23 MARCH 1918, Page 11


(To TIM Ennsint or THE " Sezersma.") Sis,—Is it too late to protest against the proposed scheme of additional rations 1' By all means give the working man an extra coupon for meat, but the authorities should recognize the fact that when he asks for meat he means beef or mutton, not the wing of a chicken or even the leg of a goose or a slice of bacon. Poultry cannot be produced in these days at a price the working man is prepared to pay, and it is not a satisfying diet for a manual labourer. On the other hand, it is suitable for the professional man and brain-worker generally. It is not easy, or even pos- sible in some cases, to provide nourishing and digestible meals for brain-workers, of leguminous foods, which, whatever their proteid value, are undoubtedly difficult to digest by those who exercise their brains rather than their bodies. If bacon is kept entirely for the heavy labourer, it will be still harder, for the mental worker, who is frequently unable to spare time or money for a satisfactory meal between leaving home at 8 or 8.30 a.m. and 7 or 8 p.m. Nothing can replace the breakfast bacon at a reasonable price.

If a mere woman may suggest, the best arrangement would be to give four meat coupons to the heavy worker, three to those in ordinary industrial occupations and the sedentary workers, and two only to the unoccupied. Surely if a man or woman is not working in some way, the least he or she can do is to consume as little as possible of the food needed by the workers. I stayed recently for three days in a hotel in one of our inland watering-places, and was horrified to see how many useless people were consuming three substantial meat meals daily, while in my own town the workers had difficulty in getting half-a-pound of meat a week. If poultry were given as an extra ration to those receiving only two meat coupons, there would be no hardship for any class. It is quite possible to cook satisfying and nourishing meals containing little or no butchers' meat for those who have no mental or physical wear and tear to make up.—I am, Sir, &c.,

HANNAH PECK (Chairman. Chesterfield Women's Food Economy Committee). Penmore, Chesterfield.