Food rationing

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Food Rationing

On 5 January 1943 the Cabinet discussed food stocks. Lord Woolton (Minister of Food) was due to visit the US and it was expected that food rationing would be discussed.  Lord Woolton reported that the US was about to ration in order to build up stocks and that they wanted the UK´s support on this issue.  They also discussed a joint declaration by the two countries that would relieve the Dutch and the Norwegians. This was that we would not revert to unlimited consumption until the immediate necessities of Europe were met.  Lord Woolton said that if rationing after the war was not continued then we would have serious trouble, although we would have some reserves in the UK of, for instance, corned beef. 

The Cabinet discussed rationing after the war in general and how much help would need to be given once Europe was liberated. The UK should ration to the same amount as the US did. Indeed, if the US did not reduce their consumption the UK would be in a very bad way.  It was therefore crucial that stockpiles were built up.


For some yrs after the war there will not be enough food or shipping to allow us to revert to system of winning food by sale of goods. We shall have to continue a system of rationing…


At the end of this war I will submit to no inequality with US

W.M.(42)89, 9 July 1942