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John_Hartley

DORA - it's political correctness gone mad!

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John_Hartley

At the beginning of 1917, a local confectioner was brought before the magistrates at Macclesfield, Cheshire, charged with a breach of the DORA regulations in that he sold three loaves and a quantity of biscuits "after hours". He was dealt with leniently and fined 2s 6d.

Now I know DORA regulated the times pubs might open in an attempt to limit alcohol consumption but I can't think of any reason why a shop could only sell bikkies in certain hours. Any thoughts?

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NigelS

Food supply was a becoming problem by early 1917 as these reports from the Times illustrates:

April 19th 1917

TEA SHOP RATIONS.

PROHIBITION OF CAKES AND MUFFINS.

SUGAR AND FLOUR LIMITS.

The Cake and Pastry Order made by Lord Devonport under the Defence of the Realm Regulations and issued last night provides that, except under the Food Controller's authority, no person shall after April 21 make or attempt to make for sale, or after April 24 sell or offer to sell or have in his possession for sale:-

( a ) Any crumpet, muffin, tea cake, or fancy bread, or any light or fancy pastry, or any other like article.

( b )Any cake, bun, scone, or biscuit which does not conform to the requirements of the two following provisions of this Order.

In the making of any cake, bun, scone, or biscuit no edible substance shall be added to the exterior of the cake mixture or dough after it has been mixed, or to the article during the process of or after baking.

CAKE. - No cake shall contain more than 15 percent. of sugar or more than 30 per cent. wheaten flour.

BUN. - No bun shall contain more than 10 percent. of sugar or more than 50 per cent. wheaten flour.

SCONE. - No Scone shall contain any sugar or more than 50 per cent. wheaten flour.

BISCUIT. - No cake shall contain more than 15 percent. of sugar.

The percentage shall be determined in every case by reference to the weight of the baked article taken at any time. The percentage of sugar shall be ascertained by analysis of a sample representing a fair average of the whole article, and all sugar in the baked article shall be taken into account in whatsoever form it may have been introduced.

The foregoing provisions of the Order do not apply to any cake or biscuit proved to have been made before April 23.

It is further provided that:-

The provisions of the sale of Food and Drugs Act relating to warranties and invoices shall apply to any proceedings under the foregoing provisions of this order in the same way as they apply to proceedings of those Acts.

Any person authorised by the Food Controller and any inspector of weights and measures may enter upon premises where he has reason to suspect an article is being made or sold or exposed for sale in contravention of this Order, and take samples thereof.

This order shall apply to articles made or supplied in clubs in the same way as it applies to articles made or supplied for sale.

RATIONING OF TEA SHOPS

The following provision is to apply to every public eating place as defined in the Public Meals Order, 1917, which is excepted from that Order under clause 7 ( c ) thereof:- No individual customer shall be served at any meal whatsoever which begins between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. with more than 2Oz. in the whole of bread, cake, bun, scone, and biscuit.

This clause does not apply to any public eating place where:-

(1) No customer is ever charged more than 6d in respect of a meal (including the charge for beverages) begun between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., which does not include meat, fish, or eggs; and

(2) There is exhibited on every tariff card and also in a conspicuous position in in every room where meals are usually served a notice to the effect that no customer will so be charged.

This clause does not come into force until April 23.

For the purpose of this Order the expression "Wheaten Flour" shall mean any flour for the time being authorized to be used in the manufacture of wheaten bread, and the expression "sugar" shall include glucose.

Any contravention of the Order is summary offence against the Defence of the Realm Regulations

21st April 1917:

FLOUR AND BREAD. - There is a compulsory standard for flour which requires an 81 per cent. extraction from the wheat , and the addition of a minimum of 10 per cent. of flour milled from other cereals.

Bread must not be sold until it is 12 hours old.

The manufacture and sale of light pastries muffins, crumpets, and teacakes is prohibited. Scones must contain no sugar.

The use of wheat, rice, and rye for other purposes than seed and flour for human consumption is prohibited.

PUBLIC MEALS ORDER. - The consumption of bread, flour, meat, and sugar in hotels, restaurants, and clubs is rationed on a basis which permits for a full day's meals 8oz. bread, 2oz. flour, 12oz. meat, and 1 1/2oz. of sugar.

One meatless day and five potato less days must be observed on each week.

At any meal taken between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. the weight of bread, cake, or biscuits eaten must not exceed 2oz. for each person.

VOLUNTARY HOME RATIONING. - The Food Controller has asked that the weekly consumption of bread shall not exceed 4lb., of meat 2 1/2lb., and of sugar 1/2lb.

CHOCOLATES AND SWEETS.- Chocolates after the end of this month may not be sold at a price exceeding 4s. a pound, and other sweets at a price exceeding 2s. 6d. a lb. Confectioners are receiving only a limited quantity of sugar.

So, depending on just what type of establishment he was running he may well of breached some of the above or other similar restrictions imposed under DORA; a further poke round in DORA regulations introduced at around that time might provide further clues to the exact nature of his misdemeanour (I've no idea whether it contains all the amendments etc, but a copy of HM Stationery Offices DORA manual of 1917 can be found here )

NigelS

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Sandie Hayes

I don't know if it applied in WW1 but in WW2 the shopkeeper could have been prosecuted for trading after hours because it was unfair.

During WW2 rationing, shopkeepers had to trade fairly, giving all customers the same opportunity to buy goods (the reason Mr Jones is always so nervous about showing favouritism in Dad's Army).

Selling after hours would be seen as unfair on those who believed the shop kept to the closing time of 5pm (for example).

Sandie

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KGB

People were starving,son. (My Grandfather).

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Sandie Hayes

People were starving,son. (My Grandfather).

That just about sums it all up!

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John_Hartley

People were starving,son. (My Grandfather).

Possibly (although I see no evidence of that in the local papers of early 1917 - the report of the court case was 23/2/17).

But how might that relate to restrictions on when a confectioner might sell biscuits?

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centurion

Unlike Germany, Britain, France (and the KuK) were all able to maintain adequate supplies of basic food stuffs so some may have felt hungry and some may have missed their sweets (and in the KuK coffee) etc but no one starved. In Britain this was in part because of food distribution systems and rationing organised on a national basis. Germany had a dysfunctional distribution system and in some places there were deaths from starvation whilst there were surpluses in others. The Allied Commissioners did a study in early 1919 (they wanted to see if Germany could feed her self when the blockade ceased) and it seems that part of the problem was that food distribution and control had been devolved (for historical and political reasons) and there was little of no overall coordination and in some places less than zero cooperation.

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centurion

Biscuits are a red herring (well you know what I mean) it was because he was trading out of hours, the bread and biscuits only being proof that he was trading. I have seen reference to shops in Hull agreeing to stagger their hours so that the public could usually find one open somewhere.It would seem that there was some sort of restriction on how many hours a shop could be open (rather like UK Sunday trading laws today). The purpose of this eludes me.

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CGM

After looking in HOME FRONT 1914-1918 by Ian Beckett I'm going to suggest that it was not what he sold, but that he sold anything at all after hours as on 27th October 1916 an order for the early closing of shops had been introduced.

CGM

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CGM

From HANSARD, March 1928, when the SHOPS (HOURS OF CLOSING) BILL was being discussed:

In 1916, owing to the shortage of light and supplies, and to the loss of assistants and the consequent falling off in evening trade, the local authorities throughout the country recommended earlier closing. At that time, the individual shopkeeper was never consulted at all on this matter. An Order was made under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, of which for greater accuracy I have obtained a copy, and which I shall, by the leave of the House, refer to as D.O.R.A. On the 25th October, 1916, an Order was made fixing the closing hours at 7 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, at 8 p.m. on Friday, and at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

In consequence of very strong recommendations in the House of Commons that the closing at 7 p.m. would ruin many thousands of small traders, and inflict serious hardship on those who were compelled to shop after returning late from work at night, this Order was never put in force, and a new Order was made on the 27th October, 1916, fixing closing time at 8 p.m. every day except Saturday.

This Order was continued in 1917, again in April, 1918, and in September, 1918, it was continued in force until further notice.............

(Sir Park Goff)

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centurion

Thefollowing item from "Over the Footlights" is relevant

No After Eight Sweets

1916: The Government’s Early

Closing Order bans the sale of

goods after 8pm. This means that

sweets, chocolates and tobacco

cannot be sold in theatres after

8pm - effectively the entire

performance time.

Theatre Managers led a deputation

to the Home Secretary to protest

about the consequent loss of

profits. He refused to alter the

ruling, and asked what the public

would say if they knew the Home

Secretary at such a critical hour in

our history had been occupied for

an hour and a half on such a trivial

object.

The Managers claimed this was

not trivial, and represented a

serious threat to profits. If he

would not change his mind, would

he be prepared to delay it until the

end of the pantomime season?

Again the Home Secretary refused.

This does not appear to have been popular in general see Hansard.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1916/dec/04/shops-earlier-closing-order

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1916/nov/23/shops-earlier-closing-order

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KGB

I am not even being funny but there was some down home **** going on. People were striped for less than that (above).

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NigelS

Did the 1917 'Cake and Pastry Order' kill of the 'Muffin Man'

from The Times of April 20th 1917:

...While the order is in operation cakes will largely be made of barley and maize flours, anf more fruit will be used. Dundee cakes, it is stated, will not suffer too much so long as fruit and butter can be used. The muffin man's round seems to be doomed. Mrs Piet, of Marylebone lane, who owns one of the biggest crumpet and muffin businesses in London is wondering what she can do. The order, she says, means that she must shut down.

A loophole in the Pubilc Meals Order, which made it possible for teashops to serve a meal including more than 2oz of bread stuffs, has been partially filled up by the new provision that no individual customer at such establishments shall be served at any meal which begins between the hours of 3pm and 6pm with more than 2oz in the whole of bread, cake, bun, scone or biscuit.

Did establishments such as Mrs Piets go out of business and is there any evidence of Muffin Men existing after the Great War?

NigelS

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centurion

A nation worried about its Dundee Cake and muffins sounds like one encountering some austerity rather than a starving one.

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KGB

People starved in 1917...

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Sandie Hayes

Sugar was the first thing to be rationed more formally. In some parts of Britain sugar cards were issued by shops, for example by Co-operative Stores, giving their customers the right to a limited amout of sugar per week. Compulsory food rationing was introduced in Britain at the end of 1917, on a district or regional basis. It was organised by area Food Control committees (Food Supplies Act). It covered such items as margarine and butter (4 ounces per head per week) and tea (only 1 and a half ounces per head per week).

The daily ration for soldiers was 1lb 4oz meat and 2oz bacon, 1lb 4oz bread, 2.5oz sugar, 2oz oatmeal (for porridge), 2 oz cheese, 4oz jam and 2oz vegetables plus tea and salt.

The first place where rationing was imposed on civilians in Britain was Pontypool, in Wales. It came into force on 17 December 1917 and extended the existing sugar card to cover tea, butter, margarine, cheese and lard. On 1 January 1918 rationing was introduced for 300,000 people in the Birmingham area where malnutrition in children was an increasing problem.

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John_Hartley

People starved in 1917...

I'd be really interested in following this up. Do you mean in the UK? Was it in particularl parts of the country or particular groups of people? Are there any newspaper accounts? Could you please point me towards some factual accounts or evidence of folk starving (rather than simply being hungry)?

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John_Hartley

Compulsory food rationing was introduced in Britain at the end of 1917, on a district or regional basis.

My research hasnt got to the end of the year yet. But, by late April 1917, Stockport Council, in conjunction with local churches, launched a voluntary rationing scheme, It doesnt seem to have been wildly successful.

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centurion

I'd be really interested in following this up. Do you mean in the UK? Was it in particularl parts of the country or particular groups of people? Are there any newspaper accounts? Could you please point me towards some factual accounts or evidence of folk starving (rather than simply being hungry)?

Yes it's amazing that Bilton's The Home Front in the Great War which has sections on food and rationing entirely fails to mention people starving in Britain. From the figures and other material that he supplies it appears that the table of a working class family may have become less interesting but it wasn't empty and in comparison to what was available to a German working class family rationing wasn't that severe. Germany had been relying on potatoes to make up for shortages in grain related products but because of disasters affecting potato harvests ended up having to severely ration spuds. They were not rationed in Britain and I have seen elsewhere that consumption of fish and chips increased dramatically, this being a nutritious and cheap meal then. Interestingly working class families' consumption of bacon products had risen by 115% and that of potatoes by 28% (Ham and chips?)

The biggest problem was that food prices before rationing rose steeply but to counter this unemployment had dropped to virtually nothing - if you weren't in the forces and wanted work you could get it and with the employment of women some households had more members in work than before. Wages in some industries (eg munitions) were comparatively good.

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centurion

Sugar was the first thing to be rationed more formally. In some parts of Britain sugar cards were issued by shops, for example by Co-operative Stores, giving their customers the right to a limited amout of sugar per week. Compulsory food rationing was introduced in Britain at the end of 1917, on a district or regional basis.

There were various voluntary rationing schemes such as the one John mentions in 1917. They were not a great success as he also mentions. Some shops also applied rationing before it became compulsory. Compulsory rationing on a national basis did not begin until 1918 with sugar being rationed in Jan 1918 with meat, butter, margarine and lard following in April

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michaeldr

I'd be really interested in following this up. Do you mean in the UK? Was it in particularl parts of the country or particular groups of people? Are there any newspaper accounts? Could you please point me towards some factual accounts or evidence of folk starving (rather than simply being hungry)?

Have a look at Table 6 here (it's on page 37) http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/broadberry/wp/wwipap4.pdf

with the help of these figures you can compare wartime out put with pre-war (1913) statistics

Note the record grain harvest in 1918 and the record potato harvests in 1917 & 1918

Meat production remained pretty much the same from 1913 to 1917 (1918 was down somewhat)

No one liked rationing, and some may have gone short at one time or another; but starving?

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centurion

Consumption of essential foodstuffs per head per week of a typical working class family based on Ministry of Food figures

Breadstuffs

3.4 kilos

Meat

0.44 kilos

Bacon

0.25 kilos

Lard

0.08 kilos

Butter

0.08 kilos

Margarine

0.09 kilos

Potatoes

2.0 kilos

Cheese

40 grams

Sugar

0.28 kilos

Not the lap of luxury but not starving

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John_Hartley

Yes it's amazing that Bilton's The Home Front in the Great War.......

By the by, I've just ordered Ian Beckett's "Home Front", in the hope fo exploring foody things further. Do I need to be getting the Bilton book as well?

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centurion

By the by, I've just ordered Ian Beckett's "Home Front", in the hope fo exploring foody things further. Do I need to be getting the Bilton book as well?

Difficult to say as I don't have Beckett's book and don't know how much overlap there is. I picked up my copy of Bilton at Hay on Wye in mint condition for £8 (down from £19.95)

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David Filsell

Hungry? Almost certainly But this is is the first time I have ever heard the accusation the people were 'starving' in Britain. I need some proof, perhaps a coroner's report.

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