A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46



All housewives who bought cakes were asked whether they stood in a queue for them.

Table 20
Incidence of queueing All who buy cakes: %
Stood in queue 18
Did not queue 79
N.A. 3
SAMPLE: 1909

Nearly a fifth of the housewives stood in a queue for cakes.

Table 21
Number of times queued %
Once last week 56
Twice last week 25
Three times or more 17
Not answered 1
SAMPLE: all who queued 342

Nearly half the housewives who queued did so twice or more in a week.

Table 22

Days when queueing is most frequent

The question here was “On which days did you queue?” and the answer were as follow:

Every day 1
Monday 7
Tuesday 22
Wednesday 19
Thursday 16
Friday 37
Saturday 56
N.A. 1
SAMPLE: all who queued 342

The peak day for queuing is Saturday; next was Friday, and during the week, Tuesday seems to be the day on which more women queue than on other days.

75% of the housewives who queue do so in the morning.

The cakes for which most housewives queue are slab cakes.

Table 23
Type of cake queued for: % of those who queued % who queued of those who bought Sample No. who bought
Small 51 18 971
Sponge 26 27 335
Slab 69 26 917
N.A. 4 - -
SAMPLE: those who queue 342 - -

All women who queued were asked whether they know of a remedy for preventing queues.

Table 24
Remedies for preventing queues %
Has no opinion 48
General registration 13
Produce more cakes, give more fat and sugar to bakers 13
Give housewives more fat and sugar 4
Get rid of under-counting trading 1
Prohibit queues by law 1
Have more efficient shop assistants, start to serve earlier 5
Miscellaneous 8
No answer 8
SAMPLE: all who queued 342

Only half of the women who queue have any sgguestions to make as to how queues could be prevented. The two main suggestions are registration for cakes, and an increase in the allowance of fat and sugar.

Reasons for not queueing

The housewives who did not queue, but bought cakes during the last seven days were asked how they managed to avoid queues.

Table 25
Reasons for not queueing %
Not many queues in this town 36
Do not consider wartime cakes worth while queueing for 21
No time to queue; not well enough to queue 15
Get the cakes delivered 8
Baker keeps them 7
Other people queue for them 1
Miscellaneous 8
No answer 4
SAMPLE: all who bought but did not queue in the week preceding interview 1120

Asked specifically, 47% of the housewives who bought cakes in the last week said that there were no queues, or hardly any, at the shops they dealt with.

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