20 MARCH 1942, Page 2

Consumption and Shipping

Further restrictions have been announced during the last week which will have the effect of compelling the public to reduce private consumption. The basic ration of petrol is to be reduced and soon abolished. After May 31st fewer coupons will be avail- able for clothes and they will have to last longer. White bread will have to be given up, and coal consumption restricted. These various sacrifices, being the same for all, are willingly accepted by the public and have even been asked for. In a broadcast last

Tuesday Sir John Anderson pointed out that these different restrictions, imposed by different departments, all arose from a co-ordinated well-knit plan, the object of which is to make a still larger part of the nation's resources available for Government purposes—for shipping, in the first place, on which everything depends, and for the further use of labour, in the second place, for producing the sinews of war. Today 6o per cent. of our total resources are used by the Government, but even that high per- centage must be raised, and this can only be done by diminished consumption. Granted the supreme necessity—and it is now pretty generally understood—it remains for the Government to see that what is still available for the public should be fairly dis- tributed and at a reasonable price. Hence price restrictions, ordinary rationing, and the flexible system of point-rationing. The peace-time system of free consumption has given place by stages to one of restricted, and carefully planned, distribution. On the whole it is working well.