relaxation of the blackout, and the reduction in Home Guard, fireguard and Civil Defence duties; “this has excited people just as much as the Allied advances”.

  3. The apparent end of the flying bomb menace.

People continue to measure the time to victory in weeks, or days - October is still the favourite guess; a more cautious minority expect it by Christmas at the latest.

Postwar : Demobilisation, employment and housing are the main home-front preoccupations.

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

2. Western Europe

The extent and, above all, the speed of Allied advances have left people breathless, amazed and delighted. There is widespread admiration for the planning and execution of the whole campaign in Northern France, special reference to “the wonderful way the armies have been supplied”. Detailed comment is rare, but there is particular satisfaction at the capture of the flying bomb sites. The recurrence of place names made familiar in the last war has added to people's zest, particularly as, “compared with the last war, it's as three days to three years”, and with nothing like the same casualties.

The liberation of Belgium has given pleasure which is all the keener because it was the British who liberated Brussels, “thus showing the world, and particularly Russia and America, that the British can also perform spectacular feats in war”. General Eisenhower's explanation has not eradicated resentment at the non-inclusion of British troops in the parade through Paris.

The prospect of fighting on German soil has caused keen anticipation which is already giving way to “almost savage pleasure” at the news that the invasion of Germany has actually begun ... “Now they'll know what it's like”. Though some expect a German collapse at any moment, an apparently greater number expect German resistance to stiffen now they are fighting on their own territory.

Conditions inside France and Belgium : Newsreels, press photographs and stories, and soldiers' letters have created a widespread impression that the French and, to a lesser extent, the Belgians are a great deal better off than was generally supposed. The Parisians in the newsreels look “a damn sight better dressed than we are, and you don't see any thin ones”. There is, in consequence, a good deal of resentment directed variously at:

  1. The idea that, though under German occupation, the French have been much better fed and dressed than ourselves. This has led to some intensification of anti-French feeling, despite the great admiration felt for the F.F.I.

  2. The “need” to send supplies to the French. Women who have been asked to knit for the children of Europe are specially indignant, pointing out there are plenty of poorly clad people in the slums of our cities, while their own wardrobes are pretty scanty by now.

  3. The discrepancy between the “propaganda about starving occupied countries” and what now appears to be the case. People want to know which is the true picture.

  4. “The poor taste and unwisdom” of publishing such material in the circumstances.

Field-Marshal Montgomery : There still appears to be a good deal of discussion of familiar lines: Delight at his promotion, but some suspicion of the motives behind it; an uneasy feeling that there has been something going on behind the scenes; limited satisfaction at General Eisenhower's explanation.

Publicity given to British and American troops : People are very pleased that the British are now being given more publicity by press and B.B.C., but there is still some resentment at “the earlier security silence which resulted in the U.S. Army having all the pats on the back”. There is some feeling that Britain's case will have suffered in the eyes of the world, and that Americans at home will hardly know that we are in Europe.

There is minority criticism of all Allied vehicles being marked by a white star; since this is generally regarded as an American marking, it is thought it will make it look as if there are no British troops in the Western offensive.

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

3. Germany

The widespread hatred of Germany continues to intensify, and her unconditional surrender and complete military defeat are increasingly urged. It is hoped these will not take place before the war has been carried well over her own frontiers.

What to do with Germany after the war is becoming a topic of increasing moment. People are agreed that Germany must never again be in a position to wage war, but a variety of suggestions as to how to prevent this are put forward. Complete extermination, splitting up the country, and long-term occupation are the favourite suggestions. The re-education of Nazi youth is also felt to be necessary.

The punishment of war criminals is also strongly demanded, and the majority continue to hope the Russians will be in a position to prevent us being too lenient. People are increasingly fearful lest the criminals escape to neutral states; if they do, it is hoped that the state concerned will be made to give them up, “by force” if necessary.

The Pope's “appeal for mercy” is criticised (Five Regions).

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

Flying bombs

Widespread relief and satisfaction at the capture of the sites. The flying bomb menace is now considered ended.

Speculation continues, however, about the possible use of another weapon. A few think it unlikely, and believe that loss of the Channel coastline has deprived Germany of possible launching bases. The majority, however, still expect some “final viciousness” in the form of gas, bacteria, “pick-a-back” planes, rockets, or a “spite-blitz” from the Luftwaffe. Some think the “pressing” of evacuees to stay away is an indication that further weapons are expected.

Mr. Duncan Sandys' report and the publicity subsequently given to the flying bomb battle have been received with widespread satisfaction. People were very pleased to hear of the efficiency of our defences and were surprised at the number of bombs destroyed. The courage of those manning the defences and the resourcefulness of the planning which allowed the bombs to be so well countered are commended.

Both the “promptness” and honesty of the report are praised.

Reactions in target areas

LONDON : The cessation of attacks has been greeted with deep relief and thankfulness. A few are still a little doubtful as to whether they really have finished but the majority are convinced they will not recur and “are sleeping in their beds again”.

Post-raid services are praised. There are still, however, some complaints of the delay in, and poor quality of, first-aid repairs to damaged property.

SOUTH EASTERN DISTRICT : A few still expect sporadic attacks but the majority think they are over.

Post-raid services : There is some praise for the rapidity of repair work to damaged houses. Folkestone people, however, feel they are entitled to a greater share of building labour since “they received bombs to relieve London”.

The shelling of Dover : The recent shelling of Dover is said to have caused a great deal of anxiety. People are believed to be using deep shelters more than at any time since the Battle of Britain, but “though they are tired there is no sign of weakening morale”.

Some resentment at the “premature” announcement of the taking of Channel ports is reported. This is believed to have caused the Germans to open fire “out of bravado”.

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

5. Evacuation

Comment is again less. There is considerable relief that evacuation problems can hardly go on for long now - and a consequent diminishing of complaints.

Many evacuees are already returning (Eight Regions and P.D.Rs.). It is suggested that it should be made compulsory for children to be left in reception areas.

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

6. Explosions in South Eastern England

The sounds of two explosions were heard over a very wide area. After the first, a great variety of rumours were in circulation. After the second, most people decided they were due to rockets, fired by the enemy, probably from Holland or Denmark; many rumours are, however, still prevalent.

Speculation and discussion have been widespread, but there has been little alarm or anxiety. It is said they need not be taken too seriously, or the Government would not have relaxed Civil Defence regulations; besides, no sirens were sounded. Finally, it is expected we shall soon occupy the launching areas of the new projectile.

Opinion is divided about whether or no the Government should make a statement. A majority favour a statement to quell rumours and to keep evacuees away. A considerable minority, however, are against it, for fear it should give information to the enemy; they add that the flying bombs got worse after Mr. Churchill's statement.

It is said that the absence of an official statement proves that the explosions had their origin outside Britain.

The rest of the country : Rumours of the arrival of rocket bombs in the London area have come from Birmingham, Newcastle, and Torquay. They are said to be discouraging evacuees from returning.

(1. 7. 9; 5 up to 12 noon Sept. 13)

7. Russo-Polish relations

Discussion is now widespread. Uneasiness, bewilderment and distress continue.

Although some do not know what to think, and a number now believe the full facts are being withheld, the majority continue suspicious of Russian policy. People ask why the Red Army has not captured Warsaw; a number think the delay is deliberate. Moreover, they cannot understand why Russia refuses either to help the patriots or to grant us the use of airfields. People are convinced the Russians have, for some reason, probably political, let the Poles down; some contrast this with comparatively generous Soviet treatment of Finland and Rumania.

Great sympathy for the Polish patriots is again expressed.

Nevertheless, the Poles are not considered blameless, and General Sosnkowski's Order of the Day is thought particularly regrettable. Some deplore the attitude of the Polish Government in London; others say General Bor should not have started fighting without full agreement with Moscow.

Some fear that, whatever the rights or wrongs, the present situation is liable to lead to dissensions between the Allies.

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

7a. Russia

Apart from the question of Russo-Polish relations, comment is again on a much reduced scale. Despite disappointment and surprise at the slow advance in the north, people continue satisfied with the general progress, and are particularly pleased at the gains in the Balkans.

Many continue to hope the Russians will reach Berlin first, while still concerned about Russia's attitude in the postwar world.

Finland (Seven Regions): People feel no sympathy for Finland and do not think she can be trusted.

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

7b. Rumania

Despite satisfaction at Rumania's defection and Allied acquisition of the oilfields, contempt and suspicion continue. A few are afraid the British are being weak in their attitude towards Rumania.

(1. 2. 5. 6. 7. 8. 11. 12. 18 twenty-four P.D.Rs.)

7c. Bulgaria

There is widespread admiration for Russia's “realistic, no nonsense” policy towards Bulgaria who, some think, was very “cheeky” in declaring herself neutral. Many think it a model of how to deal with “dubious, shifty neutrals”.

Though people are pleased with developments, they remain contemptuous of Bulgaria, and want her to be severely punished for her behaviour during this war.

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

8. Italy

The Italian front continues to be overshadowed by the fighting in Western Europe. But the breaching of the Adriatic sector of the Gothic line still gives great pleasure, and progress generally is thought satisfactory; a minority again think the advance slow - and likely to remain so.

There is some speculation on future moves. It is anticipated and hoped that our men on the Riviera will be able to force their way in behind the enemy on the Gothic line.

The fighting Forces arouse admiration and their difficulties are said to be appreciated.

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

9. Far East

Satisfaction continues though comment is very limited. It is felt that this theatre of war, especially the Burma campaign, receives too little publicity and is quite eclipsed by events elsewhere.

Some information about the basis on which troops are drafted to the Far East would be welcomed.

Speculation continues as to how long the Japanese will hold out after the war in Europe is finished.

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

10. News presentation

Publicity given to British and American troops : (See section 2 Western Europe.)

General : Apart from the above, comment is largely favourable and the news is thought to be very fairly presented on the whole. There is great praise for the work of war correspondents, whether of press or B.B.C., and for the “wonderful press photographs”. Any reference to particular regiments causes great delight.

B.B.C .: War Commentaries (particularly Major Hastings') and War Reports are still very popular.

The B.B.C. is, however, criticised by a minority for:

  1. The “incomprehensibility” of some recorded War Reports.

  2. Not announcing victories with sufficient gusto. Some people would like announcers to show a little more excitement when reporting thrilling news.

  3. Lack of imagination in programmes concerning the liberation of France and Belgium.

  4. Allowing U.S. and Dominions reporters to monopolise War Reports.

  5. Allowing the “Man in the Street” to state that Hitler was now dependent on an army of clerks and cripples, etc. Objection has been taken to the use of the word “clerks”.

Newsreels , particularly those of liberated Paris, are highly praised, but people think they should be much longer.

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



11. Home Guard, fire guard and Civil Defence

The recently announced relaxation in duties (September 7) has been greeted with almost unanimous satisfaction and relief; only a very small minority think it is risky. People think it portends the end of the war and hope it also foreshadows further concessions.

Home Guards : Members, particularly farm and munition workers, are very pleased about the changes, though some are sorry that the camaraderie which has grown up will presumably be lost.

Civil Defence : There is some anxiety about jobs for the full-time workers who will be released. It is hoped that those with jobs to go to will be allowed to leave first, and that others will be released immediately, if they find work.

Fire guard . Some confusion is reported (Three Regions) as to the exact measure of relaxation.

During the first three weeks of the period under review there had been very widespread, persistent, and increased demands for some relaxation. Many people thought that, especially in the case of the Home Guard, duties could cease altogether, but (Three Regions) that parades etc. continued “so that brass hats could keep cushy jobs”.

There was, however, less comment on these lines from the South and East than from the North and West.

See also Constant Topics No. 4.

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

11a. Easing of blackout

Intense almost universal satisfaction, and profound relief, greeted the announcement (September 7); some (Three Regions) rejoicing “as much as at the news of a great victory”. A small minority (Five Regions), including some in coastal areas, are however, a little nervous.

A good many people want a fuller explanation of exactly how much lighting is to be allowed (Six Regions); at present there is apparently considerable confusion; specified are inhabitants of coastal areas; and clergymen, who wonder whether stained glass will be regarded as obscuring lights adequately.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 10. 11. 12. 13. 18 one hundred and five P.D.Rs.)

11b. N.F.S .

During the past four weeks it has been said that “too many are employed with too little to do - and lots of petrol and cars to do it in”.

People continue pleased at the contemplated comb-out, though some think personnel will cling to their jobs “like grim death”.

(1. 2. 6. 7. 8)

12. Postwar

During the past four weeks hopes of early victory have increased discussion about the future: “Faith in a better Britain materialising is decreasing”, and widespread anxiety is coupled with scepticism about Government plans and intentions. Many consider the postponement of the raising of the school-leaving age and the “shelving” of Beveridge and other plans as signs that the Government “don't mean business”. Concrete plans for all problems are asked for, and a start to be made in putting them into effect, as evidence of good faith.

Employment and housing remain the chief preoccupations.

The main differences this month are increased anxiety about (a) Demobilisation, and the after-war life awaiting the demobilised: “We want houses and jobs for the men who have been fighting for us”; and (b) British export trade, and U.S. competition; workers and employers are both worried.

More detailed comment is as follows:

Employment (All Regions): Fear of large-scale postwar unemployment, both for war workers and Service personnel, continues widespread. People are also worrying as to how the end of the war will affect them personally; particularly apprehensive are factory workers, Civil Defence workers, servicemen's relatives, women doing men's jobs, and older people. Many expect a mad scramble for jobs at the end of the war. They doubt whether the Government will be able to implement its plans for work for all - or, according to some, whether they even want to. Such unemployment as there is already - believed to be considerable - together with rumours of impending discharges, increase doubts about the possibility of a stable level of employment after the war; this is particularly so in the former depressed areas.

Housing (Twelve Regions): The present acute shortage accentuates the widespread anxiety about the future. People want to know that Government delays about alleviating the present situation are not due to serious lack of real preparations. They criticise the Government for the vagueness of its building programme and for its failure to give guidance to local authorities now, to enable them to get going immediately.

Fear continues that prices and rents will be exorbitant, and Government control is hoped for after the war.

Talk is also about:

  1. Prefabricated houses (Ten Regions), which continue unpopular because of (i) high price; (ii) short life; (iii) smallness; (iv) little faith that they will be scrapped before they have been allowed to degenerate into slums; (v) fear that they will be erected on sites needed for permanent houses. At the same time, demands continue for examples of the Portal House to be exhibited all over the country, and some people, fearing “it's a Portal House or nothing at all” are ready “to put up with one”.

  2. Rural housing (Six Regions). People in rural districts want improvement schemes to be applied to them as well as to towns. They continue particularly anxious for a good water supply - it should be dealt with on a national scale - good indoor sanitation, and electricity.

Demobilisation (Twelve Regions): Interest increases each week as victory seems more imminent.

Theoretically, everyone believes demobilisation will be a slow business; but everyone also believes that as far as his or her own relatives are concerned there are ample reasons for them to be demobilised among the first.

Government plans are eagerly awaited, and people are disappointed that nothing has yet been said to allay anxiety. There is much speculation about what principle will be adopted. Most people think priority should be given to length of service, particularly overseas. Other categories suggested are “married before single”; key men in industry; teachers; young men who were called up in the middle of their training or who went into the Services straight from school.

Agriculture (Nine Regions): Farmers continue full of forebodings that they will be let down again; and that the Government will revert to the old policy of lack of adequate protection for home-produced food. Some farmers are selling out - or thinking of doing so, “while the going is good”.

On the other hand, while anxiety is said to be dominant, hope is expressed that the Government will continue its active interest in agriculture after the war.

In the Eastern and South Western Regions people are uneasy about the drift to the towns “which drains labour from land work”.

Industry and trade (Eight Regions), which is primarily regarded from the point of view of employment.

People are interested in:

(a) Export (Five Regions). They fear U.S. businessmen, already active while we are still fully occupied with war, are capturing our markets. Some feel that all postwar schemes depend on our being able to build up the national income by an increase in foreign trade.

(b) The changeover to peacetime production (Five Regions). Employers particularly are not convinced that this has been sufficiently organised by the Government. They, in any case, want to know the Government plans immediately, so that they can make their own plans.

(c) Location of industry . The establishing of factories for light industry in the Northern Region has given much satisfaction in Sunderland and Tynemouth. South Wales still demands more industries.

There is some demand for immediate Government plans as, for one thing, postwar housing is thought to depend in certain cases on the location of factories.

(d) Essential Work Order (Four Regions). While a few are said to realise that some direction of labour will be necessary to make full use of manpower, employers and employees on the whole seem to favour the discontinuance of the E.W.O. Workers want freedom to choose their jobs, but are reluctant to see the return of employers' freedom to sack them.

National Health Scheme (Eight Regions): Comment is limited. People expect the medical profession to oppose it.

Civil aviation (Seven Regions): A great deal of uneasiness is reported at British unpreparedness compared with the U.S. “who will have it all in their own hands”.

Rationing (Six Regions): While many assume that food and clothes rationing will have to continue for some time after the war, there is hope of some relaxation.

Taxation (Five Regions): Some hope for a reduction, and employers maintain that it must come down at the earliest possible moment so as to induce expansion of trade and industry, and create work. A few people fear, however, that postwar education plans and other schemes are all based on the assumption of unlimited supplies of money, and that there will be no reduction.

Small shops and businesses (Four Regions): Fear continues that they will be squeezed out by multiple concerns and monopolies.

Conscription (Three Regions): Comment is slight - but favourable, for various reasons: (a) It would give young men who have been in reserved occupations during the war a taste of the Forces; (b) “We must have an army of occupation in Germany”; (c) It would provide much needed discipline and physical training for boys leaving school.

Emigration (Two Regions): Young people interested in emigration want information about life and prospects in the Colonies and Dominions.

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

13. Housing

During the past four weeks complaints have continued widespread about:

(a) The acute shortage (Twelve Regions - several every week) of houses and accommodation of all kinds. Stories are again told of overcrowding; also of healthy people having to share rooms with tubercular ones.

People are described as desperate and despondent; also resentful that “there appears to be no Government move to provide a speedy remedy”.

(b) High prices of houses for sale, and high rents for furnished accommodation (Nine Regions). Government control is asked for.

(c) Repair difficulties (Four Regions). People feel labour and materials should be released to make houses habitable and thus help to relieve the shortage.

(d) Notices to quit (Three Regions) served on (i) Expectant mothers: “Surely the Government should protect them”. (ii) Naval and other officials in Plymouth “by many former residents who now want to reoccupy their homes”.

See also Constant Topics No. 3.

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

14. Education

Throughout the past four weeks educationalists and people keen on postwar reconstruction have expressed keen disappointment at the postponement of the raising of the school-leaving age . They recognise the difficulties of staffing and accommodation but feel that if the date of April 1945 was impracticable it should never have been fixed. A few suggest the Government only fixed it “to get the Bill through at all costs”.

Teachers : Concern continues about their recruitment and training, as people do not feel that the Government is tackling the shortage seriously enough.

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

15. Industry

During the past four weeks , conditions in industry are again said to have been satisfactory on the whole, and workers have found little to grumble about. There has, nevertheless, been much comment about reduced production (Eleven Regions), whether resulting from: (a) enforced idleness; (b) workers being paid off; (c) absenteeism and slacking; or (d) reduced hours of work.

Reduced production, whether encountered or only rumoured, is causing great uneasiness and uncertainty in connection with postwar employment. Workers are very anxious to know what provision will be made for those employed on war production during the transition period.

Concern is specially marked in the shipbuilding and ship-repairing industries and in engineering. On Tyneside, Wearside, Clydeside and in the Aberdeen yards there is mounting anxiety at the number of discharges rumoured to have taken place, and at the rise in unemployment. In the Tyneside yards alone, as many as 10,000 are believed to have been paid off. “If it is like this now, what will it be like after demobilisation?” is the question generally asked.

See also Constant Topics, No. 12.

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

15a. Manpower

During the past four weeks there has been very little comment. Evasion of the call-up, which was referred to last month in reports from nine Regions, has not been mentioned at all. There has continued, however, to be comment about:

Shortage of labour (Five Regions), with particular reference to the steel industry; “civil life”, i.e. laundries, shops, etc; the building trade; the textile and ancillary trades.

In view of the apparent slackening of work in many war factories, it is not understood why the Ministry of Labour continues to call up men and women who “though not directly connected with war production, are, nevertheless extremely busy”. The call-up of apprentices at this stage of the war is thought very short-sighted.

A minority persist in believing that women in the Services, W.A.A.F. in particular, have very little to do and might well be returned to civil life to ease the labour shortage. It is also thought that N.F.S. women should be transferred to understaffed hospitals.

(1. 3. 7. 10. 12)

15b. Wages

During the past four weeks comment has continued to decline. There have, however, been a few complaints of:

High wages (Five Regions), particularly of the young, the unskilled, piece workers, and Irish labourers. There is some concern as to how young people will react to a return to more or less normal wages after the war.

Disparity of pay (Four Regions), particularly between: (a) munition workers and servicemen - “often doing the same work in ordnance”; (b) young people and adults ... “young people have plenty of money and can spend lavishly; old people are often not able to earn enough to save for their retirement”; (c) men and women doing the same job; (d) unskilled and skilled.

Low wages (Three Regions). Those particularly complaining have been unskilled workers and time-work craftsmen in shipbuilding, and workers directed to work at lower wages than they had previously earned. Cotton operatives are particularly specified.

(1. 2. 3. 8. 10)

16. Domestic fuel

During the past four weeks comment has continued about.

  1. The increased cost of coal and its high price (Nine Regions). People are extremely critical and quite unable to understand the reason for the latest increase. This is said to be specially hard on the poor and on pensioners of all kinds. Blame is variously placed on:

    1. “The inefficiency of the industry” ; People are particularly reluctant to pay “the expenses of smarties who are running a job they know little about”. Factory workers say “it proves the industry needs reorganisation and private enterprise is hopeless”.

    2. The owners and managements , “who have declined to share the increased burden of higher wages and have passed it on to the public”. Mining executives, aware of this belief, wish something could be done to instruct the man in the street on this point, to “help relations in the industry”.

    3. The middleman . Some people are under the impression that miners only get 1/9d to 3/6d a ton, and ask who gets the difference between this and what the consumer pays.

  2. Fuel supplies for the coming winter (Nine Regions). There is widespread concern about next winter's supply. People complain that they have never succeeded in getting the maximum allowance for any given period and that deliveries are “weeks behind the ration”; they ask how they can possibly store up for the winter as the Ministry of Fuel and Power asks them to. High Peak dwellers are, as usual, specially anxious. There are grumbles, too, that bad summer weather and evacuees have obliged people to make inroads into previously hoarded coal.

  3. Poor quality of coal (Four Regions).

See also Constant Topics, No. 8

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

17. Miners and mining

During the past four weeks there has been a reduction in comment. There is thought to be a better feeling in the industry since the introduction of the Porter Award and the smoothing out of the resulting anomalies. The public, however, though they are less vocal, are far from contented with the situation and there is a good deal of comment about decreased coal output, on the lines of: “The more money the miners get, the less coal we get”. Some people welcome the fact that miners now get a week's holiday with pay and they hope that it may lead to increased production and less absenteeism; others are sceptical.

There is some feeling that more mechanisation should be introduced (Northern Region).

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

17a. Bevin boys

During the past four weeks there has been comment about:

(a) The ballot . Continued grumbling at the direction to the mines of boys with pre-service training and/or a propensity for the Services.

(b) The boys' value . Members of the public feel that the boys are unlikely to be of much use at work they dislike; reports of accidents to the boys tend to confirm the belief that miners are born and not made, and that the scheme cannot be a success.

This is also the feeling of some miners; in Northumberland and E. Durham there are complaints that the boys “don't pull their weight, do nothing like a full day's work, are no use for production, and are getting paid for nothing”. (Bevin boys observe, on the other hand, that miners themselves “just take a day off when they feel like it”.) Mining people also allege the trainees are given preferential treatment and that the local boys get all the risky jobs (Northern Region).

(c) Billeting . It is thought that the best results are obtained when the boys are directed to pits near their own homes, and absenteeism is thought to be lower in billets than in huts. According to the Northern Region report, miners would have taken more boys into their homes were it not for the shortage of bedding and crockery and the difficulty of providing “the kind of meals which miners' wives like to give their men”.

(1. 3. 4. 8. 9. 10)

18. Transport

During the past four weeks complaints of transport difficulties have been widespread and continuous (Twelve Regions), holiday-makers and evacuees having accentuated the already serious difficulties (Nine Regions). People criticise the lack of definite control of the situation and feel that extra transport should have been made available to meet local increases in population. They think the time has come when train cuts could be restored and extra buses run.

Comment has been chiefly about:

(a) Overcrowding

  1. Buses (Eleven Regions) are said to be packed to capacity, often “unbearably” and dangerously full. Rural buses are the greatest problem of all, and though the position is easing very slightly now that the holiday season has passed its height, difficulties continue very acute. Many buses are crowded out at the start and are unable to pick up passengers en route (Five Regions). This causes much hardship to people living in country districts. Village housewives trying to shop in town are frequently left behind or find the shops sold out by the time they can arrive. Old people and mothers with young children are thought to suffer the most under the present conditions.

  2. Trains (Ten Regions). Gross overcrowding is said to cause positive hardship, especially to those whose business necessitates frequent travel. In some cases, long distance trains are so full that it is impossible to reach the lavatory, with the result that some people are actually ill when they reach their destination. It is felt that more transport should have been provided for those wishing to visit evacuees and for holiday-makers - or, alternatively, that unnecessary travel should have been prevented. Connections on branch lines are said to be “hopeless”.

There is some dissatisfaction about the retention of first-class compartments on overcrowded trains (Three Regions).

(b) Priorities (Six Regions). Some form of priority is urged for season ticket holders and for other people whose work involves railway travel; also for workers travelling by bus during rush hours. On the other hand, it is said that “too many workers' buses are running empty when the public cannot get conveyances, and that priority is sometimes abused in non-priority hours.”

Satisfaction is reported from Poole where the system of workers' priority tickets is working smoothly.

(c) Inadequate evening and peak hour transport (Four Regions). People ask for later bus services for shift workers and travellers arriving late by train, and for better transport during rush hours.

(d) Incivility of bus employees and failure to stop when signalled (Four Regions).

(e) Time wasted in queues (Three Regions). People in a pit village in the Northern Region are reported as “normally having to stand two hours or more to board a bus”.

(f) The need for better travelling facilities for Service personnel (Three Regions).

(g) Long distance passengers crowded off buses by those going only a short distance (Two Regions).

(h) Difficulties of those who have to attend hospital for treatment (Two Regions).

See also Constant Topics, No. 1

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

18a. Petrol

During the past four weeks comment has been about:

  1. The basic petrol ration (Ten Regions). Many car owners feel the basic petrol ration could now well be restored and that this would help to relieve the present congestion on transport. On the other hand, others think that more petrol could be released for buses and that private owners should not be considered before these services are improved.

  2. Misuse and waste of petrol by (i) taxis used for pleasure (Four Regions); (ii) farmers (Three Regions); (iii) businessmen (Two Regions) ... “some people seem to arrange their business at week-ends and on sunny days”; (iv) the military, N.F.S. and W.V.S. (One Region each).

See also Constant Topics, No. 7.

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

19. Agriculture

During the past four weeks comment has been chiefly about:

  1. The harvest (Seven Regions). Good weather in the early days of the month and “everyone working early and late” resulted in fine crops being harvested under excellent conditions, though the farmers have been much handicapped by the shortage of competent labour (Six Regions). In some districts it is feared that ripe crops may be wasted if more help is not forthcoming. Latterly, the recent spell of incessant rain has much increased anxiety about the crops. In the Northern Region it is feared not only that some of the crops have been ruined but some fields will now have to be cut by hand, making the labour problem even more difficult. Double summer time is said also to have interfered with the harvest as, after heavy dew, it has been impossible to begin harvesting before noon or 1 p.m., and overtime has tired the workers.

  2. Voluntary labour (Five Regions). Satisfaction with the response to the appeal for voluntary labour is reported, though in Northumberland it is said to have been disappointingly small, and some volunteers in Berkshire were “merely there for a cheap holiday”. On the whole, farmers have appreciated the help given by these workers and by senior school boys and members of the R.A.F. One report refers to the need for a midday meal for school children picking potatoes, and suggests this could be supplied by mobile canteens.

  3. Agricultural machinery (Two Regions). Farmers complain of the difficulty of obtaining agricultural machinery.

  4. Future of the soil (Two Regions). Some concern is reported about the future productivity of the soil “which has been so forced during the last few years”, but it is hoped that waste land now being tilled will not be allowed to return to its former state. Opinion about grass land is divided - some farmers want as much put down to grass as possible; others do not.

  5. Form filling (Two Regions). Farmers complain bitterly about the number of forms they have to fill in and the lack of clerical help for this work.

  6. Farm prices (One Region). Small farms are said to be changing hands at large prices in Norfolk ... “land sold at £8 per acre a few years ago now costs £40. Is this keeping the prices to the 1939 level?”

  7. Farm cottages (One Region). Complaints are made that improvements to farm-workers' cottages are delayed again and again because of the difficulty of obtaining permits for building materials.

  8. Potato subsidy (One Region). Allegations are made that some farmers in the Northern Region are not taking any trouble with their potato crops on account of the subsidy they receive, and it is felt that the subsidy should be withheld until the crop is harvested under the best possible conditions.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11. 18 thirteen P.D.Rs.)

20. Water supply

During the past four weeks concern about the water shortage which has been aggravated to some extent by the influx of evacuees has again been reported, though to a lesser extent during the last two weeks. There is great eagerness for the Government's plans to be hastened; it is said these complaints come every year and should have been dealt with long ago.

In some rural districts, the only water many cottagers have is brought by cart two or three times a week.

Farmers have had difficulty in watering their cattle and cleaning milking utensils; they complain that much unnecessary work is caused by having to carry water.

In Northampton, cafes and hotels have been closed for lack of water.

Some anxiety is reported about the danger to health.

Satisfaction : “Charlbury, Oxon, is delighted with the additional supply of water, which is ample for its needs.”

(3. 4. 6. 7.)

21. Double summer time

During the past four weeks double summer time has continued very unpopular among farmers (Seven Regions), for whom there is said to be some sympathy. Early morning workers, mothers of young children, school teachers and rural dwellers also complain to a lesser extent.

The public generally, particularly town dwellers, remain pleased because “it staves off the blackout”, and has given extra hours of daylight to be enjoyed by holiday-makers; but some feel it has been overdone, and that the date for putting the clocks back should have been fixed earlier than September 17.

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

22.[Text Missing] Teats for babies' bottles

During the past four weeks widespread complaints from indignant mothers about the shortage of teats have continued. People still say that they have to buy new bottles to get teats, though the bottles are also becoming scarce now. The shortage is felt to be bad for babies' health and a poor way to encourage a higher birth rate.

See also Constant Topics, No. 15.

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

23. Clothing and household linen

During the past four weeks familiar vehement complaints have continued; but they have on the whole slightly decreased in volume.

The main differences have been (a) a striking drop in the number of complaints of the inadequacy of the coupon allowance for children; (b) a considerable increase in the number of complaints of shoe repair difficulties.

Comment has chiefly been about:

The insufficiency of coupons (Eleven Regions) for:

(a) Replacing household linen and curtains (Eleven Regions, several every week). The demand for special coupons continues.

(b) Clothing replacements generally (Eleven Regions). The cry continues that, after five years of war, the coupon allowance is totally inadequate; and people generally are said to be feeling the coupon shortage more than ever before, especially now “winter is approaching”.

Those thought particularly to suffer are:

  1. Children (Seven Regions); at the same time some people (Three Regions) are appreciative of the recently-issued allowance.

  2. Industrial workers (Five Regions). Miners, farm labourers and heavy workers generally are specifically mentioned.

  3. Expectant mothers (Two Regions).

  4. Nurses, bombed-out people, Civil Defence workers, and men (One Region each).

Footwear problems (Ten Regions): Complaints continue on familiar lines. They have been about:

  1. Children's shoes (Ten Regions).

    1. Shortage (Nine Regions). Infants' and young children's shoes are specifically mentioned (Three Regions); also Wellingtons, plimsolls and sandals - people would have liked the latter in order to save walking shoes during the better weather.

    2. Poor quality (Eight Regions) - “shoes at 15/- a pair are useless, because they do not stand repair”.

  2. Adults' shoes (Ten Regions).

    1. Shortage (Eight Regions). People who work all day continue to complain that shoes are all sold during the morning before they can get to the shops. Shopkeepers in one Region complain that repaired rubber boots for civilians are unobtainable despite public announcements that supplies will be available.

    2. Poor quality (Six Regions).

  3. Repair difficulties (Nine Regions - several more than once). The poor quality of repairs, the long time taken in getting them done, their high price, and the poor quality of leather for home repairs are all mentioned.

Bedding (Seven Regions).

  1. Shortages (Seven Regions). Complaints are again chiefly about sheets (Seven Regions); also blankets, bedding generally, and pillowcases (Two Regions each).

  2. Priority dockets (Three Regions). Some complain of delays in issuing the dockets; others that the system penalises “the established housewife”, because the supplies for priority holders are not in addition to ordinary quotas, and retailers retain all their goods for priority docket holders.

  3. High price of sheets (Two Regions).

Too high coupon values (Five Regions), particularly of shoes and stockings (Three Regions each); men's suits (Two Regions); and (One Region each) underwear; curtain material; children's gabardine raincoats - “why are they all 12 coupons, regardless of size?”; girls' skirts - “why a jump of 4 coupons between sizes 22" and 24"?”

Corsets (Five Regions). Women complain of the shortage of strong, good quality corsets, and the shortage of large sizes.

Poor quality of clothing generally (Three Regions), particularly stockings, children's socks and outsize clothing.

Utility clothing (Three Regions). People think it shoddy, especially the stockings; a few consider it expensive.

High price of clothing (Three Regions), particularly non-Utility goods, and women's and children's clothing.

Shortages : Elastic (Five Regions); stockings and O.S. garments (Three Regions each), the latter “in contrast to the unnecessary stocks of smaller sizes”; children's clothing; and men's clothing - “while women's clothing is in abundance” (Two Regions each).

Trafficking in coupons (Two Regions). In some areas it is said to be possible to buy “thousands”; some people think there should be an identity check when coupons are given up for clothing.

See also Constant Topics, Nos. 2. 10. 15. 21.

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

23a. Furniture and furnishings

During the past four weeks complaints have continued on a reduced scale about the high price and shortage of furniture (Two Regions each). Some people ask how long it will be before good quality furniture for all at a reasonable price is once again on the market.

The new price control is welcomed, though some are afraid auctioneers will find means of evading it; others think it is rather a case of “bolting the stable door after the horse has gone”.

Utility furniture is still thought to be difficult to get and poor in quality; a few think the present allowance insufficient for those setting up a home.

A shortage of floor coverings is reported from four Regions.

A few people complain that permits for fifteen yards of coupon-free material are refused by retailers on the grounds that replacements are unobtainable.

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

24. Food

Bacon (Four Regions): The forthcoming cut in the ration is regretted and criticised.

During the past four weeks satisfaction with the general food situation, especially as we are in the sixth year of war, and praise for the work of the Ministry of Food, have continued.

Speculation about restrictions and hopes that they will soon be lifted have apparently been stimulated by the news and pictures from the liberated countries. It is thought stocks built up to feed them might be released to feed us. Other people, however, think we shall have to go on with our present restrictions until the needs of the liberated countries are met.

Complaints have been mainly about:

  1. The shortage of beer (Eleven Regions).

  2. The shortage of fruit and tomatoes (Eleven Regions). These are said only to be obtainable “under-the-counter”; conditional sales are also complained of. Unequal distribution arouses comment, and there is bitterness that home-grown apples are not to be sent North. Long queues for fruit and tomatoes are reported.

  3. Milk (Eleven Regions). Comment about shortage has gradually increased and there is much dissatisfaction, especially as there is a scarcity of tinned and dried milk. In three Regions the shortage is blamed on evacuees and holiday-makers. In the Northern Region it is said “you are never guaranteed your ration”; milk roundsmen are said to give people what they like, and if there is not enough to cover rations at the end of the round “it is just too bad”. There are also complaints of the irregular delivery of milk. The smallness of the present ration (Five Regions) and the quality of milk are also criticised (Three Regions).

  4. Vegetables (Six Regions): Their high price - particularly of lettuces- and shortage are complained of.

  5. Meat (Six Regions). The ration is thought too small, especially for miners, who say without more meat they cannot do a full day's work. The poor quality of meat, especially beef, is also criticised; some want a change from pork.

  6. Fish (Six Regions), which is still scarce in some areas. In others it is more plentiful (Three Regions), though not always fresh.

  7. Eggs (Five Regions). Allocations are said to be held back until the eggs are stale. People complain they cannot always be sure of getting their ration and that eggs are difficult to get on emergency ration cards.

  8. Inadequate quantity of sugar for jam making (Five Regions).

  9. Dried fruit (Five Regions). Scarcity is reported from several areas, and also unequal distribution to retailers. On the other hand, in the North Eastern Region the apparent increase in supplies has led to the suggestion that the points value should be reduced.

  10. The scarcity of points goods (Four Regions), especially cereals. Holiday-makers and evacuees are thought responsible.

  11. Fat ration (Four Regions), which is considered inadequate. Fish and chips shops cannot fry the fish and potatoes which are now available. The quality of butter is complained of in two areas.

  12. The inadequacy of the cheese ration (Four Regions). An increase is desired, especially by farmers and for factory workers.

See also Constant Topics, Nos. 5. 6. 17. 18. 25.

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

24a. Shopping difficulties

During the past four weeks complaints, though less detailed, have continued about:

  1. Queues (Six Regions), especially for fruit and tomatoes, confectionery and cakes, and fish. In some areas an increase is blamed on evacuees and holiday-makers; thus making it more difficult than ever for workers to obtain goods in short supply. Some housewives are said to be quite cheerful about longer waits in queues.

  2. Under-the-counter sales and favouritism by shopkeepers (Six Regions).

  3. Incivility of shop assistants (Two Regions).

See Constant Topics, No. 14.

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

25. Domestic help

During the past four weeks complaints of hardship due to the shortage of domestic help have continued widespread. Those chiefly affected are:

  1. Old people (Five Regions).

  2. Sick people and invalids (Five Regions).

  3. Mothers with young children (Four Regions).

  4. Farmers' wives (Two Regions).

  5. Maternity homes, hotels, doctors' and clergymen's households (One Region each).

See also Constant Topics, No. 9.

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

26. Health

During the past four weeks complaints of tiredness, war strain and minor illness have continued on a reduced scale. The elderly and middle-aged are said to be the worst sufferers. Food, bad conditions of ventilation in factories, and overwork are chiefly held responsible.

Praise continues for the Government's care of children's health.

Other comment has been on:

  1. The shortage of hospital and maternity accommodation (Four Regions). The delay before cases can be admitted to hospitals for operations is said to cause much anxiety.

  2. The increase in tuberculosis (Two Regions), which causes some anxiety.

  3. V.D. campaign (Two Regions). An intensification of this campaign is felt to be needed - partly because interest is thought to have decreased, and partly because of the “obvious decline in morality”.

See also Constant Topics, No. 11.

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

27. Italian prisoners of war

During the past four weeks the freedom of the Italians to roam the countryside has been much criticised. People feel that if Italy is really no longer an enemy, these men should be given a chance to return and fight for their own country. Some resent the friendly spirit being shown to the prisoners “by those who forget what the intervention of Italy cost us in men and ships”.

They are also indignant about “their making dates with our silly youthful girls”.

In Scotland several clashes between civilians and Italians are alleged. In the Northern Region the police are said to be nervous lest there be trouble.

Complaints are also that (a) they have special transport while other people have to travel “packed like cattle”; (b) they are to be given our Service chevrons.

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

28. Allied prisoners of war

During the past four weeks concern has been reported about prisoners in:

The Far East (Five Regions): People hope the Government will not relax its efforts to alleviate their sufferings. Relatives are very anxious at the lack of news.

Germany (Three Regions): The suspension of the despatch of parcels to prisoners is perturbing relatives. There is some anxiety in the North Eastern Region that, with the war going against the Germans, prisoners may be wilfully sacrificed by them; though in London it is suggested that recent events may materially improve their treatment.

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

29. Service pensions, pay and allowances

During the past four weeks complaints have continued of:

(a) The inadequacy of pensions for discharged servicemen (Six Regions) - “if millions can be spent every day on the war, more could be used in this good cause”.

There are also complaints that “pensions seem ever harder to get since Tribunals have been set up”.

(b) The inadequacy of servicemen's pay (Three Regions) and dependants' allowances (Two Regions). Disgust is expressed that “servicemen should still in certain cases be dependent on charities”.

(c) Servicemen's dependants' pensions (Two Regions). There is particular criticism of these being less than dependants' allowances.

See also Constant Topics, No. 11.

(1. 3. 5. 8. 9. 10)

30. Old Age Pensions

During the past four weeks complaints of the inadequacy of the old age pension and the demand for an increase in the basic rate have continued (Four Regions).

In addition comment has continued on:

  1. The “Means Test” in connection with application for supplementary pensions (Three Regions). This continues to be deplored.

  2. The age limit for non-contributory pensions (One Region). A reduction in this is urged.

(1. 3. 8. 9)

31. Income tax

During the past four weeks comment, considerably less, has been mainly about the effect of P.A.Y.E. on workers' attitude. It is said to cause:

  1. Refusal to work overtime and on Sundays (Four Regions). Workers resent having to pay income tax on overtime and it is thought agricultural workers especially need talks on this subject. The tax to them means reduction of pay and “farmers who cannot explain P.A.Y.E. simply and patiently are losing work-people who consider themselves unjustly dealt with”. The extension of double summer time has aggravated the trouble, as labourers complain that because it is too damp to harvest in the morning, they must work overtime and so pay increased taxes. Workers are again said to be taking casual work in the evenings to avoid tax on extra earnings.

  2. Deliberate absenteeism (One Region). There have also been complaints of (a) the difficulty of checking deductions, (b) the high rate of tax on small wages, and (c) deductions from holiday pay.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 6)


(Covering period from 15th August to 12th September, 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. Transport difficulties

(a) General

24 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12.
31 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
7 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 9. 10.

(b) Rural

24 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 7. 8. 10.
7 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 12.
14 September Regions 2. 3. 6. 7. 10.

2. Inadequacy of clothing coupons for :

(a) General

24 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. 9. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 6. 7. 9. 10.
7 September Regions 2. 3. 6. 9. 10. 12.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 10. 12.

(b) Renewing household goods

24 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12.
31 August Regions 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
7 September Regions 2. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 10.

(c) Children

24 August Regions 6. 7. 9. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 8. 9.
7 September Regions Nil.
14 September Regions 2. 6.

3. Housing difficulties

(a) Shortage of accommodation

24 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 11. 12.
31 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9.
7 September Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 11.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 11. 12.

(b) High rents and prices

24 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 9.
31 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9.
7 September Regions 4. 6. 7. 8. 11. 12.
14 September Regions 4. 7. 11. 12.

(c) Repair difficulties

24 August Regions 7. 9. 12.
31 August Regions 3. 5.
7 September Regions 5. 8.
14 September Regions 4. 12.

4. Belief that some relaxation should be made in the duties of :

(a) Home Guard

24 August Regions 1. 3. 6. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11.
7 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12.
14 September Regions Nil.

(b) Fire Guard

24 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 7. 10. 11.
31 August Regions 1. 3. 6. 9. 10. 11.
7 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 8. 10. 13.
14 September Regions Nil.

(c) Civil Defence

24 August Regions 1. 3. 9. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 8.
7 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 7. 8. 9. 10.
14 September Regions Nil.

5. Shortage of milk and inadequacy of ration

24 August Regions 3. 7. 12.
31 August Regions 7. 8. 12.
7 September Regions 1. 4. 6. 7. 9. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 10.

6. Shopping difficulties and food queues

24 August Regions 1. 2. 7. 8. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 10. 11.
7 September Regions 1. 2. 7. 8.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 7. 9.

7. Petrol

(a) Hope of, or desire for reintroduction of basic petrol ration

24 August Regions 3. 9. 10. 12.
31 August Regions 1. 3. 9. 10.
7 September Regions 3. 4. 6.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7. 12.

(b) Waste and misuse of petrol

24 August Regions 3.
31 August Regions 2. 3. 7. 10.
7 September Regions 1. 3.
14 September Regions 1. 3. 10.

8. Coal

(a) High Price

24 August Regions 1. 3. 5. 6. 9. 12.
31 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 8. 9.
7 September Regions 3. 4. 8. 9. 10.
14 September Regions 5.

(b) Anxiety about winter supplies

24 August Regions 5. 10.
31 August Regions 2. 4. 6. 10.
7 September Regions 1. 3. 4. 7. 9. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 3. 5. 6. 10.

(c) Bad distribution and delayed deliveries

24 August Regions 10.
31 August Regions 2. 3. 4. 6. 8. 10.
7 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 7. 9. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 5.

9. Shortage of domestic help

24 August Regions 1. 4. 5. 6. 7. 12.
31 August Regions 4. 6. 7. 12.
7 September Regions 1. 6. 10. 11.
14 September Regions 1. 3. 5. 9.

10. Footwear difficulties

(a) Shortage

(i) Children's

24 August Regions 1. 3. 8. 9. 10. 11.
31 August Regions 4. 7. 8. 10. 11.
7 September Regions 1. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 5. 7. 10.

(ii) General, including adults'

24 August Regions 3.
31 August Regions 4. 9. 10. 11.
7 September Regions 10.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 7.

(b) Repairs

(i) Long delay and difficulty in getting shoes repaired

24 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 7.
31 August Regions 4. 8. 9.
7 September Regions 1. 7. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 6. 8. 10.

(ii) Poor quality

24 August Regions 6. 7. 11.
31 August Regions 1. 11.
7 September Regions 7. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 7. 10.

(c) Poor quality

(i) General, including adults'

24 August Regions 1. 10.
31 August Regions 4. 6. 11.
7 September Regions 7. 10.
14 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 6. 8. 10.

(ii) Children's

24 August Regions 1. 2. 7. 8. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 4. 10.
7 September Regions 6. 8. 10.
14 September Regions 3. 6.

11. Tiredness, ill-health and war weariness

24 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 7.
31 August Regions 3. 5. 7.
7 September Regions 1. 6. 12.
14 September Regions 1. 5. 7. 8. 12.

12. Industry

(a) Enforced idleness

24 August Regions 3. 9. 10.
31 August Regions 3. 9.
7 September Regions 2. 6. 7. 9. 10.
14 September Regions 7. 8. 9.

(b) Workers discharged and factories closing down

24 August Regions 1. 11.
31 August Regions 1. 4. 11.
7 September Regions 3. 8. 9. 11.
14 September Regions 1. 3. 10. 11.

13. Inadequacy of dependants' allowances and Service pensions

24 August Regions 3. 9. 10.
31 August Regions 3. 5. 9.
7 September Regions 1. 3. 9.
14 September Regions 8. 9.

14. Preferential treatment by shopkeepers, including under-counter sales

24 August Regions 5. 7. 8. 10.
31 August Regions 4. 9.
7 September Regions 1. 7.
14 September Regions 1. 8.

15. Poor quality and high price of clothing

24 August Regions 1. 5. 6. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 6. 8. 10.
7 September Regions Nil.
14 September Regions 1.


16. Shortage of feeding bottle teats

24 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 11. 12.
31 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 7. 8. 10. 11.
7 September Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 10. 11. 12.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

17. Shortage of beer

24 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 10. 12.
31 August Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 12.
7 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7.
14 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 6.

18. Shortage and unequal distribution of fruit and tomatoes

24 August Regions 1. 3. 5. 7. 8. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9.
7 September Regions 1. 3. 5. 6. 8. 10. 11.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 8. 10. 12.

19. Shortage of matches

24 August Regions 1. 8. 10. 11.
31 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 8. 10. 11. 12.
7 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 10. 11.

20. Shortage and high price of crockery, glass and kitchenware, particularly kettles and pans

24 August Regions 3. 4. 5. 8. 10.
31 August Regions 1. 3. 8. 10.
7 September Regions 5. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 8. 10. 12.

21. Shortage and high price of bedding and household linen, including sheets

24 August Regions 7. 8. 10.
31 August Regions 2. 4. 6. 7. 8. 10.
7 September Regions 2. 10. 12.
14 September Regions 2. 4. 6. 8. 12.

22. Shortage of combs

24 August Regions Nil.
31 August Regions 1. 5.
7 September Regions 2. 3. 4.
14 September Regions 1. 3. 6. 8. 9. 10.

23. Shortage of toilet paper

24 August Regions 2. 3. 4.
31 August Regions 2.
7 September Regions 2. 3. 10. 12.
14 September Regions 3. 8. 9.

24. Shortage of note paper and envelopes

24 August Regions 3. 4. 12.
31 August Regions 4. 8.
7 September Regions 4. 6. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 3. 8.

25. Shortage of fish

24 August Regions 2. 7.
31 August Regions 2. 8.
7 September Regions 1. 2.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 6. 8.

26. Shortage of good quality soap and soap flakes

24 August Regions 2. 4.
31 August Regions 2. 4.
7 September Regions 2. 10.
14 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 10.

The following subject, included in this list last month, is now omitted as there have been fewer than nine references to it during the past month: Lack of variety in meat ration .

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