October - Tea rationing to end
News of the end of tea rationing means Britons will soon be
able to enjoy unlimited "cuppas" for the first time
in 12 years.
During a speech in Newcastle the Minister of Food, Major Gwilym
Lloyd-George, said rationing and price controls on tea would
be lifted on Sunday.
Major Lloyd-George said
the Ministry of Food had taken advantage of a steady improvement
in supplies of tea since the end of the war.
The price of tea would not rise due to the abolition of price
controls, Major Lloyd-George added.
And he hinted at a further easing of rationing in the near future.
"We are getting out of the import of raw sugar and - it
is only a little matter - we are getting out of the banana trade
soon," he said.
The lifting of tea rationing follows the UK's recent re-entry
into the international tea trading arena with the resumption
of public tea auctions in London.
Nearly a third of the tea produced in the world is consumed
in the UK and Ireland and the government is no doubt hoping
for a boost in popularity by making the nation's favourite beverage
freely available again.
However, a rush to buy tea is not anticipated as the weekly
ration was increased to 3oz per head - the pre-war consumption
level - some time ago.
Rationing has been in force since January 1940, a few months
after the start of the Second World War.
In 1948 the government announced the start of a de-rationing
programme but so far little progress has been made.
1954: 4th July - Housewives celebrate
end of rationing
Fourteen years of food rationing in Britain ended at midnight
when restrictions on the sale and purchase of meat and bacon
Members of the London Housewives' Association held a special
ceremony in London's Trafalgar Square to mark Derationing Day.
The Minister of Fuel and Power, Geoffrey Lloyd, burned a large
replica of a ration book at an open meeting in his constituency.
But the Minister of Food, Major Gwilym Lloyd-George, told a
meeting at Bebington in Cheshire he would keep his as a souvenir
and praised all those traders and organisations that had co-operated
with the rationing system.
For the first time since the war began in 1939 London's Smithfield
Market opened at midnight instead of 0600 and meat sellers were
doing a roaring trade.
Although the final step in dismantling the whole wartime
system of food distribution comes into effect, it's not all
Butchers are predicting meat prices will soar for the next couple
of weeks until the effect of supply and demand cools the situation
In February the Ministry of Food stopped controlling the sale
of pork and announced it would end all food rationing this summer.
Food rationing began on 8 January 1940, four months after the
outbreak of war.
Limits were imposed on the sale of bacon, butter and sugar.
Then on 11 March 1940 all meat was rationed. Clothes coupons
were introduced and a black market soon developed while queueing
outside shops and bartering for extra food became a way of life.
There were allowances made for pregnant women who used special
green ration books to get extra food rations, and breastfeeding
mothers had extra milk.
Restrictions were gradually lifted three years after war had
ended, starting with flour on 25 July 1948, followed by clothes
on 15 March 1949.
On 19 May 1950 rationing ended for canned and dried fruit, chocolate
biscuits, treacle, syrup, jellies and mincemeat.
Petrol rationing, imposed in 1939, ended in May 1950 followed
by soap in September 1950.
Three years later sales of sugar were off ration and last May
butter rationing ended.