Food Shortages in Liberated Europe

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Food Shortages in Liberated Europe

In March 1945 the Cabinet discussed the food situation in liberated Europe.  In most areas of France, they had enough to eat but they were living on a 'ship to mouth basis' and there were no reserves of food.  In Belgium, the food situation was reasonably good but there were also no reserves.  Holland, however, was flooded. The water needed to be pumped out before any sowing could begin and there was a shortage of food in the occupied area which would need to be dealt with quickly.  The PM reported that the US was 'battering' on the UK's reserves and that this must be resisted:


U.S. are battening on our reserves, accumulated by years of self-denial. I am resisting that:  but for an acute emergency we can & shd use our reserves.
F.D.R.'s telegram.  Now is the time to say firmly U.S. soldier eats 5 times what ours does:  U.S. civilians eating as never before:  we will never be behindhand with them in sacrifices:  but let them cut down themselves before presuming to address us.


Our stocks are always raided in an emergency because that is only practicable source.  And it is never therefore brought home to U.S.

W.M.(45)29th Meeting held on 12 March 1945.

At the Cabinet's next meeting they discussed the grave shortage of food, which would be further aggravated if the US failed to reduce the level of their food consumption.  The Cabinet also discussed the possibility of issuing a warning to the German people that prolonged resistance would increase the risk of widespread famine in Germany after their final surrender:


Don't repeat that now.  For it means driving us into famine.
There is bound to be famine in G. next winter…


Cdn't you say something to shame the U.S. people?  Make it clear that
  only their sacrifice can stop the suffering.

W.M.(45)30th Meeting held on 14 March 1945.