A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46


No. 62
Daily Report on MORALE
Tuesday, 30th July, 1940

Morale remains steady.

There is a good deal of satisfaction at the publication of the name of the place where yesterday's raid took place (Dover).

There is confidence in civil defence measures but the siren policy is the subject of continued criticism in certain areas.

Mr. Ogilvie's broadcast was commented upon favourably in many reports.


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30th July, 1940 .

Three regions report great satisfaction that Dover was disclosed as the town which was the object of yesterday's air raid, and hope is expressed that this practice will be continued.

1. NORTHERN (Newcastle) Complaints received of absence of sirens in early morning raid on Monday, when two women were killed who had quick access to shelters which remained intact. Favourable comments on Dorothy Thompson's broadcast. Complaints of prices of fruit and vegetables, although growers complain they cannot always get rid of supplies.

2. NORTH EASTERN (Leeds) Morale good and few complaints heard. Anti-Japanese feeling getting stronger and pro-Russian opinion growing. Local agitation at Wetherby on account of uncamouflaged paper factory which is said to be good guide for enemy aircraft to new armament factory opposite.

3. NORTH MIDLAND (Nottingham) Evidence that Silent Column campaign has had good effect. General desire for better relations with Russia. Both Germany and U.S.A. are said to have better wireless news than us, and there is general desire to know as much as possible of what is happening. Some lack of faith felt in the French people. Little interest shown in personalities of military leaders.

4. EASTERN (Cambridge) An air raid early today in Norwich involving casualties in the working class quarter has caused criticism at the absence of sirens, which would have enabled victims to reach safety. The holding back of news of the Lancastria has caused distrust. General confidence in our defences, but local criticism of neglect of road barriers.

6. SOUTHERN (Reading) Reports of speed with which rumour grows about local and distant bombings due to lack of precise news. Opinions expressed that Britain should demonstrate she is fighting not only to preserve the Empire, but for a community of interest for the peoples of Europe, to counteract creation of Hitler's ‘New Europe’.

7. SOUTH WESTERN (Bristol) Morale high and people taking sporadic air raids well. Many feel Hitler has changed his invasion plans. Reports from Cornwall show that presence of soldiers is putting people in good heart. Rumour and gossip quiet. Complaints of coal shortage from Truro and Exeter. Requests from Falmouth that shelters can be made available from evacuated areas.

8. WALES (Cardiff) Morale excellent. It is surmised that the time draws near when we shall attack again with an army abroad. Beaverbrook's statistics and confidence have had heartening effect. Release of pickled eggs gives satisfaction to densely populated areas. Tea ration still unpopular with heavy workers. Protests still reported against inclusion of books in Purchase Tax.

9. MIDLAND (Birmingham) Defeat of German attack on Dover caused great satisfaction, and confidence in R.A.F. to deal with any attempted air invasion. Coventry, Wednesbury and other towns report keenness of women to co-operate in salvage schemes.

10. NORTH WESTERN (Manchester) Business circles alarmed at speed with which Japan has exploited our weakness in closing the Burma Road. Public has little knowledge of army administration, but feels the new Committee has plenty to do.

11. SCOTLAND (Edinburgh) Interest in Irish question greatly decreased. View held that we shall receive some assistance from Russia at some future date. Re-broadcast of Dorothy Thompson's talk popular.

12. SOUTH EASTERN (Tunbridge Wells) News of Dover air battle has had heartening effect, especially in other coastal towns. Opinion widely held that Hitler has changed his plans. Rye and Winchelsea beach dwellers, who have had to evacuate at short notice for military reasons, were outside special areas scheme and there is no central authority to ensure their welfare.

13. NORTHERN IRELAND (Belfast) Keen interest in Ogilvie's broadcast, due to his N. Ireland associations. Some concern over friction with Japan. Enemy activity against British ports interpreted as indication that invasion is postponed.




Mention of name in Dover air battle has roused great interest and expressions of satisfaction. This is reported from many districts and classes of people, and several wonder whether it means change of policy with regard to bulletins of air raids in places which would not give away valuable information to the enemy. Implication that such change of policy would be warmly welcomed. Ogilvie's talk appreciated by all listeners reporting to-day. Kensington need reported for statement about post-war aims and conditions of living. Prominent members of sporting community express concern at Germany's statement of post-war aims in Europe as compared with our lack of constructive policy. Reduction of working hours approved from health view point in districts such as Woolwich where fatigue forced workers gradually to reduce hours, even before Bevin's statement. Complaints of exploitation by removal firms of evacuees from coastal areas reported from Lewisham. Refugees in Brixton include Dutch, Polish and Belgian; Dutch and Polish grateful for what is done for them but Flemish ungrateful and unwilling to take jobs. Islington reports Belgian refugees under misapprehension that allowances are paid as a right by Belgian Government and afraid that if they take work these allowances will be stopped. Local jealousy reported among British who would like jobs that Belgians are encouraged to take. Observer in Mayfair reports communal pig bucket great success.

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