Food Rationing Newsreel

The Food Minister Speaks On Rationing (1939)

Here is the penultimate post for the war week we’ve been having on the website. The final two posts (this one and tomorrow’s) look towards the home front.

Rationing began in 1939, and to avoid confusion about the system, the food minister, W. S Morrison, took to the screen to show how the ration system would work and to announce that  butter and bacon were going to be rationed. Petrol had been rationed in September at the outbreak of war (depending on your needs, the distance to and from work, each car was allowed between four and ten gallons of Pool (Standard) petrol per month at 1/6d per gallon) though by 1942 this had been abolished and fuel was only made available for official use. The petrol ration lasted until May 1950.

The ration system quickly added meat, tea, jam, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cheese, eggs, lard, milk and canned and dried fruit to its list of rationed items. Fish was not rationed but increased in price and price controls were brought in by the government by 1941. Whale meat and canned fish from South Africa were also not rationed but were not popular.

Item Maximum level Minimum level Rations (April 1945)

  • Bacon and Ham 8 oz (227 g) 4 oz (113 g) 4 oz (113 g)
  • Sugar 16 oz (454 g) 8 oz (227 g) 8 oz (227 g)
  • Loose Tea 4 oz (113 g) 2 oz (57 g) 2 oz (57 g)
  • Meat 1 s. 2d. 1s 1s. 2d.
  • Cheese 8 oz (227 g) 1 oz (28 g) 2 oz (57 g)
  • Vegetarians were allowed an extra 3 oz (85 g) cheese[20g]
  • Preserves 1 lb (0.45 kg) per month
  • 2 lb (0.91 kg) marmalade 8 oz (227 g) per month 2 lb (0.91 kg) marmalade
  • or 1 lb (0.45 kg) preserve
  • or 1 lb (0.45 kg) sugar
  • Butter 8 oz (227 g) 2 oz (57 g) 2 oz (57 g)
  • Margarine 12 oz (340 g) 4 oz (113 g) 4 oz (113 g)
  • Lard 3 oz (85 g) 2 oz (57 g) 2 oz (57 g)
  • Sweets 16 oz (454 g) per month 8 oz (227 g) per month 12 oz (340 g) per month


Wartime Slingsby Exhibition: April 26th

Come and find out about Slingsby’s wartime associations; from the Wars of the Roses, the Civil War, and preparations for war in the village from the Napoleonic wars up until the second world war, when the village was a centre for troop training and munitions storage, and welcomed evacuees.

For more details about the Wartime Slingsby Exhibition taking place on April 26th CLICK HERE