British Survey. Vol. 1, no. 15 : Food
|Previous||1 of 4||Next|
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large ( > 500x500)
Loading content ...
Price Threepence Special Subject — Food. BRITISH SURVEY Vol. 1. No. 15 Published by The British Association for International Understanding WINDSOR HOUSE, VICTORIA STREET, LONDON, S.W.1. Nov. 10th, 1939 "Thus goth the world. God shield us fro meschaunce, And every Wight that meneth trouthe avaunce." FOOD. The object of British Survey and of the Association which publishes it is to help people to understand other countries and international affairs, so that they can make sense of the news and form sound opinions. Each Survey is devoted to one country or to one matter of international or imperial importance. Germany, the U.S.S.R., the U.S.A., Poland, Turkey, Africa and a number of European countries have already received special attention in these pages, and we have also given information about the respective positions of the United Kingdom and Germany in certain raw materials, and about Contraband and the laws of war at sea. The time has now come to devote a Survey to our own country in its relation to the rest of the world. The dependence of the United Kingdom upon international trade for many of the necessities of its people's life is the subject of the present issue. It is no part of our work to comment upon topical news. But if the arduous task of the Allied Navies in time of war; the necessity for rationing certain foodstuffs, and the effect of hostile action upon certain channels of sea-borne trade are to be understood, it is necessary to have a clear idea of the sources of our food in normal times. The following analysis of the proportion of household supplies which come from different parts of the British Commonwealth of Nations and foreign countries, and those which can be guaranteed by home production, is mainly based upon the official figures available for the year 1937. Fuller information upon certain commodities for the period 1934-5 (such as is incorporated in the Report of the Food [Defence Plans] Department for 1937) has also been used. A hundred years ago the United Kingdom (excluding Ireland) was a country of 15 1/4 million people and was still largely self-supporting in foodstuffs. Now it has a crowded population of 46,000,000, of whom about 80% live in towns and urban districts, while our home-production of certain foodstuffs — corn for example — has greatly declined. We have, under existing conditions, to import a large percentage of our food. We pay for these imports partly with our exports, because we are a great industrial country, with coal and manufactured goods to sell; partly by banking, insurance and other commissions and in shipping freights, and partly by the interest we receive on our savings invested abroad. As an island nation we have special strategic advantages and weaknesses as regards food supply: many of our ports can be used to accommodate ocean-going ships and many sea routes converge upon us from far afield. The dangers of land frontiers that can be closed by hostile action do not arise. But there is always the danger of enemy attack on shipping; and a country which is not self-supporting must suffer if there is a stoppage of trade with countries who have supplied food stuffs in normal times. THE UNITED KINGDOM. WHAT WE IMPORT. We import from overseas roughly three-quarters of our meat, grain, fat and sugar requirements, taken together. In 1934-6 we imported 87% of our flour, 92% of our fats (butter, lard and margarine), 51% of our meat (the remaining 49% being to some extent dependent upon imported fodder), and 73% of our sugar. Thus it is at once clear that with these very serious deficiencies in fats and cereals, a great part of the population of the United Kingdom would go hungry were its sea communications with all parts of the world seriously impeded. But although the people of the United Kingdom are dependent to this great extent upon imports, the Empire, including the Dominions and India could supply them with almost all the food they need. They are not, therefore, Readers are requested to inform the Director of the Association of their changes of address, in order that the Survey may reach them without any avoidable delay.
|Archive collection||Miscellaneous collection|
|Archive file||Ministry of Food: Bulletin, nos.1-296|
|Title||British Survey. Vol. 1, no. 15 : Food|
|Issuing organisation||British Society for International Understanding|
|Document date||10 November 1939|
|Course name||War and Economy in the Twentieth Century|