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Rationing
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By 1917 food supplies were beginning to run low, this was due to the following factors:

  • The German blockade of Britain- German U-boats (submarines) sank 1 in 4 merchants ships entering Britain. Before 1914 Britain imported a lot of its food from the USA or countries in the empire.
  • People were worried that they would run out of food, therefore people hoarded food. Resulting in shops having to close early as they ran out of supplies.
  • Men who used to be farm labourers were away fighting, so there were less men able to tend the fields.

How did the government deal with the food shortages?

  • Send convoys to protect merchant ships, after this measure <1% of merchant ships were sank.
  • Introduced voluntary rationing, as massive poster campaign was used to encourage people not to waste food, this didn't work so in 1918 compulsory rationing was introduced.
  • Made wasting food illegal under DORA.
  • Introduced the women's land army (WLA), this was a huge, new labour force that cultivated the land.
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