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. 202. 17th August, 1944

(Covering period from 9th to 15th August, 1944)


1. General

Spirits have risen higher still. Continued progress in Normandy and the Prime Minister's speech are mainly responsible; preliminary reports suggest that the Allied landings in the South of France have increased still further the general mood of optimism.

“When will the war be over?” appears to be the chief topic of discussion. The general feeling is that “it can't be long now”, and sometime in October seems the most popular guess; many think it may only be a few weeks. However, a minority think we may be in for another war winter, as the Germans are both tenacious and resourceful.

Home Front topics are evacuation, transport and holidays. Postwar prospects are becoming a matter of more urgent concern, now that the end of war seems so near.

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

2. France

The South Coast landing : So far only preliminary reports have been received. These show great elation ... “the Nazis are now really on the run”; some are speculating on the possible directions - Italy or Paris.

Previously, there had been some reports that the move was expected - chiefly because of our heavy bombing of the area, and Mr. Churchill's visit to Italy.

General de Gaulle's statement that a French Army would soon be in operation had been welcomed, and had dispelled some previous disappointment that the French were not being used.

Northern France : Great satisfaction with progress and much speculation as to what will follow on present successes; many expect the capture of Paris, some the complete collapse of German resistance in France. Londoners, particularly, hope for the capture of flying bomb and rocket sites.

The Americans are very generally praised, but there is considerable jealousy that they have had a spectacular role, while British and Canadian troops faced the “sticky bits”. At the same time there continues to be considerable disappointment at what is thought slow progress on our part.

The planning and strategy of the campaign, and the leaders and men are again praised; there is also much satisfaction with the air support given to the ground troops.

General Eisenhower's recent “go to it” speech is said to have been much appreciated.

General Eisenhower's move to Normandy was thought a good sign.

The Channel Islands : Some concern for the inhabitants is expressed, and it is hoped they will soon be freed.

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

3. Evacuation

A little less comment than last week - but still a great deal - and all on familiar lines (See H.I. Weekly Reports, 3rd and 11th August).

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

4. Flying bombs

The country as a whole

Except in London and the South East, where the raids continue a main topic, discussion has declined very considerably. At the same time, people remain concerned; sympathy and admiration for those in London and other target areas “who make a joke of the doodlebugs” are widespread. An increased number believe the present ordeal worse than the blitz, and there is considerable talk of heavy damage.

Many continue irritated with official reticence - thought to result in rumour-mongering and exaggeration, and in ignorance in non-target areas of what is being endured.

Defences and countermeasures : Progress in France has quickened hopes that we shall soon capture the launching sites; this is increasingly thought the only certain means of ending the attacks. Disappointment with present methods, and with our “apparent helplessness” continues (Six Regions), though more people now think all possible is being done (Four Regions).

Future expectations : Comment continues as last week (Eleven Regions).

Reprisals : Widespread desire for reprisals continues on familiar lines (Eight Regions).

Civil Defence and repair workers for London : It is alleged (a) that wardens and repair parties from the Midlands who go to help in London only get their normal pay, although those they work with receive much higher pay (b) that no proper arrangements have been made for the reception of the workers on arrival in London (One Region each).

Reactions in target areas

A. LONDON : The majority are now “adjusted”, although a few remain nervous, particularly at the possibility of raids next winter. The lack of sleep is the worse part, and many people are said to be very tired.

Evacuation : Criticism of the Government is on almost exactly the same lines as in the past two weeks.

People in reception areas are again criticised. It is said that they think the dangers exaggerated, and that children are badly treated and want to go home. A few, however, think no one should be compelled to take evacuees.

People again criticise evacuees for “coming and going at the public expense”.

Post-raid services : The difficulty of getting accommodation for bombed-out people and the “slackness” of men doing repairs cause comment. People wonder whether adequate compensation will be paid for their losses.

Civil Defence workers are again praised; some think more personnel should be drafted from elsewhere to relieve them.

Defences are “better appreciated”; a few think “effective measures” have been taken.

Information about the raids : It is still thought people elsewhere are not told enough.

B. SOUTH EASTERN DISTRICT : Strain and tiredness are again reported, though nervousness only among a small minority.

Evacuation : Comment on familiar lines. There is also some pleasure at the welcome given in reception areas to evacuees.

London : Some still resent “so much propaganda” about the effect of the bombs on London, as, they say, “only a small proportion get through now”.

Defences are praised.

Shelters : The distribution of Morrisons has helped combat nervousness in some areas. Folkestone people want more street shelters.

C. SOUTHERN REGION : Morale has been good where there have been incidents. Great appreciation of the Civil Defence services, “who constantly prove their sterling worth”.

D. EASTERN REGION : Feeling is thought to have steadied, despite some continued anxiety.

Bombed-out people, especially those who invested all their savings in a house, are worried lest they only receive 1939 value for their property.

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

5. The Prime Minister's war review in the House of Commons (August 2)

People have been heartened by Mr. Churchill's confident tone: “If he can be optimistic, then our prospects must be good”. Detailed comment, again slight, is on Mr. Churchill's references to: (a) the large number of houses destroyed by flying bombs - a shock to many; (b) the rocket bomb.... Londoners are somewhat apprehensive; (c) The Far Eastern war. People continue pleased at the possibility of an earlier defeat of Japan than was expected.

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

6. Russia

Widespread admiration continues, as does the hope that the Russians will reach Berlin first. Their entry into German territory is eagerly awaited.

While many people say they are not surprised at the comparative lull on the Eastern front, a minority think that if Warsaw had been a Russian city it would have fallen by now. Some people feel that the Polish patriots fighting in Warsaw have been deliberately “let down” by the Russians.

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

6a. Russo-Polish Relations

Uneasiness continues. People are uncertain as to the progress of the talks between Russia and Poland. While some think them satisfactory, others are disappointed that no solution has yet been reached. Sympathy with the Polish Government in London is limited; it is thought the people on the spot should make the Government they desire.

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

6b. Finland

Disappointment among a minority at her apparent intention to fight on. Peace prospects are, however, discussed.

(1. 3. 7. 9)

7. Italy

Quiet satisfaction with the campaign and confidence in the leaders continue. The movement of General Maitland Wilson's headquarters to Italy has been welcomed as a sign of progress.

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

8. Germany

The crisis : The killing of experienced German generals is considered a good thing for us - likely to lessen the efficiency of the German Army. Otherwise comment, which has again declined, remains on familiar lines.

Hatred of the Germans continues, and there is considerable discussion as to how we are to deal with Germany, and mete out punishment after the war.

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

9. Turkey

Comment has decreased, but is on similar lines to last week's. Turkey continues to be regarded as “a fair-weather friend” and people do not think her break with Germany will be of much value at this stage of the war.

(1. 3. 5. 7. 8. 9. 12. 18 thirty-three P.D.Rs.)

10. Far East

The Pacific : Praise continues for “the superb job” the Americans are doing.

Burma : People are pleased at our excellent work, but regret that news from here is “always put into a small corner”.

(1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 11. 12. 18 thirty-six P.D.Rs.)

11. News presentation

Praise for news presentation continues, but there is slightly more criticism this week - chiefly of prematurely optimistic statements. The press is thought a worse offender than the B.B.C.

Complaints continue that the Americans are given too much publicity, at the expense of our troops.

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



12. Postwar

During the past four weeks comment has again been considerable: belief that the war will now very soon be over has quickened people's already keen interest. The only exceptions are those who are too absorbed in present war news to be interested in anything else; those who urge that planning must wait until we have won the war; and a few who are so sceptical about the future that they have become apathetic.

Anxiety about future prospects and scepticism as to the likelihood of anything being done to improve them continue the general reactions; only a small minority appear in any way hopeful. Government plans and promises are thought unlikely to materialise; for the most part they are thought to be intended merely “to keep people quiet”; the “shelving” of various reports - particularly Beveridge - continues to be instanced, and there are increasing references to “vested” and “sectional” interests. Plans, in any case, are considered inadequate and nebulous. Some fear they are unlikely to be anything else under the present Government; others that a different Government would be unlikely to carry out the plans of the present one.

Minorities continue to point out the cost of the various proposed schemes; and they complain that people expect everything to come from the Government, and are not prepared for the hard work which will have to be faced if the schemes are to materialise. A few criticise the public's confusion and general lack of understanding of the various Government proposals.

Housing and employment are again the chief topics of interest.

Comment has been on the following lines:

Housing (Twelve Regions): Anxiety is widespread that the present shortages will continue, or become even worse. The urgency to make a start is stressed; Government plans are criticised both for being so long delayed and for not being bold enough. Local authorities especially complain of the lack of any kind of a lead, and of being held up by uncertainty as to what the Government will decide about finance.

Even if houses are built, it is feared they will be beyond the means of working-class people. Fixing a ceiling for house prices, ensuring that building sites will be available at an “honest price”, and controlling the prices of building materials are all urged.

Rural housing : “Decent”, comfortable homes for rural dwellers and good water supply and sanitation are hoped for.

Prefabrication : People continue to dislike the idea of “tin” houses, but are reconciled to accepting them as a temporary measure. Criticisms continue, however, that they are likely to become permanent or that permanent housing will be neglected because of them; that their cost is too high; that they will be unsuitable for certain climates - particularly in the North; that they may prove to be shoddy; and that they are too small.

The demand for examples to be built in various parts continues.

The Weir House for rural areas is said to meet with approval in Edinburgh, where it is being inspected.

The Town and Country Planning Bill : Interest is limited - confined for the most part to local authorities - and is chiefly critical. It is thought to be both inadequate and an anti-climax to the Scott, Barlow and Uthwatt Reports.

Some hope for compulsory acquisition of land for building purposes or for complete nationalisation of the land; others think the state should at least prevent private ownership from interfering with town planning.

Employment (Twelve Regions): Fear of unemployment is widespread; there is particular apprehension about what is going to happen to the demobilised. Some think a serious slump inevitable; and a few say, even if it can be avoided, it will still happen. In the Northern Region and Scotland any paying-off of workmen is looked upon as a very bad augury.

Workers in shipbuilding, munitions, iron and steel, and coal, iron ore and Cornish tin miners, particularly, are reported to be anxious.

The Essential Work Order : Relaxation of this is hoped for, so that people can again choose their own jobs; though a few hope that “unreasonable” dismissal of employees will be prevented. A few, however, are said to realise “people will have to give up a certain amount of liberty to solve the problem of employment”.

The White Paper on Employment Policy : Little discussion has been reported. Some express satisfaction, but others “do not believe the promises of ‘employment for all’”.

Location of industry : In the Northern Region and in Wales there continue to be anxious hopes for the establishment of new industries.

Controls (Eight Regions): The early lifting of restrictions is asked for by some; others realise they will have to stay for some time.

Industry (Six Regions): Employers, particularly, are said to be anxious about the change-over to peacetime production, and to be asking for some practical guidance now so that they can make arrangements for tiding over the immediate postwar period.

Agriculture (Six Regions): Farmers are very doubtful about their future and dread the prospect of the industry again being neglected. Few have any confidence that anything will be done for them; some are already preparing or intending to get out “while the going is good”.

Small shopkeepers (Six Regions): There is considerable anxiety that they may be superseded by the big combines. The treatment Lord Winster's Bill received is said to have been a blow to some.

Exports (Five Regions): There is some concern - particularly on the part of businessmen - about the future of our export trade. Some think that if our high standard of wages remains we cannot hope to recover our markets. Commercial competition with the United States is particularly feared.

Emigration (Two Regions): Quite a few are said to be interested in prospects of emigrating to the Colonies.

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

12a. The Education Act

During the past four weeks satisfaction with the Act has continued; it is thought to be a definite move in the right direction.

There continues, however, to be some fear that shortage of teachers and buildings may hold up the scheme. Teachers fear that the easy entry into the profession, which will result from the planned emergency courses, will mean merely a lowering of the standard of the profession.

A few country people continue to criticise the raising of the school-leaving age.

The Fleming Report has aroused only limited interest. Some, who think public schools should be open to all, criticise the proposals for not going far enough, “though perhaps they are as much as can be hoped for at present”. Others prefer to see the public schools remain as they are.

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

12b. National Health scheme

During the past four weeks interest has again been limited. While the need for a comprehensive medical service is acknowledged, opinions differ about the Government proposals and many find it difficult to make up their minds “until the medical profession agree among themselves”. Some think doctors will not be given a sufficient share in the running of the scheme, and that this may result in people not being able to chose their own doctor; also that the views of young doctors in the Forces should be obtained.

(2. 4. 6. 9. 10. 12)

13. Transport

During the past four weeks transport difficulties have become a major topic on the home front, as a result of the very considerable strain placed on services by evacuees and holiday makers. Complaints are about:

  1. 8 Overcrowding (Twelve Regions) of:

    1. Trains (Eleven Regions). Gross overcrowding is causing hardship to those who have to travel on business or to work. Mention is made of 25 people in a compartment. People are also said to have to give up hope of reaching the lavatory once they entrain. It is thought more facilities should be provided, especially for holiday-makers and those wishing to visit evacuees, or else steps should be taken to prevent unnecessary travelling. The railway companies are criticised for poor organisation of queuing - York railway station, for example, being held in awe as a “terrible place”. It is thought they should not issue tickets beyond what the trains can reasonably accommodate. Train cuts are considered to have been too drastic, and the Government is criticised for this and for raising the coastal ban and the ban on 48 hours leave for the Services. Businessmen feel that more petrol should be issued in view of the difficulties in rail travel.

    2. Buses (Ten Regions). Rural services are said to be more seriously overcrowded than those in towns. Village shoppers and local workers are experiencing great difficulties, as buses pass through towns full. It is urged that more buses should be put on to cater for the evacuees, who flock to the nearest town at every opportunity. Stories are told of people waiting three or more hours in bus queues.

  2. Lack of priority for workers (Four Regions). In view of overcrowding there are demands for priority for workers on buses and trains, to ensure seats and prevent waste of time in queues.

  3. Lack of late evening bus services (Three Regions). Last buses are considered to be too early for summer evenings.

  4. Bus queues (Three Regions).

  5. Failure of buses to pick up passengers (Three Regions).

  6. Disparity in rail and bus fares (Two Regions).

Satisfaction : In London, the Southern Railway is praised for its handling of evacuation transport.

See Constant Topic, No. 1.

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

13a. Petrol

During the past four weeks comment, which has slightly increased, has been about:

  1. Misuse and waste of petrol (Six Regions) by (i) businessmen, who use their cars when a bus is available, and who take their families out for pleasure on Sundays, (ii) the Forces, (iii) taxis used for pleasure, (iv) voluntary organisations. It is thought that the police do not cheek up sufficiently by stopping motorists on the roads.

  2. Allocation of petrol (Four Regions). In view of the present public transport situation, people are hoping petrol restrictions may be eased and possibly the basic ration re-introduced. Farmers feel they should be allowed more petrol for business purposes.

See Constant Topic No. 12.

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

14. Holidays and holiday transport

There appears to be general agreement that people are right in insisting on having a holiday away from home this year. They feel that rest and relaxation are necessary after five years of war, and are willing to risk the bad travelling conditions. Most people, too, are anxious for a glimpse of the sea. It is again pointed out that housewives get no benefit from a stay-at-home holiday. In Scotland it is said that although accommodation seems impossible to obtain, this has led to no diminution of travel.

Nevertheless, holiday-makers complain about transport conditions; they blame the Government for muddled, confused and weak official and semi-official statements about holiday travel.

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

14a. The Parliamentary recess

During the past two weeks there has been some critical comment on the length of the parliamentary recess, mostly on the lines that “the gentlemen who appeal to us to spend our holidays at home, and to make a hundred and one other sacrifices as well, have just voted themselves a seven weeks vacation with pay”.

(1. 2. 7. 10. 11)

15. Housing

During the past four weeks complaints of the housing situation have been even more widespread (Twelve Regions); evacuation to the provinces and damage to property in London have made the position even more acute.

Complaints have again been chiefly of:

(a) Shortage (Twelve Regions) now “worse than ever”; there are growing demands for building to begin immediately (Six Regions). In London, particularly, people are said to be “living in Andersons” because of the lack of accommodation, and it is felt that prefabricated houses, or at least wooden huts, could be built to house the homeless.

Complaints continue of mothers with young children and expectant mothers being refused accommodation and of expectant mothers being turned out of their lodgings. There are also continued complaints of “appalling” conditions produced by overcrowding.

Demands for the requisitioning of all empty property are again made.

(b) High prices and rents (Eleven Regions). The prices of houses for sale and the rents of furnished rooms, flats and houses are thought particularly outrageous. There is increasing demand for more price control for all kinds of accommodation.

(c) Repair difficulties (Four Regions) as result of shortages of labour and materials.

See also Constants Topics, No. 3.

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

16. Industry

During the past four weeks reference has again been made to “things going on satisfactorily”. Nevertheless, comment has increased about reduced production (All Regions, the Midland and Scottish every week, the others two or three weeks each - Eight Regions last month). It is attributed to a sufficiency of war supplies, and in a few cases to changeovers in production. It is alleged to be causing:

(a) Enforced idleness (Nine Regions). Familiar stories are told - that at one aircraft factory men are told to report every morning at 7 a.m. and are then sent home. In a North Eastern Region factory workers complain that both the National Service Officer and their employer conceal the fact that they, the workers, only work about two hours a day; those on night shift say they sleep most of the time.

(b) Absenteeism and slackness of workers (Seven Regions). Workers are said to feel the slackening in war production heralds the early end of the war. (Other reasons, however, for workers' slackness are said to be P.A.Y.E., the reaction after the invasion thrill and the holiday season. In Scotland, holiday-makers are making “a rather tired return to work”.)

(c) Discharges (Seven Regions - Scotland every week), particularly in the shipyards. Workers in this industry on Clyde and Tyneside are alarmed, and there is widespread fear of long-term and postwar unemployment: “The slump is coming much quicker than we expected”. Rumours are that E.W.O. will be withdrawn this month - widespread in the Northern and Scottish Regions - and that shipyards are to be released from Admiralty control.

There is also talk of present and future discharges in munitions.

(d) The transfer of workers (Six Regions). Workers feel that, skill being equal, single rather than married men should be transferred. There is also a certain amount of grumbling at the difficulty of finding accommodation. In the Otley area, men and women are alleged to be moved to work elsewhere, while others from outside come into the town to work.

(e) Reduced hours (Four Regions), including overtime, “causing a drop in wages while the cost of living continues high”.

(f) Postwar production (Two Regions). People gossip about firms already producing goods for postwar markets. Some are alleged to be making them of materials supplied for munitions, etc.

Women doing men's jobs (Two Regions): There is some ill feeling among men that, while they are being discharged from the shipping industry, women are being retained. At the same time, stories of the discharge of all women in this industry are pleasing the men as “men should have priority for such jobs as there are in heavy industry”. There has been similar comment about the unofficial strike resulting from women being put on textile machine processes “that have been men's for 80 years or so”.

See also Constant Topic No. 9.

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

17. Manpower

During the past four weeks comment has again been on a reduced scale. Allegations continue of:

Evasion of call-up (Nine Regions - four last month): Relatives of killed servicemen feel particularly strongly about all evasion. There are acid comments about:

  1. Young able-bodied men dodging the Forces (Six Regions) by working in industry, on farms and in local authority offices, “when sufficient numbers of servicemen are being discharged to fill their positions”. Reference is also made to hawkers who escape all duties, including Civil Defence.

  2. Young married women (Six Regions) who follow their Service husbands about, give young children as their excuse although the children are at boarding-school, or receive unjustified certificates from doctors. It is also suggested that “better-off” women's reasons for exemption are never tested and that deferments are not checked sufficiently.

  3. Too many people of both sexes employed in non-essential work (Three Regions). Reference is made to the swollen staffs of the Civil Service and the manpower wasted on unnecessary advertising.

Shortage of labour (Five Regions): Talk is about the strain of continued long hours in under-staffed businesses and non-war industries. The printing trade is specified; also, in several areas in the North West, cotton mills, where youths are especially badly needed. Employers are angry to hear of workers with little or nothing to do being retained in munition factories.

A shortage of dock labour is reported from Liverpool.

One man businesses (Two Regions): Complaints are of “the over-strict” call-up of small businessmen, such as cobblers - much needed by the civilian population.

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

17a. Domestic help

During the past four weeks complaints of hardship and strain, due to the shortage of domestic help, have continued. Particular mention is made of:

  1. Elderly and infirm people (Six Regions).

  2. Mothers with young children (Three Regions).

  3. Farmers' wives and country women (Three Regions).

  4. Hospitals and institutions (Two Regions).

The suggestion is again made that as female labour is being dispensed with in some factories, this might usefully be directed into “home helping”, to cover all forms of domestic emergency.

See Constant Topics No. 8.

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

18. Wages

During the past four weeks comment has been on a reduced scale. There are, however, again complaints of:

The “fancy” wages (Six Regions) paid to young people and to unskilled workers in munition factories.

Some people are alarmed at the continual increase in wages, and fear inflation and a still higher cost of living. A few workers too - who foresee a drastic reduction in wages after the war - say they would prefer a standardised cost of living to increased wages.

Disparity of pay (Five Regions) between:

  1. Skilled and unskilled workers. Cotton workers, whose wages are very much lower than those of munition workers, are dissatisfied at being directed back to the cotton industry.

  2. Women and men for the same work. Female workers, grumbling at their rates of pay, are said to be leaving the Trade Unions.

  3. Servicemen and civilian workers. Particularly mentioned are munition workers and Irish workmen; and in one Northern Region area, comparison is made between the wages of agricultural workers and soldiers, “working side by side in the same harvest field”.

See also Constant Topics, No. 14.

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

19. Income tax

During the past four weeks there have again been familiar complaints about having to pay income tax. Though P.A.Y.E. is in the main approved, it is the cause of a certain amount of grumbling and incomprehension. Workers are constantly discussing the amounts deducted from their pay packets, are unable to understand the reasons for weekly fluctuations in tax on static wages, and grumble that their wages are smaller since P.A.Y.E. started. The Northern Region report refers to a miners' lodge secretary being “snowed under” with men wanting interviews to find out if their deductions are correct, and workers ask if at the end of the year they will get a statement of the total sum they have paid in tax.

There has again been much comment about the effects of P.A.Y.E. on workers' attitude and output . It is alleged to cause:

  1. Refusal to work overtime or at weekends (Six Regions) ... “Why should I work just to give money to the Government? Why not have a day off?” Workers are said to make up any loss to themselves by undertaking overtime jobs for other employers, who do not deduct tax on such work. (e.g. wireless and clock mending, cherry picking, etc.).

  2. Absenteeism (Four Regions), particularly in order that workers can get back some of the tax they have paid on a full week's work. Miners are said to take a whole week off sometimes - “medical certificates are easy to get”. In fact P.A.Y.E. has been described by some workers as “the best Sick Club they have ever belonged to”. It is suggested that publicity is needed to bring home to them that, though they are getting something back, they are losing a good deal more by having stayed away from work.

  3. Slacking and “ca canny” (One Region).

The incidence of income tax : There is some criticism of the deduction of income tax from:

  1. Holiday pay (both in the sense of a paid holiday and also of pay earned during the holiday, e.g. on the land).

  2. Servicemen's pay .

  3. The pay of transferred women workers , who have many extra expenses living away from home and may possibly not earn more than 50/- or 60/- a week.

  4. The pay of women who go out to work to keep the home going , e.g. office cleaners.

  5. Pensions . Complaint of the hardship of workers having had to pay tax on earnings and then again on their pensions. It is thought, too, that pensions, annuities and the interest on savings should not be taxed as unearned income.

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

20. Miners and mining

During the past four weeks disappointment and concern have continued at the decreased coal output (Nine Regions - the Northern Region every week). “The average man cannot understand why it should decline in spite of improved wages.”

While the industry as a whole is described as being in “bad odour”, people variously blame:

  1. The Government (Six Regions) for being helpless, or for their handling of the situation. A few suggest that the withdrawal of “Government interference” would put things right, but more - particularly miners - feel the only cure is nationalisation. “Nothing”, it is said, “will convince the miners otherwise”.

  2. The miners (Seven Regions). Strikes and the rise in the price of coal have renewed their unpopularity. There are also allegations of absenteeism and slackness.

  3. The owners (Two Regions). Miners still accuse them of withholding the best seams for use after the war - against the advice of their mining engineers.

  4. The Porter Award (Two Regions). Some on both sides of the industry consider the increased wages no spur to production: “A pitman can earn all he wants in five days; why should he work six?” There is also some dissatisfaction at the award among certain classes of mechanics, and hewers and putters “don't like the increased wages to stonemen and others; hewers regard themselves as cocks of the pit and don't like the idea that their wages are on a par with those who in their estimation do inferior work”.

  5. Miners' food (Two Regions). Supplies of food at pit-head canteens in E. Durham are alleged to be inadequate. In addition, some miners complain that they cannot afford the “great cost” of canteen meals; they want more food at home, particularly “real bait” fillings for their sandwiches, saying they cannot do a full shift on what they get.

Bevin Boys (Seven Regions): Talk is of:

(a) The ballot : A few grumbles continue at the “injustice and waste” of sending pre-service trained boys to the mines.

In Northumberland and Durham discontent is reported at the alleged discharge of miners over the age of 65 and their replacement by Bevin boys. “They've got good work in them for several more years”. Twenty men are said to have been paid off from the Morrison Pit.

(b) Their value . Miners variously think that the boys are “a wash out”; that “it's a pity they've been brought to the North to work they don't like - they'll never become effective producers and will never stay in the industry”; and, in Wales, that they are getting on well. It would be better, it is again suggested, to get ex-miners back from the Forces.

(c) Their privileges . Miners resent the fuss being made of them - their training and hostel accommodation - in comparison with the treatment of local lads who go into the pits. It is alleged with bitterness that they are also assigned better work than the sons of local pitmen.

(d) Billeting . Desultory talk only is reported. Some local indignation where a miner's wife whose son was recalled from the pit to the Army was asked to take in two Bevin boys. In the Oswestry area, some difficulties of billeting the boys due to lack of pit-head baths at the local pits: “Housewives would be quite willing to take the trainees if they came home clean”.

(e) Trade Unions : Some suspect that miners' associations insist on the boys joining trade unions, under the threat that if they do not, they will not receive the industrial concessions obtained by the associations.

Opencast coal (Three Regions): Comment continues about the high working costs of obtaining opencast coal ... “one of the scandals of the war”. The wholesale destruction of well-developed grain crops is also criticised as “sabotage”.

Miners' health : Reference is made in the Northern Region to a new kind of disease caused by using pneumatic picks; the men using them are said to develop upset nerves, blinking eyes and shaking arms. “There is no compensation for this yet; there will have to be so many cases before it is scheduled.”

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

20a. Domestic fuel

Indignation at the increased prices of coal and coke is again reported. Old age pensioners and other poor people are felt to be very badly hit.

During the past four weeks comment has continued about:

(a) The difficulty of building up coal stocks (Nine Regions - many more than once). “How can we stock up when we can't even get enough for the summer months?” In addition to the shortage of supplies, difficulties are said to have been increased by the cold summer weather, and, in households without gas or electricity, by having to use coal for cooking.

There is anxiety about the fuel situation next winter (Six Regions) - increasing anxiety in cold areas such as the Peak District of Derbyshire.

(b) The poor quality of coal (Six Regions). “Much of it is merely stones, so extra has to be used.” Housewives in one area in the North Midland Region are annoyed at having to take 30% of opencast coal “for which 2/5½d per cwt is barefaced robbery”, while neighbours with different merchants are receiving all deep mined coal.

(c) The inadequacy of the coal allowance (Two Regions).

Waste of gas (Two Regions): It is alleged that people are leaving a low gas alight all the time on account of the shortage of matches.

See also Constant Topics, No. 4.

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

21. Clothing and household linen

During the past four weeks familiar complaints have continued, most of them at about the same level as last month.

The main differences have been considerably less criticism of: shoe repair difficulties; the poor quality of clothing; trafficking in coupons; laundry and cleaning difficulties; and shortage of coupons for industrial workers.

Comment has chiefly been about:

The insufficiency of coupons (All Regions), for:

(a) Clothing replacements generally (All Regions, several every week). People say the allowance is entirely inadequate after five years of war. Those thought particularly hard hit are:

(i) Children (Eleven Regions). Bigger children and boys who have recently left school present the most difficult problem.

(ii) Workers in heavy and dirty industries (Four Regions). Miners and foundry workers complain they cannot manage and that the method of alloting the Iron Ration Pool is unfair. Some plating workers, whose clothing is often burnt by acid, say they should either be allowed more extra coupons in addition to the “industrial ten” or some form of protective clothing.

(iii) Men (Three Regions), who “cannot get a new suit without borrowing coupons from their wives”.

(iv) Poorer people (Three Regions). “The wealthy don't need so many coupons, as they can buy better clothes.”

(v) Those who want to go into mourning (Two Regions).

A few, however, think that, “despite the perpetual grumbles”, people seem to manage very well (One Region).

(b) Replacing household linen (Twelve Regions, the majority every week). “The housewife's biggest grumble is the provision of linen from personal coupons.”

Footwear problems (Eleven Regions):

(a) Children's (Eight Regions). Vehement, sometimes bitter, protests continue. They are on familiar lines:

  1. Poor quality (Nine Regions).

  2. Repair difficulties (Seven Regions).

  3. Shortage (Six Regions). Some sizes and types are more difficult to get than others; in particular, sandals (Four Regions); rubber boots (Three Regions), which people hope will be more easily obtainable in time for the winter; small sizes (Two Regions) and schoolgirls' shoes (One Region).

  4. High price (Three Regions).

The following two reports give a more detailed picture of these complaints.

A School Attendance Officer in the Northern Region states that recently during one week in one town, out of 800 children absent from school, 200 had no footwear at all or were waiting for repairs; in addition, 25 boys were at school in their bare foot. Repair difficulties, poor quality and coupon shortage all apparently contributed to this state of affairs.

In Plymouth and Bristol, people are very disquieted; they feel the likely effect on the foot-health of children and the risk of other illnesses are not fully appreciated. Grievances concern: “the famine” in certain sizes; poor quality - “many shoes made from offal and substitutes are at the repairers within a matter of days after purchase”; type of shoe made - the chief complaint is that vast quantities of girls' sandal-type shoes are produced, made of trash on slipper lasts; repair problems, particularly the difficulty of delay and the hardship of frequent expense.

(b) Adults' (Six Regions). Complaints, though much less strongly voiced, are also of:

  1. Poor quality (Eight Regions).

  2. Repair difficulties (Seven Regions), particularly the poor quality of leather, the time taken, the difficulty of getting shoes accepted and the high cost of repairs.

  3. Shortage (Six Regions), especially of good quality women's shoes.

Bedding and curtains (Ten Regions):

  1. Shortage (Nine Regions). Complaints are chiefly about sheets (Five Regions), particularly Utility and other less expensive ones; and blankets (Three Regions). Difficulties have been further aggravated in many cases by the arrival of evacuees.

  2. Priority permits (Three Regions). There is some dissatisfaction because it is believed that cases of real hardship are often refused permits; on the other hand, some say curtain permits are useless because retailers cannot get curtaining. It is suggested that the present application form is most confusing to less educated people.

  3. High price of sheets and pillow cases (Two Regions each); and linen (One Region).

Too high coupon values (Seven Regions), particularly of children's coats, since the recent increase; footwear, especially children's, and wooden shoes; men's suits; women's coats.

Poor quality of clothing (Seven Regions), especially corsets, including Utility; stockings; men's socks, still thought too short; Utility clothing generally.

High price of clothing (Six Regions), men's, women's and children's all being mentioned.

Shortage of elastic (Five Regions); blackout material and corsets (Two Regions each); stockings, men's socks, Utility clothes, wool and men's underwear (One Region each).

Trafficking in coupons (Two Regions). Said to be widespread in a few districts.

Laundries (Two Regions). Chief difficulties are (a) delay and (b) loss of garments without adequate compensation.

See also Constant Topics Nos. 2, 5, 6, 16.

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

21a. Furniture, furnishings and perambulators

During the past four weeks , complaints of the high price and scarcity of furniture have continued (Five and Two Regions respectively).

There is also come complaint of long waits for deliveries of Utility furniture; and of the difficulties bombed-out people experience in getting furniture.

The new price control has aroused little comment (Two Regions). Some wish it were “stricter”, others think it will mean closing down many retail businesses.

People complain, too, of the shortage of (a) linoleum and oilcloths, and (b) carpets and rugs (Two Regions each).

Complaints continue about the shortage of perambulators (Two Regions); in areas where evacuees have arrived the difficulties are said to have been accentuated.

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

21b. Teats for babies' bottles

During the past four weeks complaints about the “acute” shortage have grown; in some areas people think the scarcity has been aggravated by the influx of evacuees. The position is thought to be very grave and is causing disquiet; mothers are particularly bitter. In some cases they have to buy bottles they do not need in order to get a single teat.

Anger is all the greater because “they ask us to increase the population”, and because of the plentiful supplies of contraceptives.

See also Constant Topics No. 18.

(1. 2. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10)

21c. Combs

During the past four weeks complaints about the shortage of combs - “and those obtainable almost useless” - have increased considerably. Some fear verminous heads will result. People again say that kerb vendors “go on gaily selling these goods at well over the controlled prices”.

(1. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 10)

22. Agriculture

During the past four weeks comment has been chiefly about:

Harvest prospects (Six Regions): Much comment, hopeful or otherwise, according to the locality, the weather and the nature of the crop - but the chief concern among farmers at the moment is how to get the harvest in. The main difficulty is shortage of labour (Six Regions); some farmers are at their wits' end. Another problem is the feeding and housing of holiday labour where camps are not available; farmers' wives “can't cope with the catering”, and much of the accommodation normally available for holiday workers is now full of evacuees.

Farm labourers (Five Regions):

  1. Wages . A good many farm labourers still seem dissatisfied with wages and conditions, and in some agricultural areas the general public think wages should be raised. Farm labourers in a mining area contrast their pay with that of miners; they think their work is just as important, and that they should be paid accordingly.

  2. Income tax . The Northern, Eastern and Southern Region reports mention farm labourers' unwillingness to incur extra income tax by working overtime. This makes difficulties for dairy farmers: as all work from mid-day Saturday till Monday morning counts as overtime, the labourers' reluctance to work during this period means that it is difficult to get the animals milked and fed. Meanwhile the labourers undertake evening or weekend work for other farmers, provided they do not deduct tax on the money earned. Some agricultural workers are convinced that 10/- in the £1 is deducted from all overtime pay.

  3. Cottages . There are some complaints of excessive rents. Two agricultural cottages recently erected in the South Western Region are criticised on the grounds that the extensive use of cement means that the floors throw up dust, hooks cannot be fixed, nor stair carpets tacked down.

  4. Holidays with pay . Pleasure at this.

W.A.E.Cs. (Four Regions): Some farmers continue to grumble about W.A.E.Cs. and their “dictatorial” powers; others admit they have their uses. People in the New Forest wonder how the W.A.E.C. is going to make some of the forest land, now being ploughed up, a paying proposition.

Grass shortage (Three Regions): Some worry is reported at the scarcity of grass and the consequent difficulty of feeding dairy cattle and horses. In the Eastern Region, it is thought there will be no grass till late September and that there should be a special issue of rations.

Farmers (Three Regions): Non-farming people in agricultural areas persist in thinking that the farmer is being spoilt by the Government and is growing too prosperous at the public's expense. Farmers themselves sometimes complain about E.P.T.

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

22a. Rural water supply

During the past four weeks concern over the water supply in country districts has continued; in some places shortage, has been aggravated by an influx of evacuees and holiday visitors. Some consider the Government far too slow in taking action. It is said that often there is enough water in privately owned local wells, and people deplore the impotence of local authorities to take them over for public use.

(1. 3. 6. 7)

23. Extension of double summer time

Farmers continue to complain very strongly; early morning workers and parents of young children also complain, but to a lesser extent. People generally, however, remain pleased about it.

(2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 9. 18 twenty P.D.Rs.)

24. Food

During the past four weeks widespread satisfaction with the general situation and praise for the adjustment of food supplies to meet the influx of evacuees have been reported, though “minor grumbles persist”. Comment has been mainly about:

  1. Fruit and tomato shortages (Twelve Regions), particularly the non-appearance of promised fruit supplies.

  2. Sugar (Twelve Regions). While appreciation of the extra allowance for jam making has continued throughout the month, many regret that more was not available early enough to save soft fruit from being wasted, and a few complain of the smallness of the weekly ration.

  3. Uneven distribution of goods in short supply, particularly fruit, tomatoes, fish, and other unrationed foodstuffs (Nine Regions). Comparisons are made between town and country facilities and between the North and South. Extended rationing is again advocated, and it is also suggested that a greater check should be made on wholesalers who are also retailers, to avoid preferential treatment of their own retail branches. Some say that hotels seem able to obtain large proportions of the better type of food.

  4. Milk (Nine Regions). Complaints are made of the smallness of the milk ration, particularly with “no compensating allowance of dried milk”. It is suggested that extra milk might be made available for old people. There is also some complaint of quality.

  5. Beer, whisky and soft drinks (Nine Regions). The shortage of beer and consequent closing of some public houses is a source of strong complaint. It is thought unfair that some licensed houses should sell out by mid-day to people with leisure, leaving nothing for workers in the evening. The high-handed attitude of some publicans is criticised. Shortage and high price of whisky are also complained of - particularly in Scotland where feeling remains bitter. On the other hand, some fear the shortage of soft drinks may lead to increased drunkenness.

  6. Bacon (Eight Regions). Pleasure at the increased ration has continued throughout the month, although there are also complaints of quality.

  7. Cheese (Seven Regions). More cheese is asked for, and there are complaints about quality. Some people would prefer more cheese to more bacon. It is said that “farmers and their sons working on the land harder and longer hours than those they employ are annoyed they cannot draw the extra cheese ration”.

  8. Meat (Seven Regions), particularly the monotony of continual pork, and the quality of meat generally. It is thought there are “not enough meals” in the meat ration and that meat on points is beyond the means of poor people.

  9. Bread (Six Regions). A few complaints of shortage and quality; and welcome for the proposal of improved bread - though there is one criticism of the “Government's proposal to make flour of all wheat in place of the finest loaf flour we have ever had”.

  10. Fish (Five Regions). Shortage, particularly in rural areas. There are also complaints of lack of variety, quality and high price.

  11. Inadequacy of the fat ration (Five Regions).

  12. Rationing difficulties of small families, old people, and those living alone (Four Regions).

  13. High price of vegetables (Four Regions).

  14. “Off the ration” bacon and ham (Three Regions). Appreciation is reported, but some who deal at small shops have difficulty in getting their share, because the shopkeeper has no facilities for cooking.

  15. Tea (Three Regions). Smallness of ration. It is asked whether the allowance for old people could not be increased to 3 ozs.

  16. High price and poor quality of jam (Three Regions).

  17. Lack of variety of food (Three Regions).

  18. Inadequacy of points allowance (Two Regions).

See also Constant Topics Nos. 13. 15, 20, 21.

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

24a. Shopping difficulties

During the past four weeks familiar complaints - to some extent increased by the influx of evacuees - have been about:

  1. Food queues (Seven Regions). Women complain bitterly of food queues, particularly for fruit, fish and other unrationed goods ... “that's where all the time goes”. Holiday-makers, evacuees and women with little to do, go out early from shop to shop in search of food in short supply ... “evacuees queue while the householder does the work”. Some think that shopkeepers prefer queues in order to crowd a day's business into a few hours.

  2. Conditional and under-the-counter sales (Four Regions). Favouritism is alleged, and allotment holders are said to be penalised because they have no regular greengrocer.

  3. Workers' difficulties (Three Regions). Working women who have no time to queue ask for some provision to be made for the allocation of goods in short supply. They feel also that shops should be open during the dinner hour, and urge the staggering of shop hours.

  4. Rural transport difficulties for village shoppers (Two Regions).

  5. Incivility of shop assistants (Two Regions).

  6. Quota system in shoe shops (Two Regions). People complain that the daily quota is sold out early in the morning before workers and rural housewives can reach the shops.

See also Constant Topics No. 7.

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

25. The blackout

Great hopes that “the most disliked war-time measure” will be relaxed this winter, if not already rendered unnecessary by the end of hostilities. The thought of another winter of blackout is said to be more depressing than any possible food or fuel shortage. Farmers especially view with dismay the prospect of screening lamps in barns and byres, and cycling and driving with inadequate lights for another winter.

(1. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 18 forty P.D.Rs.)

26. Home Guard, firewatching and Civil Defence

During the past four weeks , the familiar complaints of wasted time, money and manpower have continued, and have tended to increase slightly.

Home Guard (Nine Regions): Members of the Home Guard are “getting very fed up”; the opinion is fairly widespread among them, and also the general public, that duties could be relaxed, and even that the Home Guard could be disbanded altogether - “Hitler can't possibly invade us now, even if he wanted; so why should we be forced to play soldiers?” Some modification is thought especially desirable in the case of agricultural workers.

In one Region, although the men in the infantry sections are very fed up - “they mostly volunteered in the early days and have done the same monotonous drill for four years” - those on A.A. guns are stimulated by constantly learning new techniques, and want to get a crack at the enemy.

Firewatching (Seven Regions): Many people feel the present system is a “ridiculous waste of time and money”. Daylight firewatching is thought specially “infuriating”, but many people consider it is unnecessary at any time, day or night, except on an alert. Those who live in areas where, it is believed, raids will not recur feel particularly strongly; for instance, Tyneside workers say “if this is a safety zone and all the guns and balloons have gone away, why must we sleep in a dirty old warehouse all night?”

Civil Defence (Five Regions): Personnel are “fed up with nothing to do”, and people think much time and money could be saved by reducing the number of paid wardens and relaxing duties all round. Here again feeling is particularly strong in less vulnerable areas.

Civil Defence workers are anxious to transfer to flying bomb areas (Three Regions); however, some complain their employers will not release them (Two Regions); others, again, say part-time C.D. workers should not be appealed to, when “N.F.S. people are still able to sit around and do nothing”.

See also Constant Topics No. 10.

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

26a. N.F.S. personnel

The news of a prospective comb-out has been welcomed (Six Regions), particularly in view of the long inactivity of many N.F.S. personnel.

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

27. Allied prisoners of war

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

  1. Far East (Seven Regions). Scarcity of news causes great concern and people are eager for more information about conditions. While some hope that the “uncertainty of the outcome of the war may improve the Japanese treatment of prisoners”, others fear they may “imitate the German shootings”. The Prime Minister's recent reference to the Far Eastern war has given more hope of an earlier release of prisoners than was expected.

  2. Germany (Five Regions). The recent shootings have increased anxiety among relatives of men in German hands. Some wonder what the treatment will be “when the enemy know they are beaten”. Relatives are worried also about the recent hold-up in the mails.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. 10. 12)

27a. Italian and German prisoners of war

During the past four weeks there has been comment about

(a) Italian prisoners (Seven Regions). Some are said to behave badly. People think more control should be exercised over them. The attitude of some girls and married women towards these men has aroused disgust.

Farmers who employ individual Italians are said to find them highly satisfactory, but when working in gangs they are “dreadfully lazy”. The effort to draft Italians into industry in one Region has been met with resentment by the workers. Some think they should be used for work in the mines.

In the Northern Region, the friendliness and hospitality shown by some local people to Italian co-operators is much resented.

(b) German prisoners (Five Regions) who are thought to be treated too leniently in this country. People dislike the comfortable railway travel provided for them, and there is resentment at stories that, while in hospital, they receive the same or even better treatment than our own wounded.

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

28. Service pensions, pay and allowances

During the past four weeks there has been comment on the following: Servicemen's dependants' pensions (Six Regions): Complaints of inadequacy , and of:

  1. Treatment of parents who have lost sons in the war - particularly the “means test”; also the reviewing of the supplementary allowance, when a pension is granted for the loss of a son.

  2. The fact that a widow and orphan get less than a wife and child. It is thought particularly hard that a child's education is liable to suffer just because his father has been killed.

  3. The delay in granting pensions to war widows, which is said to be “nearly always two months or more”.

Servicemen's dependants' allowances (Five Regions): Pleasure at increased allowances (Five Regions), though some still consider them insufficient (Two Regions).

Servicemen's pay (Four Regions): Pleasure at increased pay (Three Regions) but a little talk of the increases being misleading if they are “cancelled by the withdrawal of various grants”.

Disabled Servicemen's pensions (Four Regions): Thought insufficient (Four Regions); some concern, too, at the number who are denied pensions.

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

29. Old age pensions

During the past four weeks there have continued to be complaints that the old age pension is inadequate (Five Regions). Some people advocate an increase in the basic rate. Rumours that old age pensioners may get more under the new Government social insurance scheme than even the Beveridge report proposed have given satisfaction, particularly to older men in industry who think they may be displaced when the war is over.

There is particular comment about:

  1. The “means test” in connection with applications for supplementary pensions (Three Regions) - “disliked by applicants and deplored by others”. It is thought that many thrifty independent old people, though eligible for a supplementary pension, refuse to apply in consequence.

  2. The fact that supplementary pensions are reduced if pensioners earn more than 10/6 a week. It is felt that a useful source of odd labour (e.g. cleaning, gardening, etc) is thus lost.

  3. The fact that those who have never been in insured occupations cannot claim a pension till they are 70; this is thought hard, particularly for “respectable middle-class people”.

  4. Income tax being payable on old age pensions.

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

30. The transfer of men to the Army from other Services

During the past two weeks disappointment has continued among A.T.C. boys and R.A.F. recruits at their transfer to the Army. Some fear is again reported that much dissatisfaction will be caused by the continuance of R.A.F. rates of pay in the Army.

(2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8)

31. Health

During the past four weeks complaints of tiredness, war strain and minor illnesses have continued on a reduced scale. General health is thought to be fairly good on the whole.

Ill-health is mainly attributed to long continued overwork, lack of holidays, bad ventilation caused by the blackout, and to the wartime bread; also, in London, to sleeping in shelters.

It is thought, too, that health is endangered by the shortage of “Flit” and fly papers, by the less frequent collection of refuse in towns, and by the water shortage.

Other comment has been of:

Health of children (Four Regions): It is felt that the Government is to be congratulated on the care taken of young children ... “babies were never bonnier” ... but people regret that facilities for obtaining orange juice and cod liver oil are not available for school children, especially when they begin school and need extras of this kind.

V.D. campaign (Two Regions): Some feel this is “too delicate in approach” and should be more forceful, while others think “brutal frankness is overdone”. A few are in favour of compulsory notification.

Hospitals (Two Regions): The need for more accommodation for maternity cases and difficulties experienced by the public in getting attention in hospitals are reported each from one Region.

Tuberculosis (Two Regions): Anxiety is reported about the treatment of T.B. patients, and about the question of suitable employment for those who have spent long periods in sanatoria.

Blood transfusion service (One Region): It is thought that the response to appeals is fairly good, as people regard this as a means of showing their gratitude to the Forces. Some, however, who have volunteered have never heard anything further. It is suggested that small centres should be set up to avoid transport difficulties which arise when country donors have to visit large towns.

See also Constant Topics, No. 11.

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


(Covering period from 18th July to 15th August, 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

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

(b) Rural

27 July Regions 2. 3. 4. 6.
3 August Regions 2. 4. 7.
10 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 9.
17 August Regions 2. 4. 5. 6. 10.

2. Inadequacy of clothing coupons for :

(a) General

27 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
3 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
10 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
17 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 9. 11. 12.

(b) Renewing household goods

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

(c) Children

27 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 9. 10.
3 August Regions 1. 4. 7. 8. 9. 10.
10 August Regions 1. 3. 6. 8. 12.
17 August Regions 1. 9. 12.

3. Housing difficulties

(a) Shortage of accommodation

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

(b) High rents and prices

27 July Regions 1. 3. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
3 August Regions 1. 2. 5. 9.
10 August Regions 1. 4. 6. 9. 11.
17 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 9.

4. Coal

(a) High price

27 July Regions 3.
3 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12.
10 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 9.
17 August Regions 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8.

(b) Difficulty of stocking up for winter now

27 July Regions 2. 5. 11.
3 August Regions 1. 2. 7. 8. 11.
10 August Regions 2. 5. 11.
17 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4.

(c) General shortage

27 July Regions 3. 11.
3 August Regions 6. 8.
10 August Regions 3. 4. 11.
17 August Regions 2. 3. 8. 9.

(d) Poor quality

27 July Regions 3. 9.
3 August Regions 8.
10 August Regions 2. 5. 6.
17 August Regions 2. 8. 9.

5. Footwear difficulties

(a) Poor quality

(i) Children's

27 July Regions 1. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11.
3 August Regions 1. 6. 7. 9. 10.
10 August Regions 4. 6. 8. 10. 11.
17 August Regions 3. 6. 7. 11.

(ii) General, including adults'

27 July Regions 1. 8. 9.
3 August Regions 6. 9. 10.
10 August Regions Nil.
17 August Regions 4. 7. 11.

(b) General shortage

27 July Regions 1. 3. 5.
3 August Regions 1. 7. 8. 10. 12.
10 August Regions 6. 9.
17 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 9. 10.

(c) Long delay and difficulty in getting shoes repaired

27 July Regions 1. 3.
3 August Regions 1. 3. 6.
10 August Regions 2. 6.
17 August Regions 2. 3. 6. 7.

6. Poor quality and high price of clothing

27 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 8.
3 August Regions 1. 3. 8. 10.
10 August Regions 1. 5.
17 August Regions 3. 5. 7. 11.

7. Shopping difficulties and food queues

27 July Regions 1. 2. 8. 11.
3 August Regions 1. 2. 7.
10 August Regions 1. 2. 8. 10.
17 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 10.

8. Shortage of domestic help

27 July Regions 10. 11. 12.
3 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 8
10 August Regions 2. 4. 6. 10.
17 August Regions 4. 8. 12.

9. Industry

(a) Enforced idleness

27 July Regions 4. 8. 9.
3 August Regions 1. 9. 11.
10 August Regions 1. 4. 8. 10. 13.
17 August Regions 2. 7. 9.

(b) Factories closing down and workers discharged

27 July Regions 1. 5. 8. 11.
3 August Regions 1. 5. 11.
10 August Regions 1. 6. 10.
17 August Regions Nil.

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

(a) Home Guard

27 July Regions 5. 6. 10. 12.
3 August Regions 1. 3. 6. 7.
10 August Regions 1. 2. 3.
17 August Regions 1. 8. 12.

(b) Fire Guard

27 July Regions 2. 9. 10.
3 August Regions 1. 3. 5. 10.
10 August Regions 1. 2. 3.
17 August Regions 1. 3. 10.

11. Tiredness, ill health and war weariness

27 July Regions 5. 6. 7. 12.
3 August Regions 2. 3. 5. 12.
10 August Regions 1. 5.
17 August Regions 1. 5. 6. 7.

12. Waste and misuse of petrol

27 July Regions 1. 3.
3 August Regions 2. 3.
10 August Regions 2. 3. 4.
17 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 8. 10.

13. Lack of variety in meat ration

27 July Regions 3. 5. 10.
3 August Regions 2. 6. 10.
10 August Regions 1. 12.
17 August Regions 3. 10.

14. Disparities in pay

27 July Regions 1. 5.
3 August Regions 5.
10 August Regions 3. 4. 6. 9. 10.
17 August Regions 7.


15. Shortage and unequal distribution of fruit and tomatoes

27 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 10. 11.
3 August Regions 1. 2. 5. 7. 10.
10 August Regions 1. 4. 5. 8. 10. 11.
17 August Regions 1. 2. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

16. Shortage and high price of bedding and household linen

27 July Regions 1. 2. 3. 7. 10.
3 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 7. 10.
10 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 10.
17 August Regions 1. 4. 7. 8. 9. 10.

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

27 July Regions 1. 3. 4. 10.
3 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 8. 10. 12.
10 August Regions 1. 2. 3.
17 August Regions 1. 3. 4. 10.

18. Shortage of feeding bottle teats

27 July Regions 1. 7.
3 August Regions 1. 10.
10 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 10. 12.
17 August Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 7. 9.

19. Shortage of matches

27 July Regions 1. 10. 11.
3 August Regions 1. 8. 11.
10 August Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 11.
17 August Regions 10. 11.

20. Shortage of beer

27 July Regions 6. 10.
3 August Regions 3. 7.
10 August Regions 3. 9. 12.
17 August Regions 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

21. Shortage of fish

27 July Regions 1. 2. 9.
3 August Regions 1. 2. 10.
10 August Regions 1. 2.
17 August Regions 1. 2. 6. 10.

22. Shortage of combs

27 July Regions 6. 7.
3 August Regions 1. 8. 10
10 August Regions 1. 4. 5. 6.
17 August Regions Nil.

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) Preferential treatment by shopkeepers, including under-the-counter sales . (ii) High price of green vegetables, including lettuces . (iii) High low wages .(v) Fit ballot scheme, particularly pre-Service trained boys (vi) Shortage of dried fruit .

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