British Ration Week Episode 7: Black Markets and Luxuries

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3y Jan 26, 2018

One would expect a strict rationing program like the British instituted to create a massive black market - as indeed happened in France and Germany at the same time. Remarkably, this did not happen. There were of course violations of the rationing and people who either cheated or exploited the system, but no organized substantial black market ever developed. This can be seen as a credit to the British population's sincere willingness to sacrifice for the war effort, but it is also deeply rooted in the several key decisions and successes by Lord Woolton and his Ministry.

The rationing was enforced across class lines (even the King and Queen legitimately participated), and being seen as truly egalitarian reinforced public willingness to obey the rules. In addition, the Ministry of Food was able to successfully ensure that the rations promised were always available. One did not have to rush to get a share of a shipment of bacon or eggs or sugar - there was always enough to meet the needs of the ration, and the significance of this cannot be underestimated.

Day 7 Menu:

Breakfast: Skillet Biscuits with cheese, tea
Lunch: Fried Vegetable Fritters with leftover gray
Tea: Tea, leftover skillet biscuits
Dinner: Pheasant, sweet potatoes

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