A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46

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We are sampling the civilian population of Great Britain. Three thousand people aged 15 and over are to be interviewed in all. You are to interview people in the administrative district of. The detailed composition of your quota is set out overleaf.

I. Selecting Workers

You should find out the addresses of suitable factories from the local office of the Ministry of Labour. Make certain that you will be able to find workers in the younger age groups. Workers should be interviewed at their place of work. Do not interview more than five workers from any one work-place. When you have obtained the co-operation of the management of a work-place select the workers on a random principle. If a list of workers can be obtained pick out one in every so many. If there is no list and you have to select workers on the spot, guard against any bias entering into your choice. On no account allow the manager or foreman to choose workers for you.

The age distribution of ten of your male workers and of ten of your female workers should be roughly as follows:-

Age Group 15-19 20-29 30-44 45-54 55 and over
Men (10) 1 1 4 2 2
Women (10) 2 3 2 2 1

II. Retired and Unoccupied

It is important that the correct number of retired and unoccupied people should be included, so please make sure that you get the full number set. You will have to use ingenuity in finding these. They may be interviewed in the homes of housewives you visit in getting your housewife quota or elsewhere.

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III. Housewives

As an experiment we are going to use the current Rating Lists held by the Local Authority. In every case the Town Clerk (or corresponding official) has been approached for permission to use the lists. Where we have had a reply it is attached. No appointments have been made - you should make your own where necessary. If we have not yet received a reply a signed copy of the letter which was sent is attached.

(a) Drawing the Samples

You are to draw TWO SAMPLES , one for immediate use and one for future use.

1. The Rating Lists

There is very often one ledger for each ward or rating district in the district. You will have to base your’ samples on all of them. The lists contain details of every rated property in the district, including garages, storage sheds, shops etc. You are only concerned with houses, including houses attached to shops. You should reject everything else.

Occupation Group Quota Detailed Definitions
Men Women
Agriculture Farm labourers, farmers working on own farm, market and private gardeners, fishermen. Owners of farms directing employees are Managerial .
Mining Mainly coalminers, but other miners may be included.
Factory All operatives. Charge hands and foremen in charge of less than 20 workers.
Building Builders, building labourers, road repairers.
Transport, public Services Workers on railways, buses, trams, tubes, canals, docks, wholesale trade lorry drivers (retail van drivers are Distributive). Public services are gas, water and electricity concerns.
Clerical Workers (except manual, supervisors, managers) in offices. One fifth of these may be attached to factory, shop (includes cashiers) or mine.
Distributive Shop assistants, owners with not more than 2 assistants, roundsmen, van drivers for shops.
Miscellaneous Workers in hotels, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, entertainments, laundries ( Managers and clerks excluded), policemen, cleaners of offices and shops, domestic servants, window cleaners, jobbing carpenters, chimney sweeps, postmen, etc.
Professional Dentists, doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, clergymen, high grade technicians, research workers, welfare workers, etc.
Managerial Works managers, managers of shops, owners of shops with more than 2 assistants, supervisory and managerial staff of offices, directors of businesses, administrative grade civil servants, local Government servants, etc.
All workers
Retired and Unoccupied All, except housewives, not employed or engaged in a business or profession. One third are under 60.
Schoolchildren Aged 15 - Secondary
Housewife Does not go out to work for more than 30 hrs/week, is mainly responsible for the household housekeeping. (From rating lists).

2. Obtain all the Rating Lists and find out the total number of pages in them - they are usually double pages and numbered. If there are, say, 605 pages, and your quota is 25 housewives, divide the 605 by 25; the answer is 24.2 and you will need to take two addresses of houses on every 24th page, preferably the FIFTH , for your first sample and the ELEVENTH for your second sample.

3. If a page from which you need to take a house is filled by other properties or if contains only a few addresses, take the next page but count 24 pages on from the original page.

4. You will need a substitute list of a quarter of your quota for each sample. You should take them from the page beyond every fourth page from which you take an address for your main list.

5. All addresses should be written on the sheets provided. One sample should be headed N.S.86., together with the name of the district, the other should, be headed SECOND SAMPLE together with the name of the district and sent immediately to Mr. Gray.

(b) Interviewing at these addresses

Where there is only one household at the given address you should interview the housewife, making at least one recall if necessary. Where there is more than one household at the address you should interview two housewives, making, if necessary, a recall on each. You should record against each address of your main list (in the column ‘Other particulars’) i) the number of households living there, ii) the number of interviews obtained, e.g. 3 (2), the number obtained being in the bracket.

When you have exhausted your main list you may, if you are still short of your quota, use your substitutes until you have completed your quota.

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1. Main Objects of the inquiry

The number of people who receive holidays with pay has increased recently and the number of people who go away for holidays is expected to increase. The Government wishes to be able to anticipate what the increase will be in the numbers of people and in money available for expenditure on holidays away from home; how these increases will affect the demand for different types of accommodation; to what extent they can be met by measures designed to extend the holiday season, etc. This survey, intended to obtain this information, has been undertaken at the request of the Office of the Lord President of the Council, acting on behalf of the Board of Trade, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Works and other Government departments interested. It directly concerns the welfare of working people and should therefore gain the support of managers and employers of labour.

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2. Classification Section

This section must be completed in every case.

Town, Urban and Rural : In a rural district, record the name of the town from which the quota is done, as given on your quota sheet.

Status : Widowed includes separated or divorced.

Age : The age range for this survey has been extended to include informants aged 15 or over. The sampling instructions show how informants in the age group 15 to 19 should be contacted.

Occupation : For definitions see sampling instructions.

Occupation of C.W.E. : This is a check on the economic group of the C.W.E. Please get the exact occupation - his occupation group (e.g. clerical) is not sufficient.

3. The total demand

Qn.1. The term leave is used to include days spent at home on leave as well as days spent away on ‘holiday’.

Record the total number of days actually taken as leave during the months from April to October inclusively. Include any extra leave taken without pay, but not sick leave. Do not include any part of the annual leave of the informant not taken during this period. Include Sundays and Public holidays only if accompanied by other days.

Record D.N.A. if the informant does not have a determinate amount of leave in his or her own right (e.g. housewives or retired or unoccupied people).

Entries should be made under the heading Before the War only if the informant has ( Qn.1. ) had summer leave, ( Qn.2. ) taken a holiday, etc., on at least two occasions before 1940. If the informant’s arrangements varied on these occasions, simply record varied . The heading D.N.A. to informants under 25.

Qn.2. Holidays obtained by repeated day trips to neighbouring resorts without using accommodation away from home can be entered under the heading day trips from home.

Excluding those who are planning to take their 1947 holidays in the form of day trips from home , informants who have already completed their 1947 arrangements should be coded as arranged ; those who can already say what sort of a holiday they will try to arrange for themselves as wanted ; those who have only vague hopes as D.K. ; others as No . See also Qn.10.

Qn.4. If more than one holiday has been taken away from home in a single year, information should be collected only about the main holiday, or if it is uncertain which is the main one, about the holiday taken most nearly at the main holiday season (July and August).

Qn.6. This question refers primarily to 1947, it should be asked of everyone. Those coded No under 1947 in Qn.2 need only give a general reason in answer to Qn.6(b).

6(a) . Informants should be encouraged to state in which month or months they would enjoy their holiday best, if they did not have to go away at any particular time, or bother about avoiding the rush season. Probe if the informant’s choice appears to have been influenced by considerations of either kind. Informants should limit their preferences to two months at the most. Every month must be coded under one of the three possible headings.

6(b) . Every month must be coded either ‘can’ or ‘can’t’. Reasons need not be recorded separately for every month, if one general reason applies to all the months which cannot be managed. Reasons which affect the time when the informant can get away (e.g. leave can only be taken in a particular month) should be given preference over reasons which affect the time when the informant can obtain accommodation (e.g. the hotels are all booked up in August). If reasons of the latter kind are given, be sure that they refer to 1947 before recording them.

Do not make any entry on the Total line.

Qn.8 . Need only be put to heads of families or persons in charge or joint charge of family parties. Qn.7 screens off those who need not answer Qn.8.

Qn.7. Informants neither in charge nor in joint charge (e.g. where responsibility is shared between husband and wife) of a family party and not heads or joint heads of households need not answer Qn.8. They may be shown under any of the three headings Do not go away , Family party or not family party , but those shown under the second will also appear as in someone else’s charge under the heading Relationship : e.g. a girl of sixteen interviewed at work may say she goes in a family party under the charge of her father.

If the informant shares charge of a family party jointly with another person (e.g. a housewife with her husband) add the word also after recording the relationship, viz. in this instance, ‘Husband also’. Qn.8(a) and 8(b) should be asked in all such cases.

If the informant is in sole charge, enter self under the heading Relationship and ask Qn.8(a) and 8(b).

Qn.8(a) should also be put to persons in charge or joint charge of families which have not gone away on holiday as a party. For working purposes, such people are defined as C.W.Es. or Housewives. Qn.8(b) will not apply to such cases.

In all cases where Qn.8(a) is asked, all members of the household should be listed under the heading Relationship whose domestic welfare is normally under the charge of the informant, e.g. old people supported by the informant as well as children, foster children, etc.. This covers everyone in the normal household classification. Any such people who went on holiday with the family party under the charge of an informant will be recorded under With in the appropriate year, those who took a holiday but not with the family party under Separate (including people who formed other family parties, e.g. children sent away to relatives for their holidays), and those who did not go away on holiday as None . All persons normally under the charge of a C.W.E. or housewife who did not conduct a family party must therefore appear under the heading Separate or None .

Appropriate entries must be made in all four sections ( Age , Sex , 1946 and 1947 ) for each person listed under the heading Relationship.

No entries should be made opposite the word Total in the bottom row of the question. This will be completed by the coding section.

Qn.8(b) provides space for recording similar information about any other young people who joined the family party conducted by an informant.

4. Accommodation

Qn.10. should be put to all informants. If an informant made unsuccessful efforts in 1946 to obtain accommodation of one kind before obtaining another, show the first kind under Wanted and the second under Had . If successful, enter the same kind in both columns. If no efforts were made, enter None in both columns. Do not show vague unfulfilled desires under the heading Wanted .

The plans of people coded as Arranged or Wanted under 1947 in Qn.2 should be entered under the heading Arranged/Looking for here. Those coded as D.K. or No under 1947 in Qn.2 should be coded None under this heading.

Code only one type of accommodation under the heading Would consider . Those coded No under 1947 in Qn.2 should be coded None here.

Code as paying guest anyone paying for full board and lodging in accommodation diverted from its normal household use, e.g. eating with the family, sleeping in the spare room or using the front parlor. The three headings Licensed Hotel , Board Residence and Paying Guest are intended to classify establishments of different sizes from large hotels to farm houses, which provide full board and lodging, Bed and Breakfast anything less than full board but including some catering; Furnished Apartments (with service) where no catering is provided. Furnished (no service) includes houses bungalows and flats. Non-paying guest includes invited and uninvited guests and people who bring their own rations, help with the housework, or make voluntary contributions towards their host’s expenses.

Commercial camps (e.g. Butlin’s) are open to anyone on payment of a fee and are thus distinguished from those provided by Voluntary Associations , such as the Workers’ Travel Association or the Holiday Fellowship, which are for members only.

The heading Variable is for informants who have had accommodation of more than one type during their main summer holiday.

Qn.11 . Personal inquiry includes uninvited guests and people who arrive in a place and then look for somewhere to take them in.

5. Location and Travel

Qn.12. If the informant stayed in more than one place, code Tour and do not record names of places. If the place mentioned has no railway station enter near before the name of the nearest place with a railway station.

Qn.13 . should be put to all informants. For the use of the headings Had , Wanted , etc., see instructions, on Qn.10.

Rely on your informant to tell you whether the place is to be described as Seaside , Country , Large , Small etc., as far as possible. Use the following notes to guide you in cases of doubt.

(i) Many people like to visit towns such as Paris or Brussels for their holidays, and others may find equivalent pleasures in London, or one of the large provincial cities. Any other type of place may be coded Seaside if it is within 5 miles of the sea coast, or Country if not.

(ii) A place may be described as Large if it provides good facilities for popular entertainments, e.g. shops, cafe’s, hotels, cinemas, theatres, fun fairs, piers, etc.; Small if such facilities are restricted.

Sections (i). (ii) and (iii) must be completed if Static is recorded under (iv); (iii) only if Tour is recorded. The footnote does not refer to Section (v).

Qn.14 . Record one means of travel. Where more than one means has been used, record the means used over the greatest distance.

Qn.15 . Record the first impromptu answers to this question. Qn.16 follows, and the two should indicate what, different people mean by the word ‘long’.

Qn.17 . This open question is provided to record unforeseeable circumstances (e.g. overcrowded trains or lost luggage) which affected people’s feelings about their journey in 1946. Do not prompt.

Qn.19 . This question refers primarily to 1947 and should be asked of everyone except those coded No under 1947 in Qn.2 . It is analogous to Qn.6 , and should be treated in the same way.

But as informants may find it difficult to consider Qn.19(a) quite impartially, Qns.19(b) and 19(c) should be put first, to enable them to mention everything which limits the number of days from which they are free to choose. Limitations on the days when they can leave home should be given preference to limitations on the days when they can arrive at their destination (e.g. ‘can only make advance bookings from Saturday to Saturday’ need not be recorded if the informant can only get away at the end of the week). Then ask them, if they were not limited in any of these ways, would they still prefer any particular day. If at this point they reply No, code Don’t mind for every day of the week. Otherwise code any preferences or dislikes they mention, limiting preferences to not more than two.

Do not make any entry on the Total line.

6. Expense

Qn.20. This information is needed for comparison with Qn.1.

Qn.21(a) . This information is particularly important for estimating the effects of next year’s demands, so please get as much as you can. Try particularly to get all your informants to give the inclusive figure for all their holiday expenses ( Grand Total ).

The four total items above should add up to the Grand Total , so if the informant can give you the Grand Total and three of the remaining totals, you can estimate the fourth. Do so in the presence of the informant, and ask if it seems a reasonable estimate. All totals can be given in pounds only.

The detailed figures about accommodation per person per week should be recorded when known. The cost of board should be included, when provided with the accommodation. If not known, enter D.K.

Qn.23 . This open question, like Qn.17 , is provided to record unforeseeable circumstances (e.g. bad weather or children ill with mumps) which affected people’s feelings about their holidays in 1946. It does not relate particularly to expense.


A junior schedule should be completed for every child under 15 shown in answer to Qn.8(a) on the main schedule as having a separate holiday. Particulars can be obtained from the same informant, although the junior may be allowed to take part in the interview. No particulars need be recorded for a year in which the junior did not take a separate holiday : enter D.N.A. at appropriate points.

Generally speaking, the instructions given in the main schedule apply to the corresponding questions in the junior schedule. The junior schedule should be returned pinned onto the main schedule, to which it belongs.

Classification : No. of child . Copy the number at the beginning of the line which refers, from Qn.8(a) of the main schedule.

Qn.4 . corresponds with Qn.6 in the main schedule. It is assumed that the decision is not taken by the junior but may be taken by the informant or the person in charge. Record by whom and on what grounds.

Qn.10 and 11 . Correspond with Qn.15 and 16 . It is hoped that informants will show their feelings about how far they allow their children to travel by themselves or in the charge of someone else.

Qn.13 . (c.f. main schedule Qn.19 and junior schedule Qn.4 ). Record by whom the decision is taken and on what grounds.

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