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Transcript: Source7

Extract about food from a letter written by a British woman, Mrs Morley, living in the USSR in 1938
(Catalogue ref: FO 371/22286)

Food

Food is scarce and dear, butter, when it is there, is 17 to 20 roubles a kilo, and each person can only buy ½ a kilo.

Pork is 13 roubles a kilo, and beef 11 and 12 – very little to be had. It has been a long winter and meat killed off before the frost set in.

Dr. Bell said last night that most women went to work at 4 p.m. and from 7 a.m. they stand in a queue for food. Shops open at 10 or 11, and at 4 o’clock they go home without getting anything, as they must go to work. Thousands do this daily. We are lucky to have had Prince and the geese, and now I am getting 2 kilos of meat from Helsingfors. Dr. Bell says there is no fish; even last year there was plenty. It is worse now than it has been for three or four years. I got 50 kilos of butter at 16 r. 80 kop. Even the Consuls are astonished I got it. It is a God-send to our people; I also got 50 eggs, they are scarce too.

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