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John_Hartley

DORA - it's political correctness gone mad!

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centurion

A comparison of how the British and German civilians fared

post-9885-0-46705500-1344342782_thumb.jp

It should be noted that German figures show what civilians were entitled to which was often more than some actually got due to an inefficient distribution system.

Unlike as in Britain all foods were rationed in Germany - for example the ration for eggs was one per month!

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John_Hartley

Following hot on the heels of the loaf debacle, I now come across the great Stockport sugar debacle.

Reading between the lines of the newspaper report, I think the sale fo sugar is being controlled by May 1917. Can anyone please confirm that - and if it is another DORA regulation?

The kerfuffle appears related to new illegality of the attachment of "conditions" to the sale of sugar. The story goes (in this first case to come before Stockport magistrates) that the customer bought margarine and flour and then asked for sugar. She was told she hadnt bought enough. So she spent more and was then offered the sugar. The shopkeeper gave her brown sugar and this seems to have been the final straw as my reading is that she must have wanted normal white sugar. What the Stockport Express describves as a "scene" ensued which involved the police being called. Shopkeeper denies trying to impose conditions bt is charged and is not believed by the magistrates and is fined 10s.

Coming soon - the prosecutions for buying sugar to make jam from fruit other than from your own garden.

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centurion

Sugar was first rationed on a national basis in January 1918. This sounds like some local Stockport peculiarity. Some places had voluntary schemes whereby shopkeepers agreed to sell only recommended quantities of certain goods. Sounds as if your shop keeper was taking advantage of this to coherce the customer into spending more on other goods which was a way of getting round regulations on imposing conditions of sale (which were in force and what he was charged with).

I believe there were restrictions on the sale of certain types of sugar - including preserving sugar for jam making, which unless you had some form of government license, could only be bought for domestic use. This was to stop people setting up their own jam making businesses outside of government control.

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centurion

Re sugar this previous posting is relevant

 

Germany was well ahead of Britain in Beet Sugar production (if at the cost of potato output) but Britain still had access, at a cost, to cane sugar supplies.

However there was also an additional problem for Britain - all her bees died during WW1 (from disease, some claimed dropped by Zeppelin although there is absolutely no evidence to support this) which put extra pressure on the demand for sugar.

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MichaelBully

A really fascinating thread, always intrigued by the details of every day life at home during the Great War . In respect of DORA , always notice how quick the government were too implement the Act on 8th August 1914. Many regulations must have been prepared earlier, though I understand that there were further amendments to the first version of DORA.

Often wondering how much power was delegated to local authorities, and if that was part of DORA provisions. I am thinking particularly of the provisions governing lighting...looking at local papers , there were a number of prosecutions concerning people who did not black out the windows of domestic properties. Always assumed that this was just the case in coastal areas such as Hove, but might well need to be corrected on this point.

Regards, Michael Bully

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centurion

A really fascinating thread, always intrigued by the details of every day life at home during the Great War . In respect of DORA , always notice how quick the government were too implement the Act on 8th August 1914. Many regulations must have been prepared earlier, though I understand that there were further amendments to the first version of DORA.

The USA and Canada were much the same with War Powers Acts. In the case of the former this gave Wilson more powers than any president before or since has had, some now think driving a Mk IV through the Constitution. Did Australia have anything similar? What was the situation in France?

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centurion

If you can get a copy it's worth looking at The Deluge - British Society and the First World War by Prof Arthur Marwick. He says " At no time during the First World War was there any widespread privation in Britain" during 1917 (when the most serious shortages happened) there were occasional fights over food and the police had to restore order - this he ascribes to the fact that the idea of orderly queuing was still alien to the British people. More like the scramble on the first day of the sales.

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centurion

Looking at this further I would suggest its more of a case of "its more than my jobs worth" than " political correctness gone mad" especially when one looks ar some of the unworkable and unmanageable efforts made first by Lord Devonport (Food Controller) and his successor Lord Rhondda to introduce micro control over matters such as how much icing you could have on a bun, and how much cream you could have in a cake (and could you sell them at tea time or not). Rules included such things as how many cakes you could display in a shop window.. Specimens were regularly collected of all forms of cakes, buns, tarts etc and senior civil servants would examine them to see if for example the percentage area covered with icing was within regulation and the depth of icing had not been exceeded. The only practical effect was that the staff of the Sugar Department had some sumptuous afternoon teas.

Devonport introduced a series of schemes of voluntary self rationing backed up by agreements to limit sales by organisations such as the Cooperative movement. They tended to he hopelessly complex and did not really deliver.

In June 1917 Lord Rhondda introduced the Sugar Card Registration Scheme. Under this one could apply for a sugar card. This entitled one to buy half a pound of sugar a week but it was not rationing as it did not stop the purchase of additional sugar if available. All it really did was to entitle one to at least half a pound of sugar a week. It was subject to abuse by some shopkeepers (see John's earlier post), was very bureaucratic and the butt of much humour. A Punch cartoon contained the following text

David (LlG) - I'm often away from home. How do I get sugar?

The Mad Grocer ( Lord Rhondda) - You don't : you fill up a form

David - But I have filled up a form

The Mad Grocer - Then you fill up another form

Finally proper sugar rationing was introduced in Jan 1918.

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John_Hartley

In 9/17, Mrs Wilde got fined five bob for having obtained 54 pounds of sugar - even though she had no fruit trees in her garden.

Similarly, Tom Hobbs, a local grover, had obtained 196 pounds to make jam, having got the fruit from an uncle in Worcestershire. He said he mustn't have read the form properly. Chairman of the bench, fining him, said the instructions were very clear. The wholesaler who sold him the sugar got fined ten quid. That'll learn 'em.

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