Restricted food imports in 1917 make impacts on police families

Prime Minister David Lloyd George told parliament in February 1917 about the amount of tonnage of shipping bringing foodstuffs to Britain - at this time the nation was reliant on large imports of basic food items. Around a third of British shipping was needed to move troops, armaments and supplies to the battlefront in France and other locations. This meant that far less ships could be used to import food supplies to the Home Front. February 1917 saw a crisis in the availability of food in Britain and rapid changes were necessary to ensure the nation did not starve.
The items that Lloyd George aimed to restrict were:
  • Apples, tomatoes, and certain raw fruits - these should be produced at home, not imported;
  • Oranges, bananas, grapes, almonds, and nuts would be restricted to 25% of previous imports;
  • Aerated mineral and table waters would no longer be imported: they should be produced at home;
  • imports of tea would be reduced as they came from a long distance;
  • coffee and cocoa were already in sufficient quantities at home, so imports would be stopped;
  • imports of meat would be restricted, the nation should rely on home grown meat.

These restriction, along with government action and campaigns to increase home food production led to many people, including policemen and their families, digging up their gardens, ploughing the fields and growing vegetables on allotments to increase the nation's food supply. By Spring 1918 there was a huge increase in the amount of land producing food. This lifted the nation's spirits and gave renewed hope for victory.

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