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. 210. 12th October, 1944

(Covering period from 3rd to 10th October, 1944)


1. General

Spirits are again slightly lower; for the same reasons as were reported last week; and realisation that the war is likely to go on into 1945 has also had a sobering effect. Interest in war news has declined.

The Government's White Paper on Social Insurance continues generally approved, with some criticism of detail.

The freedom and “favoured” treatment given to Italian co-operators in this country are causing growing irritation and resentment.

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

2. The battle for Germany

The sobering effects of stiffening German resistance and slower Allied progress, after the “tremendous sweep” through France and Belgium, are again reported. Many people, however, consider the present rate of advance satisfactory, thinking we are building up for a final assault; but there is much concern about the bad weather and the likelihood of it getting worse.

(The following are arranged in order of the amount of interest reported.)

Arnhem : During the past week, the withdrawal has continued to be widely discussed. Though people are recovering from the shock, disappointment remains widespread, and reactions are the same as those fully summarised in our last report (October 5).

The Channel ports : There is great pleasure at the capture of Calais and the end of Dover's ordeal, and people are full of admiration for the Canadians' “splendid achievement”. Some sorrow is expressed, however, at the realisation of “the damage we do our friends” by the destruction of their towns.

The granting of a truce at Dunkirk caused criticism. People fear we “let the Germans get away with something” and ask, “Why did we allow them twelve hours to re-lay their minefields?” The “comic opera details” amused a few people, however.

The war in the air : There is tremendous satisfaction at the bombing of the Dortmund-Ems Canal, the renewal of heavy raids on Germany and, to a lesser extent, the bombing of the Tirpitz. Raids by 5,000 planes, it is felt, must “shake the confidence of the most optimistic Nazi”. The flooding of Walcheren is both applauded and regretted.

Holland : There is widespread sympathy for the Dutch over their sufferings and the destruction of their country. People hope the Germans will not carry out their worst threats ... “They should be warned that for every acre of Holland rendered useless by flooding, an equivalent area of Germany would be handed over to the Dutch”.

Aachen : The American offensive here is watched with hopeful interest and with some admiration. Initial pleasure was rather damped, however, by the smallness of the advance, but no reactions have yet been reported to the news that Aachen is cut off.

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

2a. Attitude to Germany and the Germans

The question of the postwar treatment of Germany and the Germans continues the cause of strong feeling and widespread discussion on the usual lines. A great variety of suggestions are again put forward, but people seem to realise the difficulty and immensity of the problem and do not seem to have entire confidence in their own remedies. Statements by Mr. Eden (September 29), Lord Simon (October 3) and Mr. Churchill (October 4) have done a little to reassure the great number of people who fear that the Germans and their leaders will escape retribution.

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

2b. Conditions inside France and Belgium

The usual comment goes on about clothing and food (Seven and Six Regions respectively. See also Sections 17 and 22). People continue to ask for the true story. It is felt that the stories appearing in the popular press are helping to make a deep rift between the French and British. (Most of the comment, at any rate about clothing, refers specifically to the French.)

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

3. Government White Paper on Social Insurance

The plan as a whole

Widespread approval continues (Twelve Regions), although some people say they do not entirely understand all the provisions. Many continue surprised at its scope and to say it is a step in the right direction. Some, however, are afraid the scheme may mean a great increase in bureaucratic control. There is increased discussion about when it is likely to come into force; people hope this will be at the earliest possible moment. A growing number, however, say that the value of the benefits will depend on adjusting them to the cost of living, or pegging prices (Four Regions).

Opposition to the plan is expected from insurance companies and Friendly Societies (Three Regions each); and middle-class and business people - “who will get little benefit” (Two Regions).

Paying for the scheme (Ten Regions): Many people, especially employers, businessmen and middle-class people, discuss this question. They ask where the money is coming from without industry being “crippled” and the successful revival of our export trade endangered. Others (Two Regions) say we can afford the scheme if we can spend £15 million a day on the war.

Implementation of the plan (Nine Regions): Once again many people, especially workers, while approving the plan, are sceptical as to its ever becoming law in anything like its present shape; a smaller number think that even if it is implemented, this will not be for many years. Most people base their fears on a belief that “big vested interests”, especially insurance companies, will see that the proposals are whittled away; others say “there will be a catch” - “they'll give us a family allowance for children and then take it away again by reducing the income tax allowance for children”. Some (Three Regions) say it is Government window-dressing for the next general election. A few (Two Regions) welcome the plan as “something concrete at last”.

Fear of the possible effect on people's character (Eight Regions): Comment is similar to last week's. Many - middle-class, business and right-wing people being specified - say it will make the population “soft” and discourage people from helping themselves - “Why assure people of security from cradle to grave?” It is thought particularly that it will encourage idlers to work no more than is necessary to qualify for unemployment benefit (Five Regions); and that the thrifty will be penalised (Four Regions).

Contributions (Seven Regions): There is some feeling that these are high, especially for (a) Self-employed people (Six Regions) - it is not thought fair that they should pay higher contributions than employees, yet receive fewer benefits; (b) Employees (Four Regions), who wonder what will happen if wages fall, and are afraid, also, that employers will try to reduce wages in order to cover their own contributions; some, however, are quite happy because they remember what they will save in contributions to Thrift Clubs, etc: (c) Employers (Three Regions), especially those in a small way of business. Some are worried about the increased production costs which will result.

Comment about specific provisions

Retirement pensions (Nine Regions): Complaints continue of the inadequacy of the proposed rates; people are, however, glad that there is to be no means test. There is also much comment about the retirement ages, particularly for men. Sixty-five is thought too late (Five Regions), and Forest of Dean miners talk of appealing to their M.P. about it. Most people think 60 is a suitable age for retiring.

Family allowances (Eight Regions): Criticism continues of the cash allowance not being greater; people say it will not encourage larger families. Many also think the first child should be included.

Some people praise the suggested services in kind, because they go direct to the child and there is no risk of their being diverted.

Unemployment benefit (Four Regions): Dislike continues of the limitation to thirty weeks. Workers are afraid it will then be followed by a means test, which they would strongly resent. A few people again ask why self-employed persons are not eligible.

Sickness benefit (Two Regions): Very little comment. It is thought that by benefit not being paid for the first three days of illness a fault of the present system survives. Self-employed people ask why they should suffer a waiting period of four weeks.

The future of approved societies and insurance companies (Nine Regions): Considerable discussion and questioning about approved societies; many people are sorry they will apparently be excluded; though a few workers think it will “end a racket”. Much less comment about insurance companies, and opinion seems divided.

People ask what will happen to redundant employees of approved societies and insurance companies and whether they will become civil servants.

Anxiety about what will happen to contributions already made towards :

  1. Superannuation schemes (Eight Regions). There is a widespread desire to know what will happen, particularly in the case of teachers, civil servants and local government officials.

  2. Private insurance policies with insurance companies and Friendly societies (Three Regions).

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

3a. Government White Paper on Industrial Injury Insurance

Comment is still not detailed, though people continue to approve, particularly of the abolition of lump sum settlements and the introduction of a flat rate of compensation.

Colliery owners (One Region) welcome the idea that other industries are to share the costs of compensation, though not expecting them to share their pleasure.

(1. 2. 4. 10)

4. Demobilisation

There is increasing irritation in many parts of the country at “far too much” freedom being allowed them. In addition, there is considerable resentment at the amenities which they enjoy and which are denied our own people. Specified are:

(a) Comfortable housing - “while so many of our bombed-outs lack accommodation”. (b) Luxurious travel. (c) Better food rations. (d) The provision of cycles. (e) Receiving “Players in sealed tins while our men get Park Drive loose”. (f) Getting higher wages when farming than our troops “co-opted for the job”.

Many people again feel they should be sent home to Italy to help liberate their own country: “If those Italians are such grand folk as the Government seen to think, why don't they send them to fight the Germans?”

Their too familiar behaviour with girls, and the behaviour of the girls with them, continue to be criticised.

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

5a. Italy

Military : Comment, which is on familiar lines, is on a reduced scale.

Political : Complaints are again made of too much leniency and “kid glove handling” of Italy. The “habit of molly-coddling our one-time enemies” is said to cause resentment and the Government is felt to be “definitely out of step with the people” in its attitude towards Italy.

Criticism of the Pope continues.

Caruso's trial and lynching of Carreta : Indignation is again reported over the outbreak of mob rule resulting in the lynching of Carreta. Concerning Caruso, some people point out that he was obeying the orders of the “higher-ups”, and say it is just an example of “stooges being executed while the big shots go clear” ... “Badoglio and the king supported the Fascist regime”.

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

6. Russia

Though interest is still limited, satisfaction continues with Russian advances in the Balkans and Baltic. The invasion of Hungary and the linking-up with Marshal Tito's forces in Yugoslavia have particularly pleased people. Some disappointment remains, however, at the Russians slowing-down outside East Prussia and before Warsaw. People do not understand why. A few feel Russia has been “resting” since the opening of the Western front, others believe she is building up for a big offensive.

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

6a. Warsaw

The “tragedy” of Warsaw is deeply regretted and has much distressed people. Sympathy for the Poles, concern for their fate, and admiration for their fight are widely reported.

Some think more information should be given and ask for a Government statement because considerable confusion exists as to what really happened there and as to the “politics” involved.

Feeling appears to have crystallised against the Russians, who are now chiefly blamed for the city's fall (Ten Regions). People accuse them of not giving all the help they could; the more critical believing they stopped their advance into the city for “political” reasons. A few criticise the Lublin Committee.

Also blamed for the city's fate are: the lack of unity among the Poles themselves (Five Regions); the behaviour of the Polish Government in London (Three Regions); the “prematurity” of the rising; and failure on our part to give more help.

There is now considerable concern and uneasiness about Russo-Polish relations. People fear they may become the “stumbling-block” to European peace.

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

6b. The visit of Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden to Moscow

Preliminary reports show that the visit has surprised and in some cases dismayed people. They fear it may have resulted from a “crisis” in Anglo-Russian relations.

Some believe it concerns the Russo-Polish dispute and fervently hope for its success.

(9. 10. 11)

7. The Prime Minister's statement in the House (September 28)

General appreciation is again reported. People feel it to be a sober and sincere statement of fact which has had a steadying influence on public opinion, though a very few thought it pessimistic. His comments regarding the possible need for “several months of 1945” before the war is over is thought to have made people realise that peace is not here yet.

Detailed comment follows much the same lines as last week, with appreciation for Mr. Churchill's references to the Burma campaign and Britain's share in the war effort.

The only note of criticism reported has been concerning Mr. Churchill's “championship of the Italians” (Five Regions). This is said “not to be very popular”, especially among men returning from the 5th and 8th armies and these who have been prisoners of war in Italian camps.

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

8. Explosions

London : Most people are now convinced that these are caused by rocket bombs but there is said to be little alarm.

Eastern Region : In areas where explosions have been heard considerable apprehension as to their cause is reported. Some think that lack of explanation may give rise to “wild” speculation, others approve the policy of silence. Some believed the explosions to be due to planes crashing.

The rest of the country : Comment has continued on familiar lines.

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

8a. Worse to come

Some are still apprehensive about further weapons being used against this country. Gas continues to be thought most likely.

(1. 3. 5. 7. 12)

9. Flying bombs

Comment is less this week and is on familiar lines. The attacks are believed to have dwindled considerably, “though still a damned nuisance”.

Sympathy for the sufferers continues.

Reactions in target areas

London : The renewed attacks do not appear to have alarmed people and some express relief at the comparative lull.

South-Eastern Region : People are said not to be “unduly perturbed” by the slight recurrence of attacks.

Southern Region : The renewal of alerts in the Maidenhead area and the “distant noises were not appreciated”.

Eastern Region : Some concern and dismay are reported over the renewal of raids.

A few ask why we cannot take reprisals since we are now on German soil.

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

9a. Evacuation

Criticism of the announcement that the Battle of London was over continues on familiar lines.

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

10. Landings in Greece and Albania

People are very pleased with the landings. There is disappointment, however, with the lack of news, and some are wondering what is happening there. (No reactions yet received to the news of the capture of Corinth.)

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

11. Far East

Interest in the military situation in the Far East continues slight, though greater attention is being paid to the Burma campaign since the Prime Minister's references to it. While there is a lack of understanding of what either we or the Japanese are trying to do out there, there is considerable interest in the conditions under which our men have to fight. Otherwise comment is on familiar lines.

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

12. Captain Ramsay's release

Comment continues on the same lines as last week.

(1. 3. 6. 7. 8. 9. 18 nine P.D.Rs.)

13. Press reports of compassionate leave for married Servicemen wanting to start families

Resentment and indignation among married women and “religious bodies” is reported at this “un-British action” and “infringement of marital privacy”. Engaged girls whose fiancés have been away for four years are said to be aggrieved.

(7. 11. 18 two P.D.Rs.)

14. News presentation and broadcasting

Over-optimistic treatment of the news by press (Six Regions) and B.B.C. (Two Regions) is alleged. The prospects of the airborne landings, the results of the Arnhem operation, the piercing of the Siegfried Line, and the inferiority of German troops are all subjects of which much too much is thought to have been made.

The B.B.C. War Reports on Arnhem , however, continue to be very highly spoken of - “most moving” ... “the best thing the B.B.C. has ever done” - except by those who found them too harrowing.

The B.B.C's new policy about controversial discussion is welcomed, and the Hogg - Bevan debate was much applauded, though some people thought even this was “strangled by censorship”. Mr. J.B. Priestley's talk (October 1) was also much commended.

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



15. Postwar reconstruction

During the past four weeks widespread and detailed discussion has continued. Despite very favourable reactions generally to the White Paper on Social Insurance (see Section 3), cynicism and anxiety continue widespread - “We shall be let down again as after the last war”. The Government is once more criticised for lack of clear statements and concrete plans; where promises or plans have been made it is generally thought “they won't mature anyway”. However, a few people have felt since the publication of the White Paper on Social Insurance that the Government “really is facing up to postwar responsibilities”.

The “win the war first” attitude seems almost entirely to have disappeared; and only a very small minority now ask how postwar schemes will be paid for.

Housing and employment continue to cause most talk and most anxiety.

The main differences this month are a considerable increase in comment about (a) the need of a land policy as a preliminary to solving the housing problem; (b) local authorities being unable to proceed with housing plans; (c) the employment of women; (d) wages; (e) a forty hour working week.

Housing (All Regions): Gloom and despair are widespread, and people now think it will be years before everyone is adequately housed; they fear the present “hopeless” position will only be accentuated when demobilisation starts. The Government is widely criticised for making “no real effort”; plans so far announced are thought totally inadequate - “it must be done in a big way”. People are very anxious indeed that there should be homes for the Forces to come back to; the men themselves are said to expect housing to be provided. Many people think a building programme should be started immediately.

A number of people (Five Regions) blame the delay on the Government's “failure” to evolve a policy for the acquisition of land; too much deference to land and property owners is suspected, and people resent houses for Servicemen “being delayed for this”. Nationalisation, or at least strict Government control, is urged “if things are ever going to be done properly”. Local authorities are said to have their hands tied (Five Regions) - unable to make a start even with the preparation of sites.

People again ask for price control of houses and building materials - of the former immediately - in order to prevent a ramp as soon as the war ends. “Houses must be a reasonable price.”

Other comment has been about:

  1. Prefabricated houses (Eleven Regions). They remain unpopular on account of appearance, high price, fear that they will remain permanent, their temporary character, and unsuitability for northern climates; some think they are nothing but an “industrialists' racket”. However, people continue to think that, as a stop-gap, they would be preferable to sharing a house. Some, on the other hand, are afraid to provide good, permanent dwellings; and local authorities fear that, if they buy prefabricated houses, their chances of getting ahead with proper houses may be jeopardised.

  2. Rural housing (Four Regions). Country people continue to ask for a proper water supply and proper sanitation, electricity supplies and sewerage.

Employment (All Regions): Widespread apprehension is reported; people dread and expect mass unemployment, of which present unemployment and rumours of impending discharges are regarded as a foretaste. Particular anxiety is expressed by, or on behalf of, people in war industries (Twelve Regions) who see their jobs coming to an end; demobilised men (Seven Regions); shipyard workers (Two Regions); miners, Bevin Boys, Civil Defence workers, Land Girls, seamen - “there is a great surplus already” - and older people (One Region each). In the case of Servicemen, people are anxious about the general difficulty of readjustment, and particularly of those who were boys when they were called up and are now grown men.

It is asked what provision the Government has made for reabsorbing all these people, and others. Some say peacetime production plans should be ready now in order to forestall unemployment; others have no faith in the Government's ability to avoid this.

The employment of women has been the subject of considerable discussion (Six Regions). Some people, especially men, think they should no longer be directed into industry, particularly into jobs which the men regard as masculine. The women themselves seem divided: married and older ones will mostly be relieved to go home. Single and younger ones, and those holding responsible jobs, will mostly want to continue work, and consequently are beginning to get worried as to what will happen to them.

Industry and trade (Twelve Regions):

(a) The changeover to peacetime production and regaining of export markets (Eleven Regions). Discussion and anxiety are widespread, especially among businessmen and manufacturers, who are very anxious for the Government to announce plans forthwith, lest we be “caught napping”. In fact, many people are afraid we have already been left far behind by the U.S.A. as regards both planning for peacetime production and overseas markets ... “This country will be ousted from markets by the U.S.A. - America is getting in first” (Seven Regions). Press stories of the “carpet-bagging activities of American Servicemen” have lent colour to this fear.

Many manufacturers want to go ahead now (Five Regions), and they criticise the Government for not releasing materials and labour so that they can produce samples.

There is some fear that costs of production will be high, especially if present high wages continue.

(b) Controls in industry (Six Regions). Employers complain of red tape and bureaucracy and are generally anxious to get rid of controls as soon as possible, so that private enterprise may expand. Workers, on the other hand, think some degree of restriction is necessary, to prevent exploitation and the control of industry by big combines; at the same time they want to get rid of the Essential Work Order.

(c) Small shops and businesses (Six Regions). Concern continues that they will be squeezed out by big combines and multiple stores. It is felt the Government should assist them.

(d) Location of industry (Five Regions). In areas where factories have closed during the war, as for instance cotton mills in the North Eastern Region, it is feared they will not reopen, and people here and elsewhere are interested in the introduction of new industries. In Grimsby, people regard the opposition to this as a sign that “vested interests are very much to the fore”, and are afraid Grimsby may again become a distressed area.

(e) Wages (Five Regions). This month workers are reported to be anxious about wages being reduced after the war; other people are afraid that such reductions may lead to trouble, especially among young workers, as their wages have been particularly inflated.

(f) Forty-hour week (Three Regions). Some workers have decided they want a forty-hour week after the war, and cotton operatives say that unless they get it they will avoid the cotton industry “like the plague”. Employers in one Region are indignant at the alleged demand by building trade workers for a 40 hour week at 2/6d an hour.

Agriculture (Eight Regions): Farmers and others continue afraid that the industry will again be let down and cheap foreign produce flood the market. A long-term national policy continues to be asked for.

The Education Act (Eight Regions): Disappointment at the postponement of the raising of the school leaving age has continued; it is said to have increased people's scepticism as to the Government's sincerity regarding postwar reforms generally. Anxiety about the supply of teachers and about school buildings continues on familiar lines.

Restrictions and rationing (Six Regions): Many people hope for relaxations, especially over food, but it is realised that restrictions will have to continue for some time to ensure fair distribution. There is some fear of this being overdone, and of “an era of bureaucracy”.

Civil Aviation (Four Regions). Discussion has declined, though people continue afraid that we are allowing the U.S.A. to “get away with it”. It is asked what the Government is “doing about it”; official statements are thought unsatisfactory.

(No comment since the appointment of Lord Swinton, October 9)

National health service (Four Regions). Very little comment, though most people want a “real” national medical service. Some think the medical profession hope to sabotage the Government scheme, or that “political interference” will do so.

Taxation and cost of living (Four Regions). People hope both will be reduced, though there is some fear of a continued high cost of living.

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

15a. Town and Country Planning Bill

Only preliminary reactions to the debate in the House have so for been received. These will be summarised next week.

(2. 3. 8. 9. 12)

16. Housing and accommodation

During the past four weeks widespread comment and complaints have continued. The Government has been blamed for apathy; so has Parliament ... “17 members at a housing debate caused an outburst of cynicism”.

Comment has chiefly been about:

  1. The acute and desperate shortage of all types of accommodation (Twelve Regions), which is reported to cause bitterness and concern. Particular sufferers are again said to be young married couples and bombed out people. In London some families are still “living in a corner of the kitchen”, or in partially damaged buildings.

  2. High prices for all types of accommodation (Nine Regions) - “unashamed profiteering” - “a national scandal”.

  3. Air raid repairs (Six Regions). In London and the South East the problem continues to cause much anxiety; elsewhere, there is a feeling that “there is a large element of waste and misguided effort”. People think a much greater effort essential before winter. Some say the £10 limit to repair of property without permit should be extended to the whole country. Workers in one Region think air raid repair work should have priority even over factory work, and they are indignant because they think employers do all they can to prevent their employees from volunteering. One suggestion is that experienced building employees now in war factories, the N.F.S., or Civil Defence should be released for bomb damage repair work.

Suggested solutions are that:

  1. Requisitioned houses which are now unoccupied, and other empty property, should be used (Six Regions). The Army particularly is thought to be holding on to a lot of empty accommodation.

  2. There should be an immediate building programme (Five Regions).

  3. Prices and rents should be controlled at once (Two Regions).

War damage compensation (Four Regions): There is some confusion about settlement for destroyed houses. Some think it inadequate; others do not understand why some people's houses are to be rebuilt and not others.

Huts for London : The scheme has been fairly well received in London because it is thought preferable to “being herded with other families”. But people feel still more should be done to case the situation - for instance that local authorities should “exercise their full powers”.

See also Constant Topics No. 4.

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

17. Clothing

During the past four weeks complaints of the “irksomeness” of the rationing of clothing and household linen have become much more vocal. Restrictions are now thought to be unnecessarily stringent and some relaxations - either by increasing the allocation of coupons or by making some goods coupon-free - are felt to be needed.

Publicity about Paris fashion parades and pictures of well-clothed people in the liberated countries have caused much bitter complaint - particularly since some think we have been or are being penalised to provide stocks for these countries. People feel “we have been hoodwinked” by propaganda about conditions in these countries - “we are the worst-dressed after all”.

Complaints have been chiefly of:


(a) Clothing replacements generally (Twelve Regions). People complain particularly that they will be unable to replace winter underclothes (Four Regions) and overcoats (Two Regions).

Those thought particularly to suffer are:

  1. Children (Ten Regions). Relaxation of rationing for them is felt to be specially necessary.

  2. Heavy workers (Five Regions) - particularly farm workers (Two Regions).

  3. Men (Three Regions) - since the allocation does not cover replacement of a suit.

(b) Replacing household linen and curtains (Twelve Regions). A special allowance of coupons for household purposes continues to be demanded (Eight Regions) - particularly by people who have had evacuees billeted on them.

Relaxation of black-out restrictions has made replacement of curtains necessary in some cases (Five Regions), and it is asked whether curtain material cannot now be sold coupon-free.

FOOTWEAR PROBLEMS (Twelve Regions). Complaints have been chiefly of:

  1. Children's footwear (Eleven Regions).

    1. Poor quality (Ten Regions). People are worried about children's health suffering in the winter since shoes so easily let in water.

    2. Shortage (Nine Regions). People are particularly hoping for more Wellingtons to be released (Four Regions). They are felt to be necessary for all children because of the poor quality of other footwear available.

    3. High coupon value (Four Regions). Some, however, would prefer to give more coupons for better quality shoes.

    4. High price (Two Regions).

  2. Adults' shoes (Eleven Regions)

    1. Poor quality (Ten Regions) - particularly of women's shoes (Four Regions).

    2. Shortage (Eight Regions).

    3. High price (Four Regions).

    4. Excessive coupon value (Three Regions).

  3. Repair difficulties (Nine Regions). The poor quality of repairs, the long time taken in getting them done, their high price, and the shortage of leather for home repairs are all the subject of complaint.

  4. “Quotas” in shops (Four Regions). Workers find it extremely difficult to buy shoes because of the “odd hours” shops are open.

BEDDING (Twelve Regions).

(a) Shortages (Twelve Regions) - particularly sheets (Nine Regions) and blankets (Four Regions).

Priority dockets are said to have made the position worse for non-permit holders, and there is some criticism that the dockets do not always go to those who need them most.

(b) High price (Five Regions) - particularly of non-Utility sheets (Four Regions).

(c) Poor quality (Two Regions).

Poor quality of clothing generally (Ten Regions) - particularly children's (Four Regions).

High price of clothing (Nine Regions) - particularly women's hats (Four Regions).

Corsets (Eight Regions) - both their quality and shortage (Five Regions each).

Shortages of clothing generally (Eight Regions), particularly children's (Six Regions).

Utility stockings (Six Regions) - both the high coupon value and shortage of fully fashioned ones, and the poor quality of non-fashioned ones.

Utility socks (Four Regions), which are said to be too short in the leg.

See also Constant Topics, Nos. 1. 7. 9. 16. 19. 25. 27

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

18. Industry

During the past four weeks the improved war situation has led to some slacking and absenteeism on the part of workers, many of whom thought the war as good as over, till the withdrawal from Arnhem and the Prime Minister's statement brought them down to earth.

The main subjects of discussion, however - and of great anxiety among workers - have been:

(a) The present changing conditions in industry (All Regions), as shown by:

  1. Dismissals and unemployment (Ten Regions), whether reported, rumoured or expected. Thus, there are said in N. Derbyshire to be 16,000 skilled or semi-skilled workers unemployed; there are rumoured to be 10,000 redundant foundry workers in the Midland Region alone; there was a rumour in a big Glasgow works that 9,000 were to be paid off. Particular dissatisfaction is expressed at reports of what is regarded as unfair treatment, e.g., skilled engineers sacked while dilutees are kept on, and the introduction of Eire labour when local men are unemployed.

  2. Redundancy and enforced idleness (Ten Regions).

  3. Reduced production (Seven Regions), whether by factories closing down or shortly to do so, or by reduced hours and overtime.

  4. Transfer of labour (Three Regions), in such a way as to suggest a change in the type of production.

(b) The consequences of the changes in industry (All Regions), whether already experienced or only anticipated. These are:

(i) Fear of unemployment (All Regions), in the transition and postwar periods - if not before. This appears to be widespread, as a result of dismissals, the numbers of unemployed and the difficulty some of these are experiencing in getting new jobs. Fear of mass unemployment “hangs like a cloud over the closing phases of the war”.

The Communists are now said to be active in exploiting workers' uneasiness about their postwar prospects.

(ii) Desire for the Government to announce now a definite plan for the changeover to peacetime production (Seven Regions). The charge of failing to have changeover plans ready is levelled against the Government by both workers and managements.

Workers . It is said that much of the concern aroused by dismissals and rumours of dismissals could be prevented “if the workers felt there were some reliable plan behind the changeover”. Meanwhile, any indication of new factories or industries being introduced gives great local satisfaction (e.g. in S. Wales and in Macclesfield).

Employers and manufacturers are said in many cases to be greatly concerned about the transitional period.

(iii) Demands for the release of certain categories now (Seven Regions), particularly:

Women , specially the elderly, married and mothers. It is felt that, in view of the apparent redundancy of so much labour, women should be the first to go; all the more so as discharged Servicemen are returning to find girls have taken over their jobs, and the reinstatement of old employees is “giving some employers a headache”.

Those who are badly needed in civil employment , particularly building operatives and potential domestics, and in the manufacture of domestic goods in short supply.

Young fit men, hitherto reserved , who ought to be called up for the Forces now , to make room for skilled men who have been in the Forces for three or four years.

Dissatisfaction is reported about the re-direction of manpower already released from war production. Some workers, though freed from war jobs, are retained on unemployment benefit and not allowed to seek private employment.

(iv) Criticisms of continued call-up (Six Regions), particularly in view of the present shortage of labour in “essential civilian work”. With all the talk of reduced war production, people do not understand why there continues to be direction of manpower away from so-called unessential work, still less “why women of 50 go on being interviewed for war-work”. The “large number of firewatchers on the dole is regarded as a test for the Ministry of Labour to prove there is a manpower shortage”. Complaint is the more bitter when it is believed that those recently called up are “just reading and knitting”.

There is particular concern at the call-up of girls from the clothing industry (Two Regions), which is said to be in arrears with the Ministry of Supply's demobilisation orders.

(v) Complaints of reduced wages (Four Regions), due to curtailed working hours. Now that many factories are returning to ordinary working hours with no overtime, workers complain the cost of living is too high for their reduced wages. The recent Austin strike is regarded as showing “the shape of things to come”. The Government is blamed for “allowing wages to run out of control in the early stages of the war”, and people anticipate severe labour troubles after the war when present high wages are reduced to peacetime level.

Some released workers are reported to be unwilling to accept jobs at less money than they have been getting hitherto.

See also Constant Topics No. 6.

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

19. The decreased coal output

During the past four weeks comment about miners, mining and domestic fuel has revolved almost exclusively round the fall in coal production, anxiety and dissatisfaction about which have been greatly stimulated by Major Lloyd George's “dismal” statement in the House (October 3).

The main causes of the present unsatisfactory position are held to be:

(a) The attitude of the miners (Twelve Regions), who are strongly blamed for “their laziness and greed”. People feel it is no good increasing their pay ... “The more you give them, the less coal you get; they only want a certain amount of money and if they can get it in four days, they won't work six”. Absenteeism, people think, should be dealt with much more firmly, and habitual absentees drafted into the Forces.

Miners, however, resent the allegations that the drop in output is due to absenteeism on their part, and in mining districts it is felt that the absentee question should be looked into, “as the nature of the work and the conditions may be the explanation”. Some miners also blame the Bevin boys, saying there would be more output without them.

The attempts of the Scottish miners' union to blame the owners for the decreased tonnage in Scotland are roundly condemned. (So, too, is the threatened strike of 70,000 Scottish mineworkers, with the “astonishing” object of decreasing wages - albeit of non-union men.)

(b) The Ministry of Fuel and Power and the Government (Seven Regions). The Ministry is accused of having “gravely mismanaged the industry”, and the Government is blamed for not taking a stronger line with the miners. People are exasperated when they contrast this “inability to make young miners toe the line with the strong control which has been exercised elsewhere”. Strong feeling is reported among war workers who ask “why young girls up and down the country are being prosecuted for bad timekeeping, when their offences are less than those of the miners who get off free”. People think the Government must be afraid of the industry ... “If not, why is the industry allowed to exploit the public and flout the Government itself?”

Nevertheless, despite criticism of Government handling, nationalisation is still advocated as the only way of bringing peace to the industry.

The main result is to make people anxious about the supply of domestic coal for the winter (Eight Regions). Concern is the greater as in some cases it is claimed that the present allowance is too small to permit building up winter stocks, even if deliveries were up to date. High Peak dwellers are most concerned.

There are complaints of much discomfort already, particularly in badly bombed houses, and some people are very depressed at having to face another winter of fuel economy.

There is resentment at coal being exported to Italy and liberated countries; it is hoped that French and Belgian coalfields will soon be able to supply the needs of these countries.

Other comments about domestic fuel relate to poor quality and high price (Six Regions each), the price being particularly resented on account of the quality. There are allegations of the poor quality of open-cast coal in particular (Two Regions); some people believe it costs £12 a ton to produce.

(See also Constant Topics, No. 12)

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

19a. Bevin boys

During the past four weeks there have continued to be a few references, chiefly to the principle of the ballot (Five Regions), and the value of the boys (Three Regions). Both are criticised on familiar grounds (See Home Intelligence Report No. 206, September 14).

In addition, there are reports of the boys' uneasiness about their future (Three Regions); they want to know when they will be released, and in what order. Some fear they will be kept in the pits “when hostilities cease”, and that, when they do leave, their pre-war jobs may not be waiting for them.

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

20. Income tax

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

(a) The burden of taxation (Seven Regions). Complaints come from (i) Older people with unearned incomes, including those living on pensions; (ii) Business people generally; (iii) Property owners, who are “debarred by excessive property tax from adequately maintaining their property”; (iv) Traders whose businesses have been shut down or adversely affected by war conditions.

(b) P.A.Y.E. (Four Regions), which is blamed for (i) absenteeism - particularly in the North Western Region where “men and women have now discovered that by taking a week off they can get repayment of tax”. In the North Midland Region some miners and agricultural workers are said to be doing casual agricultural work, because tax is not deducted from such earnings; (ii) discouraging many “from doing that extra bit of work”.

At the same time P.A.Y.E. is fairly popular and is preferred to the old system - in spite of some grumbling among workers “who do not understand fluctuations in deductions”.

(c) Postwar credits (Four Regions). People are asking why postwar credit certificates have not been issued this year.

Doubts are again reported as to whether postwar credits will ever materialise or will be merely worthless slips of paper.

(d) Income tax on overtime (Two Regions), which is still resented by industrial and agricultural workers, and makes them reluctant to work overtime.

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

21. Transport

During the past four weeks complaints about transport have continued widespread (Eleven Regions), and people believe that the time has come for a general easing of the transport situation (Seven Regions). This could be done, they think, by the transfer of manpower from the C.D. services, and the allocation of more petrol (See also Petrol, Section 21a).

Comment has been chiefly about:

  1. Overcrowding

    1. Buses (Ten Regions). This continues to be serious in many areas, causing especial difficulty to people in rural areas, who cannot board buses at intermediate stops or reach towns before the shops are sold out. There has, in a few areas, been a slight improvement due to the reduction of holiday traffic; in others, where the coastal ban has been lifted, the position is worse.

    2. Trains (Seven Regions). The appalling congestion continues to cause hardship to “bona fide” travellers.

  2. Late evening and Sunday transport (Six Regions). The demand for weekend and later evening transport continues; people hope the improvement in street lighting will make the latter possible.

  3. Increased train services (Six Regions). Pleasure that train services have been increased, but some criticism that no announcement is made of the extra trains being run. An improvement in long distance services is asked for.

  4. Bus queues (Five Regions). The waste of time in bus queues, some people having to stand for two hours. There is also complaint of the lack of control over bus queues, and non-priority passengers taking advantage of priority queues.

  5. Bad time-keeping of buses and trains (Three Regions).

  6. Stealing on trains (Two Regions). The indifference of railway staffs to the loss of goods during transit is criticised.

  7. Discourtesy of bus staffs (Two Regions).

  8. Short distance travellers crowding out those going a long distance (Two Regions).

See also Constant Topics No. 3.

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

21a. Petrol

During the past four weeks comment has been about:

(a) The basic petrol ration (Twelve Regions). Discussion and rumour are widespread on the possibility of its reintroduction; rumours are of ration books already printed, and of various dates for the restoration. People continue to hope for this as they consider it to be urgently required to relieve the congestion on buses and trains, and because they believe there is sufficient petrol in the country to warrant it.

Non-motorists think that public transport should receive first consideration.

(b) Misuse and waste by businessmen (Two Regions), using their cars for race meetings and weekend jaunts; Home Guards; farmers; and government contractors (One Region each).

See Constant Topics No. 2.

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

22. Food

During the past four weeks there has been continued praise for the way the Ministry of Food has handled the food situation. “Scathing comments” have, however, continued about pictures and newsreels of apparently well-fed French people. They are thought to be better off than we are with our “low and unvaried diet”. Some suggest that the stocks of food for the liberated countries should be released to feed “starving Britain”.

Complaints have again been mainly about:

  1. Shortage and unequal distribution of :

    1. Milk (Twelve Regions). In two Regions there is said to be difficulty in obtaining even the ration, and this is blamed on evacuees; in some cases in the North Eastern Region fresh milk has been so short that tinned milk has been supplied instead. An earlier issue of dried milk is asked for to help people over the shortage.

    2. Fruit and tomatoes (Ten Regions). It is thought that more fruit should be imported, and parents are said to be “very bitter when they see American troops with oranges which young children need and cannot get”.

    3. Fish (Eight Regions).

    4. Eggs (Six Regions). Some people have not had any for seven weeks.

    5. Sweets and chocolate (Five Regions). It is thought that chain stores get preference over the small shopkeeper.

  2. Inadequate rations of:

    1. Sugar (Eight Regions). The demand for more has increased; fruit is said to be wasting because of the lack of sugar for jam making (Three Regions). The news that rum is being imported from the West Indies is criticised - some people feel sugar would be more valuable.

    2. Bacon (Seven Regions). The cut in the ration is regretted.

    3. Fats (Six Regions). There are again reports of fish and chip shops closing down owing to the fat shortage.

    4. Meat (Five Regions). The poor quality, especially of beef, is also criticised (Two Regions) and in London people are tired of perpetual pork.

    5. Tea (Four Regions). An increase in the ration is particularly asked for, “as Canada is no longer rationing tea”.

Satisfaction is reported with the promised:

  1. Increased cheese ration (Eight Regions). Agricultural workers are particularly appreciative.

  2. Whiter flour and improved quality of bread (Seven Regions).

See also Constant Topics Nos. 5. 11. 23. 24. 28.

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

23. Shopping difficulties

During the past four weeks familiar complaints - on reduced scale - have continued about:

  1. Under-the-counter sales and favouritism by shopkeepers (Four Regions).

  2. Queues (Three Regions), especially for fruit and cakes.

  3. Lunch-time and early closing hours (Three Regions). Workers continue to complain, and it is felt that shopkeepers do not trouble to cater for them.

See also Constant Topics No. 13.

(1. 2. 3. 7. 8. 9. 12. 18 three P.D.Rs.)

24. Relaxation of black-out, Civil Defence, Fire guard and Home Guard regulations

Comment, which has decreased, is on familiar lines.

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12. 18 one hundred and ten 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 again: old people (Five Regions); invalids (Four Regions); mothers with small children and expectant mothers (Three Regions each).

A few feel that women should be directed to domestic work in the same way as men are directed into the Services, and there is hope that it may soon be possible to release more women for this work. Some younger girls in industry would now, it is said, prefer domestic work.

The shortage is particularly resented because of allegations that many girls in the Services have insufficient work to keep them occupied.

See Constant Topics No. 10.

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

26. Health

During the past four weeks complaints of tiredness, strain and minor illness have slightly increased. There are said to have been more coughs and colds than usual (Four Regions) - attributed to the heating ban - and a crop of gastric troubles (Three Regions). It is feared that health may have been affected by people living in shelters and in damaged houses.

Other comments, reported from one Region each, have been on:

  1. Public lavatories . People deplore (i) their condition, particularly on railway stations; (ii) their scarcity in towns.

  2. Evacuation of expectant mothers . Strong feeling is reported from Banbury on the lack of special travel facilities for mothers who, having been evacuated from London to maternity homes in North Oxfordshire for the purpose of confinement only, are dismissed from hospital 14 days after the birth of the child and have to return to London in an overcrowded train, frequently standing in the corridor.

  3. The need for more maternity homes.

See Constant Topics No. 8

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

26a. Teats for babies' bottles

During the past four weeks widespread and bitter complaints of the shortage of teats have continued. Some mothers are having to feed small babies entirely by spoon.... one mother who is having to feed her two months' old baby in this way is in despair, as it is very undernourished.

See also Constant Topics No. 17

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12. 20)

26b. Toilet paper

During the past four weeks a widespread shortage of toilet paper has been reported. This is considered serious from a health point of view.

See Constant Topics No. 18.

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

27. Agriculture

During the past four weeks comment has been mainly about:

(a) The grain harvest (Six Regions). Concern is reported about “so much wet weather” during the harvest period, and the consequent waste and deterioration of grain crops. Difficulties have been increased by labour shortage, and there is “much sympathy for farmers in the task of getting in the bedraggled sheaves”. In north Northumberland it is said the position is likely to become disastrous unless the weather improves ... “North country farmers were right in their opposition to growing so much corn; it won't ripen here in time for harvesting”. In the South, relief that the harvest is over is coupled with regrets that the weather has spoiled some of it.

(b) Potato crops (Five Regions). Anxiety is reported about the harvesting of potato crops, both on account of the labour situation and because of damage by wet weather and disease.

(c) Labour (Five Regions). Complaints of general labour shortage are made. There is praise for the work done by school children, volunteer harvest workers, and Land Girls. Italian prisoners are also said to “give satisfaction”.

(d) Wages (Four Regions). Some agricultural workers complain of poor wages and compare their earnings with those of industrial workers. Farm labourers are “disappointed that there has been no wage increase for them” .. “Once more agriculture is to be the poor relation”. On the other hand, a few feel that increased wages all round will only lead to inflation.

(e) Agricultural: machinery and implements (Four Regions). Interest in the mechanisation of agriculture is reported, and appreciation of the improved supplies of farm tools, but there are complaints (Two Regions) of expensive machinery belonging to the Government being left outside to deteriorate. In the Northern Region one W.A.E.C. is criticised for keeping its machinery in “a dreadful state, all twisted, broken and covered with mud”.

Farmers are said to have difficulty in getting machinery repaired, owing to the shortage of village blacksmiths. They ask whether it would not be possible to release some of these men from the Forces.

(f) Milk (Two Regions). The winter food position for cattle is causing anxiety and some people fear a shortage of milk. Farmers hope more oilcake will be provided for milking cattle.

(g) Poultry (Two Regions). Poultry keepers wonder whether more feeding stuffs can now be released.

(h) W.A.E.Cs. (Two Regions). Some feeling is reported that War Agricultural Committees “are rapidly becoming dictators”, and it is thought that their staffs “could do with a good deal of pruning”.

(i) Form filling and red tape (Two Regions). Complaints are made of time wasted in filling up forms, and the “hampering by restrictions and red tape”.

(j) Sale of farms (Two Regions). In the North Midland Region some farmers are said to be bitter towards businessmen who are investing in farms. They allege that the W.A.E.Cs. “shut their eyes to the fact that the influential businessman farmer cares little about food production and neglects many acres”.

(k) Imported produce (Two Regions). There is said to be anxiety among tomato growers about the situation when they have to meet competition from Holland and the Channel Islands, after these have been liberated. People also ask “what will happen when Denmark and Holland again send dairy produce to this country”.

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

28. Old age pensions

During the past four weeks , there has again been a demand for an increase in the basic rate of old age pensions, which it present “bear no relation to the cost of living” (Five Regions) ... “It i[Text Missing] is a problem for many old people to live”.

Complaints are also reported about:

  1. The meant test . “which penalises the thrifty” (Two Regions).

  2. The taxation of pensions (Two Regions).

  3. The awarding of supplementary old age pensions . It is felt some awards are granted where there is no need, while genuine cases of hardship are refused (One Region).

(1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 9)

29. Servicemen's pay and allowances

During the past four weeks comment, on a much reduced scale, has been about:

  1. Inadequacy of disability pensions (Three Regions). It is felt that ex-Servicemen's pensions are “awarded too much on a means test basis” and that genuine cases should receive far more generous treatment.

  2. Too many discharged men and women who passed A.1. into the Services being refused pensions (Two Regions).

  3. Greater satisfaction with allowances for Servicemen's dependants since the increase (Two Regions), although complaints of inadequacy come from one Region.

See also Constant Topics Nos. 14. 15.

(1. 3. 5. 7. 18 five P.D.Rs.)


(Covering period from 12th September to 10th October, 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. Inadequacy of clothing coupons for :

(a) General

21 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
28 September Regions 2. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 12.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11. 12.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 9. 12.

(b) Renewing household goods

21 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. 9. 10. 12.
28 September Regions 2. 3. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. 10. 12.

(c) Children

21 September Regions 3. 4. 7. 8. 9. 10. 12.
28 September Regions 5. 6. 9. 10.
5 October Regions 5. 8. 9. 10.
12 October Regions 2. 6. 8. 9.

2. Hope of, or desire for re-introduction of basic petrol ration

21 September Regions 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
28 September Regions 3. 5. 6. 8. 9. 12.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 12. 13.

3. Transport difficulties

(a) General

21 September Regions 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 10. 12.
28 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 10. 12.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 10. 11. 12.
12 October Regions 1. 3. 5. 6. 7. 10. 12.

(b) Rural

21 September Regions 2. 3. 6. 12.
28 September Regions 2. 4. 6.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 10. 11.
12 October Regions 2.

4. Housing and accommodation difficulties

(a) Shortage

21 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 9.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 11. 12.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 11.

(b) High rents and prices

21 September Regions 2. 3. 5. 9. 12.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 6. 9.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 6. 11.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 6. 7. 12.

5. Inadequacy of milk ration

21 September Regions 2. 4. 6. 10. 12.
28 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 6. 9. 10.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 9. 10.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 9. 10.

6. Industry

(a) Fear of unemployment

21 September Regions 1. 7. 9. 10. 11.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 8. 10. 11. 13.
5 October Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 8. 9. 10. 13.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 8. 11. 12.

(b) Dismissals

21 September Regions 1. 3. 5. 9. 10. 11. 12.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 9. 10.
5 October Regions 2. 4. 9. 10. 11.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 8. 9. 10.

(c) Redundancy and enforced idleness

21 September Regions 7. 9. 10. 12.
28 September Regions 3. 5. 8. 9. 12.
5 October Regions 3. 6. 9.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10.

(d) Reduced production

21 September Regions 1. 2. 7. 10.
28 September Regions 10.
5 October Regions 1. 3. 9. 10. 11.
12 October Regions 3. 10.

(e) Absenteeism or slacking

21 September Regions 1. 10. 13.
28 September Regions 3. 6. 10.
5 October Regions 10.
12 October Regions 3. 7.

7. Footwear difficulties

(a) Poor quality

(i) Children's

21 September Regions 3. 6. 8.
28 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8.
5 October Regions 1. 3. 4. 8. 10.
12 October Regions 2. 3. 5. 8. 9. 10. 11.

(ii) General, including adults'

21 September Regions 3. 6. 10. 11.
28 September Regions 6. 8. 10. 12.
5 October Regions 1. 3. 4. 5. 10. 12.
12 October Regions 1. 9. 10. 11. 12.

(b) Shortage

(i) Children's

21 September Regions 4. 7. 10.
28 September Regions 3. 6. 10.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 6.
12 October Regions 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11.

(ii) General, including adults'

21 September Regions 11.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 11.
5 October Regions 3. 12.
12 October Regions 2. 4. 9. 10. 11.

(c) Repairs

(i) Difficulty in getting shoes repaired

21 September Regions 7. 8. 10. 11.
28 September Regions 2. 3. 4.
5 October Regions 3. 4. 7. 8.
12 October Regions 4. 10. 11.

(ii) Long delay and poor quality

21 September Regions 4. 6.
28 September Regions 2. 5. 10.
5 October Regions 7. 10.
12 October Regions 5. 11.

8. Tiredness, ill health and war weariness

21 September Regions 3. 6. 9.
28 September Regions 1. 3. 5. 10.
5 October Regions 3. 5. 8. 10.
12 October Regions 1. 5. 7. 9. 10. 12.

9. Clothing

(a) Poor quality and shortage of corsets

21 September Regions 1. 3. 10.
28 September Regions 4. 9. 10.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 10. 12.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 7. 9. 10. 12.

(b) Criticism of Utility clothing

21 September Regions 3. 6. 10.
28 September Regions 2. 6. 9. 10.
5 October Regions 6. 12.
12 October Regions 1. 7. 9. 12.

(c) Poor quality of clothing in general

21 September Regions 3. 5. 9.
28 September Regions 8. 10. 12.
5 October Regions 1. 5.
12 October Regions 1. 6. 7. 12.

(d) High price of clothing in general

21 September Regions 2. 3. 10.
28 September Regions 8. 10.
5 October Regions 1. 4.
12 October Regions 1. 6. 11. 13.

10.[Text Missing] Shortage of domestic help

21 September Regions 3. 8. 9.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 7. 9.
12 October Regions 3. 9.

11. Inadequacy of fat ration

21 September Regions 2. 8.
28 September Regions 2. 5. 10.
5 October Regions 2. 3. 6. 8. 10.
12 October Regions 2. 5. 6. 8. 10. 12.

12. Coal

(a) Anxiety about winter supplies

21 September Regions 3.
28 September Regions 1. 3. 5. 6. 8.
5 October Regions 6. 7.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7.

(b) Poor quality and high price

21 September Regions 9.
28 September Regions 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
5 October Regions 1. 3. 6.
12 October Regions 9. 12.

13. Shopping difficulties and food queues

21 September Regions 2. 7. 12.
28 September Regions 1. 2.
5 October Regions 1. 8. 12.
12 October Regions 1. 7. 9.

14. Inadequacy of dependants' allowances and Service pensions

21 September Regions 3. 5. 10.
28 September Regions 1. 3. 5.
5 October Regions 5. 9. 10.
12 October Regions 5.

15. Inadequacy of old age pensions

21 September Regions Nil.
28 September Regions 1. 3. 6.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3.
12 October Regions 1. 3. 9.


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

21 September Regions 1. 3. 4. 7. 9. 10.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 4. 7. 11. 12.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 10. 11.

17. Shortage of feeding bottle teats

21 September Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 10. 12.
28 September Regions 1. 3. 4. 6. 8. 9. 12.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 9. 10.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 7. 9. 10.

18. Shortage of toilet paper

21 September Regions 2. 4. 6. 7. 12.
28 September Regions 2. 3. 6. 9. 12.
5 October Regions 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 9. 10.
12 October Regions 2. 4. 6. 7. 9. 10. 12.

19. Shortage of combs

21 September Regions 1. 2. 4. 6. 7. 10.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 8. 9.
5 October Regions 2. 3. 6. 10.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 7. 10.

20. Shortage of matches

21 September Regions 2. 6. 10. 11.
28 September Regions 2. 3. 4. 8. 10.
5 October Regions 2. 3. 4. 10. 11.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 10. 11.

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

21 September Regions 1. 3. 10. 11. 12.
28 September Regions 10.
5 October Regions 1. 2. 4. 9. 10.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 3. 4. 9. 10. 11.

22. Shortage of good quality soap and of soap flakes

21 September Regions 1. 2.
28 September Regions 2. 4. 7. 8. 10.
5 October Regions 2. 6. 9. 10.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 5. 7. 9. 10.

23. Shortage and unequal distribution of fruit and tomatoes

21 September Regions 1. 7. 8. 10.
28 September Regions 1. 8. 10. 11.
5 October Regions 1. 3. 8.
12 October Regions 1. 6. 8. 10.

24. Shortage of fish

21 September Regions 2. 5. 8. 12.
28 September Regions 2.
5 October Regions 2. 4. 8. 10.
12 October Regions 2. 6. 7. 8.

25. Shortage of elastic

21 September Regions 1. 3. 6.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 6.
5 October Regions 4. 10.
12 October Regions 1. 2. 5. 10.

26. Shortage of note paper and envelopes

21 September Regions 7.
28 September Regions 1. 4. 6. 7.
5 October Regions 3. 7.
12 October Regions 1. 4. 7. 10.

27. Shortage of children's rubber boots

21 September Regions 2. 3. 6. 7. 10.
28 September Regions 10.
5 October Regions 2.
12 October Regions 3. 7.

28. Shortage of custard powder

21 September Regions 2. 4.
28 September Regions 1. 2. 4.
5 October Regions 2. 8.
12 October Regions 1. 2.

The following subjects, included in this list last month, are now omitted as there have been fewer than nine references to them during the past month: (i) Belief that some relaxation should be made in the duties of Home Guard, Fire Guard and Civil Defence . (ii) Waste and misuse of petrol . (iii) Bad distribution and delayed delivery of coal . (iv) Preferential treatment by shopkeepers, including under-counter sales . (v) Shortage of beer .

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