The Home Front Volume II
CHAPTER 16 — The Shoe Pinches
The Shoe Pinches
PETROL rationing was the first dent in civilian life made by the war. With one short break it continued from 5 September 1939 until 1 June 1946. It was re-introduced 17 months later and not finally abolished until 31 May 1950. During 1936–9 car registrations had increased by 42 per cent to make New Zealand second only to the United States in cars per head. In the transport field, although the licensing of motor services, introduced in 1931, had checked their use to some extent on routes served by railways, heavy truck registrations increased by 32 per cent in the same period. Petrol imports went up by one-fifth and by 1939 comprised four per cent by value of all imports, with the private motorist using more than half of the total. It was on him, then, that the main brunt of rationing was to fall.1
Britain was anxious to conserve dollars for buying United States war material, and as American capital financed many oil wells even in British or Dutch territories, purchases there still involved some dollar exchange.2 The Oil Control Board in London, established in November 1939 as a sub-committee of the War Cabinet, exercised overall control of petrol imports by Commonwealth countries, where restrictions varied. Most of these countries, persuaded by the Oil Control Board, had petrol rationing schemes working by mid-1940. India, which then used no more petrol than New Zealand, argued that rationing would be administratively impractical; the Board accepted that restrictions in South Africa would be impolitic, and not until October 1940 were modest cuts, amounting to about eight per cent, begun in Australia. New Zealand, after close restrictions in the first three months of the war followed by two months' full relaxation, in February 1940 introduced a scheme designed to save page 743 25 per cent of pre-war consumption, in July tightened it to increase savings to one-third and in November relaxed it.3
Early in 1941 the London Board, through control of the tanker fleet, introduced stricter economies. Australia, from 1 June, cut consumption back to two-thirds of its pre-war rate and in July aimed at 40 per cent of the pre-war level. New Zealand in May returned to the scale of the previous July, aiming at two-thirds of pre-war consumption and in August increased the saving by another 10 per cent. In that month India began with a scheme to save 25 per cent of pre-war consumption. In July Canada began ‘voluntary’ restrictions, with petrol deliveries to retailers cut by a quarter. By the end of 1941 South Africa was the only major Commonwealth country taking no steps to reduce its use of petrol.
Japan's attack intensified the need for civilian economy, as thereafter more petrol was used in industry, agriculture and defence construction. By mid-1942 New Zealand had a zoning scheme for goods distribution and had made cuts in road passenger transport; basic private car running was cut to 450 miles a year and, with brief summer holiday relaxations in 1943–4 and 1944–5, remained at this level until the end of the war. Australia's ‘basic’ remained at 1000 miles a year but supplementary allowances were cut. In February 1942 South Africa began rationing with a ‘basic’ worth 4800 miles annually but by the end of the year this was reduced by half. In India and Ceylon oil imports fell from 2.1 million tons in 1941 to only 1.7 million tons in 1942, and by May India was trying to use only 50 per cent of normal supplies. In 1943, despite the efforts of governments and the continuance of rationing, civilian petrol consumption began generally to increase, although South Africa in September 1943 made a 25 per cent cut in supplementary rations. India by 1944 was running a third of its commercial motor vehicles on producer gas.4
New Zealand had to send regular reports of stocks held before tankers were allocated to the long New Zealand run. Every war crisis meant that fewer tankers could be spared for this, and that arrivals would be more irregular. Uncertainty thus strengthened the need to keep adequate reserves, producing and maintaining cuts in the petrol page 744 for private cars, plus efforts to avoid unnecessary running or overlapping by commercial vehicles.
From the outbreak of war, oil fuel regulations rationed motor spirits and power kerosene through the Post and Telegraph Department. Chief postmasters became district oil fuel controllers and about 340 postmasters, already deputy registrars of motor vehicles, became sub-district oil fuel controllers.5 Local advisory committees, convened by the Post and Telegraph Department from other departments concerned and from trade and transport interests, gave informed, unpaid assistance.6 Under policy stemming from War Cabinet, commercial licences and allocations were reviewed from time to time, while those feeling aggrieved could appeal through their local advisory committee.
In the confusion of the war's first few days, extra petrol slipped Past the controls: sales for the week ending 9 September 1939 were more than a million gallons above the weekly average. By 20 September essential industrial and commercial licences were issued and the coupon system was established for private cars. Numbered coupons were issued, their value and the dates on which they could be redeemed being stated each month by the central authorities, according to the state and prospects of reserves.7 Varying amounts were allowed during October and November and, stocks having accumulated, restrictions were lifted on 1 December 1939.8 New Zealanders had their last summer of unfettered motoring.
On 23 January 1940 it was announced that at the request of the British government, to conserve dollars and save tanker trips, rationing would resume in February. As there was as yet no such proposal in Australia, it was easy to suspect that this was an extension of the unpopular import restrictions imposed in 1938.9 The announcement stated that the cabled messages from the British government had been made available to representatives of the press, employers and workers, the Farmers' Union and motoring and transport organisations, who fully recognised the necessity. The aim was to reduce normal consumption by 30 per cent while maintaining essential services and production, and avoiding as far as possible domestic hardship and unemployment in the motor industry. Large cars would receive 12 gallons a month and smaller cars 8 gallons, allowing an average domestic running of about 240 miles a month.10 page 745 Given a week's notice, many people who had containers, storage space and ready money, laid in reserves if they had not already done so, despite statements that such hoarding was sabotage.11 In the last days of January, long queues at the pumps filled every sort of container from 44-gallon drums down to preserving jars. The 4-gallon tins in which petrol and kerosene had customarily been sold (and which had provided thousands of all-purpose buckets) were prominent, some re-selling briskly at 2s 6d each. Unusual containers such as the battered tanks of disused cars appeared, and a Dunedin reporter watched a motor cyclist ride off like John Gilpin with two ‘peters’ (half-gallon beer flagons) uneasily slung behind him.12 Some retailers made stores of their own for emergency use or future sale to favoured customers, but the beginning of investigations by oil fuel controllers rapidly sent much of this back to the depots.13 It was legal for private motorists to have eight gallons in store besides a full tank and most had contrived at least this.14 When cars were re-licensed at the end of May 1940 they were grouped by horsepower: under 9.5, from 9.5 to 14.5, and over 14.5. Basic private car rations were to be 6, 9 and 12 gallons a month respectively, and for motor cycles 3 gallons,15 but with tankers arriving irregularly these amounts varied from time to time. Less than three months later, following the crisis of June 1940, Nash announced that these amounts would be trimmed by 33 per cent to 4, 6 and 8 gallons, with motor cycles getting 2, to permit about 150 miles of pleasure running a month.16 Commercial licences were reviewed, resulting in a general reduction of 3½ per cent.17
Various devices to save petrol were quickly contrived. For instance, in the Wellington city area refuse collection was made in daylight by horse-drawn vehicles where possible, with a new central incinerator, saving the long hauls to Moa Point and Clyde Quay.18 The Railways Department started to reduce its road services, beginning with those between Auckland and Rotorua.19 Zoning of deliveries was extended, with more trades representatives on the advisory committees and with some reductions in cost. Auckland from 19 July page 746 1940 was divided into 190 milk zones, each vendor delivering to a compact area of about four streets, reducing the use of petrol by 75 gallons a day and the cost of milk by ½d a quart.20 The Observer commented that long-distance driving had become an uncanny experience on account of the emptiness of the roads; recently between Napier and Taupo a driver had seen only two other cars.21 Meanwhile trains, especially excursion ones, were packed. The Observer on 25 September described a Sunday night train which left Hamilton at 6 pm and at 11.15 pm steamed triumphantly into Auckland, most of its passengers then in a merciful coma. It had stopped at every station and at every station more people piled in. A guard, pushing round and over the bodies, displayed no visible emotion. ‘Yes, it was often like this on the trip back, especially when the troops were travelling.’22
In Australia, proposals for a ration permitting about 40 miles a week to private cars raised storms of criticism23 and the rationning which began on 1 October 1940 was more generous.24 The New Zealand motor trade, pleading for an additional million gallons a month, argued that the restrictions arose from financial reasons, not from the war. There were complaints of inconsistency, of waste by government-run vehicles while propaganda was persuading citizens that it was disloyal to use even their meagre ration for recreation. Mechanics were unemployed, trade and business were being depressed, the petrol tax at 1s 2d a gallon was unduly heavy. The rationalisation of deliveries was socialisation under the cloak of war emergency.25 In November an increase of 25 per cent, raising private car rations to 5, 7½ and 10 gallons in their respective classes, seemed a partial but disappointing response to such pressure,26 but at about this time sinkings of ships in the Pacific made danger more obvious and quietened petrol protests.27
The war grew heavier in 1941; New Zealand troops were in battle, apprehension about Japan increased, the skills of motor tradesmen were being used in the forces and in making munitions. In May, after a conference representing most petrol-using interests had page 747 declared that a further reduction would be of real assistance to the Empire's war effort,28 the ration was lowered again to that of July– October 1940: two coupons giving 4, 6, and 8 gallons a month for the three groups of cars.29 In August 1941 this was reduced by 25 per cent, three coupons used over two months yielding 3, 4½ and 6 gallons a month—that is, just half the rate determined for June 1940.30 The Auckland Star on 4 August remarked that the owner of a heavy car would now pay £12 a year in various fees for the privilege of buying £9 worth of petrol, nearly enough to take him from Auckland to Papakura once a week; but the latest cut was being met with calm resignation by motorists who had very patiently accepted successive assaults on their petrol tanks.
There was no enlargement of the ration for Christmas of 1941, but the amount due for November to January on coupons 11–13 could be drawn in December and January.31 On the morning of 8 December 1941, when war with Japan was declared, there was a rush to buy the full three coupons' allowance. ‘Califonts, kegs, kettles, demijohns, vinegar and whisky bottles, tins of all descriptions, and even a new dust-bin’ were proffered at Wellington. At 2 pm the chief Oil Fuel Controller barred all receptacles except petrol tanks and the use of coupons 12 and 13 was cancelled.32 G. H. Scholefield recorded in his diary that a ‘few bright spirits’ were still carrying petrol away in all sorts of containers till late afternoon, and there was ‘much boasting this evening of smart instances of beating the ban’. Three days later, when the Prince of Wales and Repulse had been sunk, public opinion swung against the use of private cars. ‘Even people who exulted in having drawn their petrol are now bashful about taking their cars out.’33 On 13 December all petrol for private cars was suspended indefinitely.
Singapore fell before the private motorist could again buy any petrol. A motor trade official stated on 18 January that in England 8 horsepower cars were getting 4 gallons a month and 20 horsepower cars 8 gallons.34 The South Island motor interests in mid-February urged that, in view of ministerial statements that petrol for New Zealand was allocated by the British government, New Zealand rations should equal those of Britain for similar purposes.35 In March page 748 1942 those who had not collected on coupons 11 and 12 in December were able to do so,36 and No 14 was available for April. Thereafter, from May 1942 until June 1945 one coupon a month at half its face value, yielding 1, 1½ or 2 gallons, was the basic ration for private cars. In the summer holiday periods of 1943–4 and 1944–5 full face value was restored to the coupons of December and January.37 For men returned from overseas there was extra petrol: those on furlough received 10 gallons a month for three months; those invalided back and discharged, or returned to duty in New Zealand, received up to 20 gallons. Men on final leave received 10 gallons.38 On 8 May 1945, with the war in Europe ended, War Cabinet decided that the coupon for June would be worth one and a half times its face value, which, with the half coupon already available for May, would give the equivalent of two full coupons for May and June,39 For July a full coupon was available, and from 1 August 1945 rations were doubled, giving 4, 6 and 8 gallons for cars, 2 gallons for motor cycles, equal to the British ration.40
Allowances for commercial vehicles were determined by Oil Fuel Controllers' offices, backed by advisory committees, and at the start not much sacrifice was required, though conservation was asked for. Gradually restrictions were tightened and amounts reduced. For instance, when rationing was re-imposed with comprehensive revision in February 1940, in Auckland's milk and baking industries original petrol licenses were reduced by 20 per cent for one month and thereafter by 33⅓ per cent, when some zoning arrangements had been devised.41 At first zoning was voluntary, arranged through the co-operation of traders, petrol advisory committees and the Transport Department. Under Delivery Emergency Regulations (1940/176) of August 1940 zoning schemes could be applied to milk, bread, meat, coal and firewood, and groceries in any given area; by 1942, 17 schemes were operating.42 The daily household delivery of milk was an obvious target. In July 1940, the four milk page 749 vendors of Marton had started a scheme by which they saved 69 of the 251 gallons of petrol they had used each month.43 In metropolitan Auckland by September 1940, allocation of delivery areas to vendors saved some 2295 gallons a month.44 A year later, Blenheim was divided into eight districts, each allotted to one milk vendor.45 The Upper Hutt Borough Council, on the other hand, in December 1940, rejected the Transport Department's suggestion that zoning of milk should be adopted, holding that the district was being economically served, that zoning would cause hardship to the consumer and as the district was still growing would be inopportune.46 In Christchurch late in 1940 a milk zoning scheme was devised, not without protest from consumers' representatives: ‘It's dictatorship. It's just what we're fighting this war against. The people have got to have their say.’47 Semple, Minister of Transport, in July 1940 declared that rationalisation not nationalisation was his purpose, while Auckland's Master Carriers opposed a merger proposal advanced by the government.48
Early in 1942, when the tyre shortage heavily reinforced the need to reduce commercial mileage, commercial licences were overhauled, aiming at 50 per cent of the former issue.49 Household deliveries of bread, laundry, meat and groceries ceased or were severely curtailed.50 Existing zoning arrangements were tightened and many more instituted. The sort of saving intended was shown at Christchurch which from 1 June was to be divided into 211 milk zones, for the most part each being one milkman's round,51 requiring only 300 instead of 1000 delivery miles daily. The Press on 23 April had remarked that this saving could be gained only by depriving the consumer of freedom to choose and change his supplier, and the Milk Board or Health Department would have to assume responsibility for quality and purity. In the chastened mood of 1942 controls that would have been strongly resented a few months earlier were accepted without much noise. The Press on 16 May said that shortage of petrol, tyres and manpower was so acute that all distribution services had to be cut to the barest minimum, which in page 750 turn made urgent New Zealand's need for a protective consumers' organisation on overseas lines.
In June 1942 new regulations gave the Minister of Transport very wide powers, resulting in the setting up of 67 Goods Transport Control Committees and 18 Taxi Control Committees to conserve tyres and petrol by distributing demands fairly, with maximum thrift and eliminating what was judged to be unnecessary.52 Zoning was progressively extended. For instance: on 11 August 1942, Wellington's bag wash and dry cleaning business was allotted, with no household deliveries suburb by suburb, among four firms.53 From 1 September 1942 each Auckland carrier had his own area, and could not work outside it without special permission;54 from 31 October 1942, by a general order, no grocer could deliver in built-up areas more than once a week, while the smallest parcel must weigh 8lb or be more than 3 cubic feet. There were special arrangements to prevent overlapping in rural districts.55 Further, on 13 August 1942 authority was gazetted to extend zoning over wholesale as well as retail deliveries.56
Although the petrol licences of some commercial vehicles were reputed sometimes to exceed their needs, these licences were subject to revision. Thus, when Allied resources were being concentrated for the attack on Europe, the Oil Fuel Controller was directed to make a comprehensive review of licences for commercial and other uses.57 Early in the war, the average number of trailers in use showed a striking increase, from 7826 in 1939–40 to 11 249 in 1941–2.58 The numbers of buses and service cars did not vary much between 1941 and 1944, nor did those of taxis and rental cars; motor cycle numbers remained steady, at about 15 500 in 1941 and 1942, dropped to 11 355 in 1943, perhaps because many young men, their usual riders, were in the forces; their number rose again to 13 667 by March 1945. At the end of 1942, 190 002 cars were licensed, about 18 000 fewer than in 1941; this figure rose to 196 804 in 1943, 200 100 in 1944. The number of trucks and vans had, at the end of 1942, dropped by 3380 to 44 217; this rose again by more than 2000 during 1943 as vehicles were released from the armed services.59page 751
The rationing of petrol, far more than any other item, produced prosecutions. These covered a wide field: plain theft, forged coupons, selling errors by petrol companies; amounts large and small acquired by fraud; also misapplication, such as a farmer using in one vehicle petrol obtained for another. A few examples may indicate the range. In 1940 intricate false statements over a second-hand car supposedly converted to a hearse resulted in a known total of 974 gallons being improperly drawn; also in an £82 fine and a month in prison.60 A Wellington petrol firm which had 11 tanks and only 10 pumps omitted to declare the extra tank's content when restrictions were re-imposed in February 1940; for the sale of 400 undeclared gallons, the sellers went to gaol for terms ranging from one to three months, while more than 20 customers paid fines, mostly of £10 or £15.61 Two farmers who obtained 88 gallons for a tractor between March and July 1942, during which time the tractor had not been used, each paid £20 and costs.62 For syphoning 14 gallons out of Army trucks in February, a 19-year-old man spent a week in gaol and an older man got a month.63 A petrol seller whose returns to the Oil Fuel Controller showed the sale of 1275 gallons whereas the total sold was actually 4193 gallons pleaded inexperience in book keeping but spent a month in prison.64 Two men found with six gallons of Army petrol bought from a soldier at 5.s a gallon went to prison for two months and Luxford SM said that receiving was worse than theft; paying double the market price encouraged dishonest people in charge of petrol to sell it.65 There were many other breaches, as when a bus company obtained 153 gallons above its licence, anticipating an authorised increase66 or when a Hamilton firm, running three petrol stations, sold 46 gallons in May 1941 and 8 gallons in June for which it did not have coupons.67
There was frequent newspaper mention of cars apparently exceeding their rations. An article in the Dominion of 15 April 1944 referred, among other mysteries, to more than 1500 cars seen at Trentham during the last race meeting, most from at least 20 miles away: ‘There are suspicions of the sources that amount almost to certainties. There is a black market, the price usually mentioned being 6s a gallon and probably that market is supplied in more than one manner, straight-out theft and double use of coupons probably being page 752 the commonest.’ In double use of coupons, a holder of a licence for essential purposes, finding that he did not need all his allowance, signed the record at the petrol station to show that he had drawn the full amount, obtaining from the station-owner coupons for a corresponding quantity, to sell or give away. Licences were given to people who worked in hours when public transport did not run, but if they cycled or shared cars they would have petrol to spare. There were many others who obtained petrol for essential use but did not need it all. Employees in a business or public service using many cars, or servicemen, might regularly steal from vehicle tanks small amounts that would not be noticed but which could usefully add to private car mileage.68
Another supply device was revealed by a Palmerston North builder on defence jobs.
With 3 cars—two on blocks in hayshed—I found enough coupons to keep one car going. Benzine was available, if I kept circulating with plenty of friends—and kept up my tennis!
When gallons of petrol were tipped on air force tennis courts, just to dry off a shower of rain, a civilian became a bit blatant where and how benzine was obtained.69
To meet such evasions, more regulations were introduced. After April 1944 the authorities could demand full information on the source of petrol.70 Also in 1944 it became necessary for motorists to write their names and car registration numbers on the backs of petrol coupons, and for petrol to be placed only in the tanks of motor vehicles. These restrictions were removed in February 1945.71
Before the war, a government committee examining petrol substitutes had decided that producer gas was the most practical, and after the war's start worked on details of carbonised coal burning machines. A design was made available to manufacturers, who worked under government licence to required standards of reliability.72 As petrol rationing tightened after the fall of France, several makes of gas producers were advertised, informative articles appeared page 753 in newspapers,73 and there were burners on the running boards or bracketed on to the backs of some cars. In September 1940 the Railways Department began installing on its buses 40 large producers made at the Woburn workshops.74 After Japan's entry, interest increased and by 26 January 1942 about 1800 were in use.75
The machines had problems. Gas gave less power than petrol, hence it was more effective in higher powered engines, in buses, service cars and trucks. Its use demanded more skill, both in driving and in engine care; starting could be tricky, as could intersections and traffic lights. One engineer said that this fuel put a driver back to about 1912 as far as the certainties were concerned but there were no insuperable difficulties for drivers with the necessary mechanical sense. Engines using gas required exacting care and the needed steel plate to make producers was not over-plentiful.76 They were viewed askance by some county and forestry officers because of the fire risk from clinkers and hot ashes deposited by the roadside.77 The rubber shortage of 1942, by making tyres and tubes the chief problem of motorists, lessened enthusiasm for gas producers.78 By the end of March 1943 the Transport Department recorded a total of 1773 cars and 507 trucks fitted with gas producers.79 In May 1943 three manufacturers advertised that producers could then be obtained without a permit, that the rationing of ‘char’ had been altered to allow private motorists up to five hundredweight a month, which was equivalent to about 45 gallons of petrol, and that there was plenty of ‘char’ all over the North Island and in most districts of the South Island.80 In New Zealand most producers used carbonised coal as fuel; some, as in Australia, used charcoal made from various timbers, but the Australian hardwoods made much better charcoal.81 In 1942 a Wellington man patented a new type of gas producer burning raw coal.82
Another fuel, conspicuous though of limited use, was household gas carried in large roof bags. These held about 50 cubic feet of gas but as 290 were needed to equal a gallon of petrol, they were useful page 754 only for small cars on short runs. Some gas works had special installations that rilled gas bags in about three minutes.83 Lighting kerosene, too, was sometimes used as fuel. A magistrate, fining a man under the regulation which decreed that only fuels subject to tax should be used in motors, remarked that judging by the smell from motor exhausts this regulation was very frequently broken.84
After 30 years, several people have offered recollections of the petrol shortage and its stratagems. A woman on a two gallon ration of petrol, who travelled from Wellington to Hastings once a month to visit her elderly mother, wrote of gas producers: ‘I believe they played havoc with the engines but we had many miles of happy motoring with ours…. Sometimes we used to arrive looking like chimney sweeps as every few miles we had to stop and stir up the coke with a long poker. The owners of gas producers were a very close knit community and whenever one stopped to “declinker here” (as the road was marked) a passing gas-producing vehicle never failed to stop and ask if all was well.’85 A child of the war years whose father made gas producers remembers many trips with the big burners on the side, and also the family's mortification when other children used to call out, ‘When will the pies be ready, Mister!’86
A number of devices were recalled by Mr J. T. Burrows of Ashburton:
Every few miles on the main road through Canterbury plains there were 44 gallon drums set in the ground so that motorists who had gas producers could stop and take out the ashes and place them in the drum so as not to start fires. All sorts of wood was used and strangely enough willow was about the best fuel and made the most gas from a given quantity of wood. Broom wood was useless as it gummed up the valves of the car and the same could be said of Turps which the painters could get, and used as fuel for their cars. One chap I know had a most ingenious arrangement. He used crude oil. He had a copper pipe wrapped round & round the manifold of his car (an old Dodge). He would start up and run on petrol until the manifold got hot and then switch to oil which would burn well once the old bus got hot enough. Cars ran very well on kerosene once they warmed up and also on the household gas although it didn't have much kick. Three gallons of petrol didn't take one very far in a month and 10/- a gallon on the black market was beyond most people.page 755
I think the air force types were the worst offenders and most chaps at stations had a tank under the dash filled with aviation [fuel] and would switch to kerosene as soon as the motor was warm enough. Both fuels in most cases filched from the air force. Engine oil was reconditioned. Put through a dairy separator it could be used over again and there were ways of removing the colouring from army petrol so that it could not be distinguished from the civvy issue.87
Another aspect comes from a woman who served out petrol. ‘As I worked in a garage I saw several of the charcoal burners fitted on the running boards of cars. The mechanics loved to tinker with them. They were rather smelly and the driver had to rake out the clinker and these little piles of coke could be seen on the side of the road. One of my duties was to “dip the tanks”—the underground petrol storage tanks. At the end of the month I would spend some hours balancing the petrol bought and sold and adding up petrol coupons to account for the sales. We did not have electric petrol pumps and I developed a larger muscle on my right arm than on the left….’88
Apart from petrol, paper was probably the first major persisting shortage. Most paper and cardboard came from overseas. Scandinavian supplies were soon cut off, while rising prices reduced imports from North America, for munition-buying dollars could not be lavished on packaging and newsprint. Ordinary grease-proof paper soon became scarce, and though its local manufacture began early in 1940, lunches were repeatedly put in well worn paper,89 Wrapping paper became and continued to be both expensive and scarce. Grocers and butchers asked women to bring baskets and their own paper, and cotton bags or bits of sacking or linen that could readily be washed were suggested for bread and meat, or even basins for the latter.90 A Gazette notice on 19 March 1942 prohibited the wrapping of goods already packaged.
Newspapers were reduced in size again and again. The Herald, for instance, from 14–20 pages in 1940 had by early 1942 fined down to 6–8 pages. This remained more or less the standard size for the Herald and other papers till late in 1944, when a very gradual increase began. Stationery was firmly conserved. On 15 August page 756 1940 regulations permitted legal documents such as affidavits to be typed on both sides of the paper.91 Business firms, local government, the Public Service, practised all sorts of economies. Typing was single spaced, margins smaller, the backs of pages were used, envelopes were re-addressed, senior government officials wrote to each other on small pages, and many returns were made quarterly instead of monthly. For carbon copies, mounting sheets and cyclostyling, the backs of old forms were often used.92 Alternatively, there was a brownish paper, made locally with salvaged waste paper as a main ingredient. Business people and householders were asked to take clean paper of all descriptions to depots. Government departments added old files, schoolboys collected bundles of newspapers and there were house-to-house drives. The commercial use of paper also was curbed by regulations: the size of business cards, Christmas and other greeting cards, of cheque forms, labels, letter-heads, pads, exercise and account books was limited, while advertising leaflets were prohibited, along with such fripperies as streamers, confetti, table napkins, library book covers, cake frills, hand towels, facial tissues and cardboard for packing shirts.93
Corrugated iron, New Zealand's standard roof material, was acutely short by mid-1940, with the frames of many houses waiting for it.94 By regulations in February 1941 no one, in town or country, could start a building that would need corrugated iron without permission of the Building Controller.95 Iron could be used, said the Minister of Supply in July 1941, only for essential repairs. Locally made corrugated asbestos cement roofing would be saved for factories and warehouses, but there were plenty of flat asbestos sheets for outhouses and farm sheds, while for all new homes and public buildings with pitched roofs tiles must be used.96 Tiled roofs were already uniform for State houses. By the end of 1942 the Wanganui Education Board was taking corrugated iron from its fences to meet roofing needs.97 Spouting and pipes were also scarce and by January 1943 State house builders were using square or V-shaped wooden spouting with square-sectioned wooden downpipes.98page 757
Liquor was another early shortage.99 By December 1940 in Auckland most hotels would sell only half bottles of whisky, the most popular spirit, or gin, though some regular customers could still get full-sized ones.100 A few months later the drought was much worse, with even half-bottles hard to come by.101 By July many could buy spirits only in measured nips over the counter102 and a year later the price of these nips rose from a pre-war 6d to 10d to meet increased tax.103
Some early shortages, such as artists' materials,104 musical instruments,105 prams106 and lawn mowers,107 were first felt as intensifications of import restrictions imposed in 1938. China and enamel ware and silk stockings, were other notable examples, drawing on the government many reproaches because wartime scarcity was hastened by low pre-war stocks. Since 1938, imports of fancy china had been severely curtailed and licences were mainly for utility lines, such as plain white cups and saucers with narrow gold rings. Cheap continental supplies had ceased and, with licences buying less as British prices rose, with orders taking longer to arrive and several large shipments sunk, the famine of crockery, along with glass and enamel ware, was sharply felt early in 1941. Even the standard white and gold china was very scarce; there were plain glass tumblers but not much else, and enamelware of all kinds—pots, kettles, pie dishes, basins, mugs and plates—had vanished from warehouses and could be found only in the more remote retail shops where stocks lasted longer. Aluminium had disappeared, diverted to war.108 In response to scarcity, import licences were increased, but prices were rising faster109 and English potteries were hard-pressed to maintain supplies.110 From time to time glass cups and saucers came from Australia and a pottery firm at Auckland, started since the outbreak of war, strove to fill the breach, beginning with massive cups, and proceeding to saucers and plates.111 Crown Lynn china was cradled by the war, and its youthful form was rugged.page 758
The occasional arrival of imported china and enamel goods caused some of the most strenuous shopping scrambles of the war. For instance in November 1942 when, to celebrate its twelfth birthday, J. R. McKenzie's in Dunedin displayed such wares, the crowd packed so tightly in the doorway before opening time that a plate-glass window was shattered.112 In Wellington, two traffic officers were needed to control the crowd outside a store in Willis Street before its doors opened on a supply of plain breakfast cups and saucers, combs and wool.113 When an Auckland store released about 20 gross of assorted cups and saucers they were all sold within half an hour, with women helping themselves from the bins and assistants anxiously collecting the money.114
However, as one dealer remarked in 1942, there were large domestic reserves of china: in many homes half of it reposed in china cabinets.115 There were also reserves of oddments tucked into store cupboards, remnants of dinner sets and tea sets, slightly chipped jugs and dishes. Many newly-weds set up house on contributions from mothers and aunts and friends of china, cutlery and pots.
At a time when nylon yarn was unknown, imports of silk stockings had been much reduced since 1938 and ceased altogether late in 1940 when, said Nash, it was estimated that local mills would produce 289 500 dozen pairs that year.116 Retail supplies were becoming irregular in both quality and quantity when Nash on 4 December 1940 suggested that women might buy fine woollen ones instead of silk.117 This triggered off a buying spree ‘like three Christmas Eves rolled into one’,118 with some women trying to buy 15 pairs at once.119 In 1940 bare legs were frowned on by most employers, but when some girls, disapproving of the greedy scramble, declared their willingness to wear sandals without stockings during summer, their employers agreed and the practice spread in many factories, offices and shops,120 particularly among girls with shapely well-browned legs. But though some wholeheartedly relished this page 759 freedom under summer dresses, plenty, even among young women, felt slovenly and shabby at work without stockings, while many establishments held that standards and stockings must be maintained. For instance, the Auckland Hospital Board in February 1941 voted 6:5 that stockings must be worn by the kitchen staff,121 and students working as wardsmaids in the vacation of 1944–5 were sent home if they appeared without stockings.122 Of course in such areas all thoughts of silk stockings were abandoned: assorted cotton and rayon ones, seldom fully fashioned and much given to wrinkling and sagging, were perforce accepted by working women for both warmth and convention.
It was not only the absence of stockings themselves; there was also the problem of anchoring foundation garments which in the Forties were far more generally used than they became in the era of pantyhose. With the right corsets women were well dressed, without them merely dressed.123 The Woman's Weekly, scorning the idea of stockings from Japan,124 suggested stockings of wool or cotton in winter and bare legs in summer. Admittedly with empty suspenders the belt or corset would creep up in a clumsy roll round the waist, skirts would wrinkle and matronly figures show bulges, but the belt or corset could be kept in place by a detachable satin strip buttoned on between the legs: ‘with a few shillings for materials and an evening's work, one can easily make a dozen or so’.125
For the pale-limbed there were stocking creams.126 These illusions did not gain wide acceptance; they could look patchy and they rubbed off on skirts and sofas. Most women stuck to stockings and women's pages repeatedly advised on their care. Usually a few pairs were hoarded for best occasions and the rest patiently darned. During the latter half of 1941 complaints mounted against the government for mismanagement127 and against selfish women who prowled the shops snapping up far more than their share of stockings as these emerged from the three hard-driven local mills.128 When churchmen were asked how they would regard bare legs in the congregation, Canon page 760 D. J. Davies129 of St Paul's, Wellington, gaily suggested that this might largely depend on the legs, adding that the church would take a sensible view and was used to summer sports clothes. The Presbyterian Moderator said that there was no rule: to wear or not to wear stockings was left to the individual. Archbishop O'Shea thought that in necessity the stockingless could come to church: correct attire was not a matter of faith but simply one of discipline and good order.130
Nash spoke of additional machinery sunk on the way, of skilled workers in the forces, of shortage in the United Kingdom and of the impropriety of spending dollars on American stockings while local mills were making 250 000 dozen pairs a year.131 Late in October 1941 he offered to grant licences for British stockings,132 by which time the British cupboard was nearly bare.133 Meanwhile, since about August 1941 there had been requests for rationing, by private people, women's organisations and trade unions.134 Nash on 7 October thought rationing impracticable,135 but late in November the Auckland Hairdressers Union was told that the government was seeking means for more equitable distribution, and in January 1942 the Women's Institutes learned that rationing was being considered.136 By February it was expected that stockings, but no other clothing, would be rationed shortly.137 New Zealand's first ration books (petrol coupons were always separate) were issued in April 1942, and on 27 April rationing began, with sugar and stockings as the first items. Every woman over 16 years was entitled, once in three months, to one pair of fully fashioned stockings, of silk, art silk or cotton.
Rationing, while it curbed greed, did not end the stocking shortage. New Zealand in 1942 had five mills, three of them—one in Christchurch, two in Wellington—making fully fashioned, seamed stockings, the kind most wanted. Two other mills, in Auckland and in the Manawatu, made circular stockings for which hosiery coupons were not required. These were relatively plentiful but they did not have the fit of the fully-fashioned. The top price for silk stockings page 761 was 16s 3d a pair while those of a mixture of silk and rayon ranged from 3s 11d to 8s 11d.138 Women hunted stubbornly for the rare silk specimens, on the principle that silk stockings were stockings and anything else was merely a leg covering.139 As Australia's Dame Enid Lyons140 put it, two years later: ‘There exists in the mind of every woman the belief that the most undistinguished ankle becomes a thing of beauty in silken hose, and that even the most graceful without it deteriorates into a mere joint.’141 The Rationing Controller in 1942, recognising this view and the shortage of even non-silk fully-fashioned stockings, eased tension by extending the currency of the second hosiery coupon to six months.142 Hosiery advertisements in July 1942 explained that hopes of finding pure silk stockings were practically nil: raw silk was unobtainable and in every 100 pairs, locally made or imported, only six were pure silk. Further, fully fashioned stockings were made on heavy intricate machinery which could be handled only by men, who also were not available. Good wartime hose, of necessity not fully fashioned but in fine durable fabric and good shades, was excellent value at 3s 6d to 4s 11d. Women were entreated to face the facts and adapt themselves to present conditions.143
Pressure on so-called silk stockings persisted throughout the war. A report that they were in any shop drew hosts of women, not merely ladies-at-leisure, but girls from offices and factories, their employers accepting their absence as inevitable, some with active good-will. One woman who worked in a dairy company's office wrote later: ‘We'll always remember how the boss lent us his car when silk stockings arrived in town and we all piled in.’144 Even when silk was impossible crowds poured in for fully-fashioned rayon or cotton hose. A shipment of these from America in March 1944 drew queues of about 500.145
In 1941 shortages developed over a widening range as stocks ran out and replacements became irregular, inadequate or non-existent, or Service demands drained off supplies. Railway tarpaulins were page 762 short,146 so were motor and bicycle tyres in some areas.147 New cars, even small ones were disappearing.'148 Tools, household fittings (including baths and sinks), aluminium and enamel kitchenware, cutlery, fountain pens, jewellery, and all but the most expensive watches were a cross-section of shortages by April 1941,149 while lack of tobacco pipes, made largely from French and Italian briar roots, was promoting experiments with the roots of native trees such as beech and manuka.150 Blankets became scarce as woollen mills worked on Service orders, and they would be scarce for a long time.151 The carpet quest was second to the stocking quest, though a long way second, noted the Woman's Weekly of 4 September 1941, with all sorts fetching fabulous prices at second-hand dealers and auctions.
After April when the first £1 million Service biscuit order came from Britain,152 the chocolate-coated, icing-filled varieties disappeared, leaving only plain crackers, gingernuts, wine arrowroot and malt biscuits with a few chocolate fingers now and then; all were sold loose, not in packets.153 Meanwhile, with shifts and overtime, production increased from about 9000 tons to more than 20 000 tons.154
Knitting wool had been growing scarce for some time. The fine sorts were imported and local mills concentrated on Service needs.155 By mid-1941 many jerseys remained unknitted and, in particular, many babies lacked their shawls, matinée coats, woolly suits and dresses, widely regarded as their birthright and properly displaying the talents of their mothers, aunts and grandmothers.156 A cartoon by Minhinnick showed a crowd trailing a nervous, scurrying shopper: ‘They say she knows where there's some wool’.157 Sullivan, Minister of Supply, on 30 June 1942 stated that defence contracts were being rearranged, so that knitting wool, baby wool and white flannel could be made locally.158 The wool shortage was to persist for years, claiming special coupons in ration books, while old garments were unravelled and re-knitted, and jerseys and children's clothes were contrived from wools of many colours.page 763
Dealers in camera film, with at best a weekly quota, took to selling it only at a fixed hour one morning a week, one roll to each customer from long queues, while advertisements explained that film was needed for air reconnaissance. Cameras were also scarce and other advertisements urged people to avoid waste and help themselves by selling old cameras and photographic equipment.159 Alarm clocks became and remained unprocurable, especially the cheaper ones that had come mainly from Germany and Japan. Imports had been severely cut in 1938, and stocks were already low when Empire clock-makers turned their talents to munitions.160 Wrist watches, which came mainly from Switzerland, were soon scarce; by April 1941 the cheaper ones had vanished.161 Demand for repairs increased heavily but lack of parts and skilled labour made these very slow.162 From late in 1943, at intervals, more Swiss watches, mainly of the military type, were imported through Portugal, their prices ranging from £4 to £15, but repairs, even of utmost priority, took at least page 764 six weeks,163 and one Auckland jeweller in May 1944 displayed a notice that no new work would be accepted that year.164
The list of lacks large and small lengthened sharply when Japan entered the war. New telephone installations were banned immediately, conserving equipment for essential uses, and by July 1943 there were 10 000 applications waiting.165 Demand was particularly keen in Auckland, where population growth outstripped the automatic telephone exchange facilities, and where about 4000 telephones were sought late in 1944 when the whole country's demand was given as 8000.166 Pressure on the timber industry, plus shortage of firewood, made fruitcases scarce and by regulation in March 1942 apple and pear boxes had to be returned to growers.167 All sorts of bottles, including small ones for medicine, milk and soft drinks became scarce,168 and by 1943 it was often necessary to return a soft drink bottle in order to buy one. Lack of hair brushes, late in 1941, was eclipsed by that of combs. Hair styles of the Forties, with curls, waves, rolls and page-boy bobs, needed much grooming, and combs, though cheap, became treasures. Small shipments were keenly rushed169 and there was ready sale for combs which a few manufacturers began to contrive from native woods. Rata was favoured for the teeth and rewa-rewa for the backs. One Wellington chemist reported sales of 12 gross within a month adding, ‘If you had told me any one-shop chemist could have sold that many combs in a lifetime I would not have believed you.’170
From 6 July 1942, no more radios were made for the public; stocks held out for a year or so longer, but second-hand sets were fetching high prices early in 1944.171 In June 1942, British and American restrictions on the export of component parts caused prohibition of the manufacture of 28 electrical articles, ranging from hair dryers and bed warmers to water heaters, stoves, radiators, kettles and toasters. There was not an instant shut-down; groups of objects were phased out over several months, and elements were still made for repairing essential items such as water-heaters, stoves, radiators, irons and jugs.172 Electric light globes were locally made, page 765 but their bases required imported metal which became unobtainable. An Auckland firm used bakelite, believing itself the first in the world to do so, while the public was told that after 1 June 1942 it would be necessary to return the base of an old globe in order to buy a new one. Again this edict was phased in gradually. In June retailers had to produce bases equal to 50 per cent of their next order, and this was increased by 10 per cent monthly till by November no base meant no new globe.173
Kapok, then the usual filling for mattresses, pillows and cushions, was impounded at the end of April 1942: anyone holding more than 28lb of kapok had to inform the Factory Controller and could not dispose of it without his consent; cotton drill was also restricted.174
The government decreed further that all owners of machine tools, even amateur craftsmen, must send lists of them to the Factory Controller.175 Razors, nail files, needles, shoe polish, washing blue, golden syrup were scarce or made so by greedy buyers.176 Pencils were worn to stumps.177 Shortage of imported mustard induced two middle-aged carpenters with clean records to steal a 1lb tin of it, the property of the United States government, for which they were each fined £5.178 It also induced the planting of mustard on 1000 acres in South Canterbury. The seed went to Australia to be processed and some came back to New Zealand. Meanwhile advertisements encouraged patience and economy.179
Cutlery was increasingly short and disappeared rapidly from eating-houses, replacements when obtainable costing 100–400 per cent more than before; little flat pieces of wood, formerly issued with cartons of ice cream, now stirred tea. Much crockery vanished likewise, and plastic substitutes arrived. It was difficult, reported the Auckland Star, to keep anything on tables except plates which were awkward to steal, especially when dirty: Wellington's railway cafeteria provided bakelite spoons with which to eat pies well covered with gravy.180 Occasionally concern was expressed about chipped and cracked crockery in restaurants, but little could be done beyond advising the anxious to bring their own cups; even the thick cups, some without handles, that were made locally cost 2s 6d each and page 766 could not be discarded at the first chip.181 As for glasses, the president of the Hawke's Bay Jockey Club complained of the widespread belief that a person who bought a drink at the bar also bought the glass.182
Torch batteries became so scarce that by mid-1943 the night staff at hospitals were making their rounds with candles and storm lanterns, saving their few serviceable torches for emergencies.183 Floors and furniture looked less shiny after shortage of beeswax stopped the manufacture of polish.184
Some shortages caused administrative changes. In September 1941 Semple announced that no new car number-plates would be issued during the war. Sidney Holland suggested permanent plates plus windscreen stickers to show that the vehicle was licensed, and Semple thought that yearly issuing of plates would never return.185 By regulations in May 1942 the 17-year-old practice of affixing new, differently coloured number-plates after each annual registration of motor vehicles was indefinitely suspended ‘until new registration plates are issued by the Registrar’. New plates were issued in 1946, in 1951, 1956 and 1961, and the system of permanent number plates began in 1963. Meanwhile motorists were obliged to keep their number-plates clean and legible; if obscured by rust etc they could be repainted, or new ones purchased at the Post Office.186
The annual registration issue of dog collars was also checked by shortage of metal for buckles and Ds. This was noticed in September 1941187 and in January 1943 regulations provided that any local authority which could not obtain new collars could issue discs that could be attached to the old collars; only for dogs registered for the first time would there be new collars.188
Some shortages were answered by local industry. Cardboard making was stimulated both by its own shortage and by the need to replace tin containers.189 Bell tea moved into 1lb cartons as early as March 1940, and two years later containers for golden syrup had page 767 tops and bottoms of tin, bodies of cardboard.190 Wallboard from wood pulp and various plywoods was developed for building needs.191 Macaroni was made at Timaru.192 At Auckland the firm Mason and Porter began making lawn mowers.193 During 1941 lack of imported oranges deeply troubled Plunket-advised, vitamin-conscious mothers. The Department of Health said that tomato juice was a half-strength substitute194 but rose hips could provide an extract much richer in Vitamin C than that of oranges, and various recipes were published.195 Sometimes the hips could be bought cheaply at Plunket Society rooms,196 sometimes home-made syrup was sold at patriotic stalls. The abundant roadside briars of Otago and Southland were tackled by a Dunedin firm early in 1943 and later that year rose hip syrup was being sold by chemists and grocers.197
Pre-war, most of the world's agar-agar, used in meat canning and for bacteriological cultures in scientific and medical work, came from Japanese agar seaweed, and well before Japan's involvement scientists in many countries began testing their own red seaweeds. Dr Lucy Moore,198 of the DSIR found one, Pterocladia lucida, yielding generous amounts of high quality agar, that grew plentifully on most open rocky coasts round the North Island and the northern parts of the South Island. New Zealand's agar industry was formally licensed in December 1941.199 Through the Internal Marketing Division, the weed was gathered and dried in tons by local Maoris, by school children and Girl Guides, for about 10d a lb net dry weight, and processed to supply not only New Zealand but British and Allied needs as well.200 Another seaweed, carageen, previously obtained from Ireland, of wide use in industry—for skin lotions and cough mixtures, in brewing, in leather and glue making, and as a food-jelly— grows vigorously on the coast of Stewart Island and Southland. During 1942 collection began, at 1s 9d per dried pound, for local manufacture and inquiries for it came from Australia, Britain and America.201page 768
Pre-war the most popular timber for furniture had been Japanese oak, well grained, hard wearing and easily worked; there were few well furnished New Zealand homes without some specimens of it, stated a Dominion article on 10 December 1941. But imports had been stopped in mid-1941, and by the end of that year stocks for only about four months remained.202 Already in 1940 Auckland furniture factories, busy with increased trade, were making much use of rimu, then in adequate supply at about 5d a foot whereas the limited Japanese oak had risen from 6l/2d a foot to more than double that rate.203 Imports of other furniture woods also practically ceased, leading to the increased production of local plywood, and furniture-makers turned increasingly to three little-used native hardwoods, tawa, taraire and mangeao. The State Forest Service discovered that the widely distributed tawa, when kiln dried and chemically treated, was durable besides being easily worked and attractive.204 Shortage of labour, added to the shortage of wood, led to a furniture control notice being gazetted on 21 January 1943. This prohibited the making of such non-essential items as plant-stands, standard lamps, cutlery and cocktail cabinets, glass-fronted cupboards and bookcases. To avoid undue demands on materials and manpower, maximum dimensions were set for occasional tables and tea wagons; bedroom suites could not have more than four or five pieces; size, the number of drawers and area of mirrors were all prescribed. Dining suites could not exceed six pieces, and again dimensions were limited.205
Smoking, not generally known during the 1940s to be a health hazard, was widely accepted as a prop to wartime morale, soothing and companionable. Cigarettes and tobacco were included in patriotic parcels and sold cheaply in Service canteens. Shortages206 in civilian supplies in 1943–4, arising largely from diminished imports, lack of labour for processing, and from distribution priorities, were resented by workers with little access to shops, such as carpenters, page 769 freezing workers and miners. This led to trade union protest207 and to the part-time employment of women at tobacco factories.208
War reduced fish supplies. In 1940 several big trawlers from Auckland and Wellington were converted for minesweeping, leaving only the smaller craft which worked nearer the coast and in calmer waters.209 As with all commercial users, their oil fuel was limited. After Japan's entry, they were prohibited from showing lights or flares on harbours or foreshores.210 Italians, a substantial proportion of New Zealand's fishermen, especially at Wellington and Nelson, were limited to daylight hours and certain areas. Some Cook Strait grounds and 200 square miles of the Hauraki Gulf were, for defence reasons, barred to all fishing boats. Fishermen were forced to work areas normally avoided, where the sea bottom was rough, with damage to their nets and lines. At the same time, the armed forces were taking large amounts of the diminished catch.211
The greatest shortage in 1942 was of rubber, with tyres the major item, for though New Zealand already had a small, expanding rubber industry, until 1946 all tyres were imported. Stocks were low at the outset, especially of some kinds, for the 1938 import restrictions had caused dealers to concentrate on quick-selling lines. Manufacturing difficulties in Britain and enemy sinkings were soon felt.212
Japan's early successes captured most of the world's rubber sources, and Allied leaders loudly declared rubber to be the most crucial shortage facing them.213 New Zealand imports henceforth concentrated on tyres for trucks, and from 1 May 1942 all tyres and tubes went under a rationing system: trucks in proportion to their usefulness were supplied with tyres and retreads while private cars were at the very end of the queue. Service cars, taxis, official cars, doctors and other priority users obtained permits under which approximately 20 000 car tyres were issued in 1942 and 46 000 in 1943 whereas the normal demand was for about 320 000—190 000 imported as tyres and 130 000 already fitted to cars.214 A trade journal cheeringly pointed out that as the makers claimed that their tyres were good for 18 000 miles, and the private motorist's petrol ration permitted page 770 40 miles a month, a new set of tyres would, save for deterioration from age, last 36 years, and even a three-quarter worn tyre for nine.215 At first, tyre and retread permits were issued by Transport Department district officers, but after 30 June 1942 they were handled by district oil fuel controllers,216 who were already handling petrol and who reviewed all existing petrol licences for privately owned trucks and vans, aiming to reduce mileage and save tyres. Zoning schemes, already under way to save petrol,217 were tightened and multiplied over deliveries of bread, meat, milk, coal and firewood, drapery and laundry: for instance a statement was issued in mid-June on the stage reached by bread-zoning in every district.218 Zoning officers, seeking co-operation, invited traders to prepare their own schemes, but warned that unless they were almost ruthless there would be no civilian services at all in a few months.219 By September, War Cabinet's decision that, save for milk, coal and firewood, retail deliveries must cease where possible was generally accepted,220 though groceries presented problems for which there were special regulations.221
Doubling up of taxi passengers, which had been widely practised but which was rebuked by Semple as late as 2 March 1942, was on 1 April officially permitted and regulated.222 Public passenger and goods services were reduced, with the target of a 25 per cent mileage cut on week days and 75 per cent on Sundays,223 transport authorities saying bluntly, ‘There is a war on. People will have to learn to stay at home.’224 By September, in the Auckland licensing area alone, such revision was saving 2 million miles annually.225 A dairy company in the South Auckland area made adjustments, including the transfer on loan of 1200 suppliers to other companies, that saved 700 000 truck miles a year, and suggested that similar action should be taken about beer wagons and horse-floats.226 The Transport Department, in March 1943, claimed that drastic measures saving 25 450 000 vehicle miles annually had been taken.227 page 771 To save wear on tyres, some bus stops were cut out,228 while regulations on 30 July 1942 prohibited over-loading of vehicles and imposed a maximum speed limit of 40 mph on open roads, without altering the usual 30 mph urban limits. Permits for retreading were guarded by quotas, priorities and formidable forms.229
The humble bicycle shared the tyre shortage. Japan's entry had brought a great rush of bicycle purchases,230 but Sullivan on 15 June 1942 declared that current tyres would be replaced only for those who proved that the bicycle was their sole means of getting to work or school; there could be none for cycling for pleasure or where other transport was available.231 Acquiring a new bicycle tyre was a formidable process; a form signed by the applicant's employer or teacher and by a cycle-dealer who had inspected the worn tyre went to the local rationing authority and if approved the dealer would be supplied with a tyre for sale to the applicant. Originally it was prescribed that a police officer must witness the applicant's signature, but this proved too unwieldy and was quickly withdrawn.232 The limitation at its peak could be gauged by the Auckland area, where between Warkworth and Waiuku there were thought to be more than 50 000 bicycles, but the weekly allocation of tyres and tubes was only about 100.233 However in some cases at least officialdom was hoodwinked. In November 1943 a Greymouth dealer who was holding about 50 unclaimed tyres, having advised the applicants months earlier that their requests had been granted, concluded that as the worn tyres he had been shown could not have stood up to the intervening wear they had not been in actual use.234
Production of cycle tyres, which had been limited to an Auckland factory, increased after November 1943 when a Woolston factory began making them by a wartime formula using a proportion of reclaimed rubber, with a target of 7000 a month.235 Thereafter, allocations which had already eased slightly236 became more adequate.
Collection of all waste rubber for salvage was vitally necessary. From May 1942 onward, contributions of worn rubber were constantly besought: old tyres, flooring, hot water bottles, rubber gloves, tennis shoes, crêpe soles, gumboots, galoshes, bathing caps and bath page 772 plugs. Garages set up collection bins, chambers of commerce organised drives, city councils attached bins to rubbish trucks. It was noticeable, in this as in other collections, that only small quantities were brought in to depots by people themselves, but big quantities were gathered by house-to-house canvassing. A garage man, surveying his near-empty bin, remarked that the usual excuse about transport did not hold: ‘the people who come here for petrol don't come on foot’.237 But drives, with scurrying school children and Boy Scouts directed by EPS wardens and with Army trucks picking up the harvest, produced huge piles.238 In all, 5000 tons of waste rubber, including half a million used car and truck tyres, were returned. Government required that the tyres should be sorted over, and those that could be repaired or retreaded were made serviceable, classified as to possible mileage, and sold second-hand to essential users.239
Gumboots were essential working equipment for thousands of dairy farms, in mines, meatworks and dairy factories, and they were accepted winter footwear for children. By 1942 imports had fallen from about 240 000 pairs a year pre-war to 24 000 pairs.240 In February 1942 a rubber-goods retailer was urging farmers to make their gumboots last much longer than usual by keeping them in a cool dark place and clear of any grease, and having them mended before they were too worn.241 During that winter many boots that would normally have gone to the scrap-heap were patched and strengthened.242 For new boots, only some of the most urgent farmers' applications could be granted.243 Miners were relatively well supplied, the Mines Department having, as its Minister explained to an aggrieved West Coast Primary Production Council, bought up boots well ahead of need.244 But many farmers, and especially the women who were helping out on the farms, squelched about in leaky boots.245 Local rubber firms in July 1943 began turning out ‘austerity type’ boots which contained a large proportion of salvaged rubber.246 By April 1944 they had made 22 000 pairs and in 1945 production was at the rate of 125 000 pairs a year247 which, with small shipments coming in from America, enabled the most urgent page 773 needs to be met. In the autumn of 1944, however, Waikato women were still making do with old sandals and shoes, or bare feet, while the Mayor of Auckland sought government permission to channel some 250 pairs of EPS gumboots to farmers and their wives, through the dairy companies.248 A sharemilker's wife in May 1944 wrote that she and her husband, milking 60 cows, had not had a gumboot for more than two years: ‘We women in the country do not mind our hands in the mud, but we do object to our knees.’249
Applications for boots, explaining needs, were made through bootsellers to industry controllers and if approved the boots could then be sold. Children however did not qualify and were still in the mud. One such child, who towards the end of the war lived in a cottage on a farm, later wrote: ‘We had no real road in to the house but had to traverse the cowshed race. Because of restrictions only farming families were able to procure gumboots. We had to trek through the revolting mud barefoot and clean ourselves down at the road gate, before we could don our footwear.’250
Although their production had already started in Auckland and was increasing hot water bottles, also imported, were in short supply in the winter of 1940, largely through panic buying.251 By 1941 cheap Japanese lines had disappeared, but the heavier British ones were more plentiful than in 1940. This plenty ended in 1942.252 On 1 May regulations ‘froze’ stocks: those held by ordinary retailers were declared to the Health Department and channelled to chemists who were restricted to a fortnight's supply at any one time and who could sell only on a doctor's prescription.253 As an Opposition member said, ‘Things had come to a pretty pass if one had to pay 7s 6d to get a hot-water bottle costing 4s 6d.’254 Two months later, as some doctors were over-obliging, restrictions were stiffened: it was stressed that certificates could be given only to regular patients and only when needed for proper medical treatment. Rubber hot-water bottles, said Sullivan, could no longer be bought just for comfort, all must be reserved for the sick and the injured, but some bottles, locally made of earthenware, were not restricted and their production could be stepped up.255
Old fashioned remedies for cold feet were popular that winter, such as a well wrapped and stoppered glass bottle filled with hot page 774 page 775 water, or a brick or stone warmed in the oven and likewise well wrapped. There were advertisements for at least two innovations. Mason Struthers produced a non-rusting metal hot-water bottle (‘will last a lifetime’) of triangular shape, unlikely to roll out of a bed, 18 inches long, holding more than four pints and priced at 13s 6d.256 A Christchurch chemist advertised that stone hot-water bottles of new, shallow, round design with screw tops were proving a boon to the public at 9s 6d each.257 By 1943 there was a limited supply of locally made rubber bottles, though stoppers were still imported;258 some local woods, tested by the State Forest Service, made usable stoppers, the best from radiata pine boiled in caustic soda, then soaked in glycerine and parafin.259
Except for small amounts now and then elastic disappeared from shops, and factory-made garments had very little of it. Men's underpants had small elastic insets in waist bands which were adjusted by a buttonhole and two buttons or by tapes tying through buttonholes, and measuring of hips and waist was urged in advertisements;260 women's and girls' had fitted waist bands with side plaquets and a button. Schoolgirls, and others, found that the button could pop in strenuous moments, and many used a safety pin as well. There were stories of lingerie collapsing about the ankles of damsels in public, but tapes and buttons were hardly a joke for mothers with toddlers, especially at the toilet-training stage. ‘Pants took so long to get down that way’, one remembered. ‘We used to use a fair bit of tape to help the precious elastic out’.261 Men's braces and sock suspenders vanished262 and when suspenders on girdles expired some women sewed tapes with buttonholes on to their stocking tops linking them to flat buttons on the foundation garment.263 The little rubber buttons on suspenders, often an early casualty, were replaced by ordinary (if errant) buttons, threepences or halfpennies. In mid- 1944 elastic was still so scarce that oddments 2–12 inches long, discarded by manufacturers as too short to go on the machines, were eagerly bought, and it was realised that several of the thin strands of rubber from the interior of a used golf ball, taken together, made a useful substitute.264page 776
Foundation garments265 maintained their elastic during 1942: ‘sleek as a seal! Elastic roll-ons, corselettes, corsets and panties with not a hook or fastening of any kind … firm, smooth and unencumbering’.266 Advertisements urged women not to overestimate their strength in their new tasks: ‘Little Amazon take care.… This exacting new life could so easily overtax slender nervous and physical resources.… It isn't so much the longer hours the heavier work that is the danger … but muscles poorly supported, poor posture on the job.’267 Or: ‘A man's work to do … and only a woman's strength.… To brace feminine muscles and internal organs against strain, every war-working woman needs a Berlei, and needs to wear it constantly. Correct posture defeats fatigue … you'll do your duty better in a Berlei!’268 During 1943 advertisements warned that from lack of materials and skilled workers one might have to search and wait for one's right fitting and to allow more room than usual because there was now less stretch.269 There were promises: ‘Government standardisation robs your Berlei of beauty (war demands must come first) but the vital support and fit are there intact. No longer a glamorous foundation perhaps, but at least a Victory corset—designed to help you stand the strains of war.… And when, the testing over, your fighting man comes home and beauty comes into its own again—then you shall have beauty without end in a Berlei’.270 Until such good times came, the Woman's Weekly, with the heading ‘Curing a tired corset’, advised how to cope with bones and busks, and splits in stretch girdles.271
Other rubber goods were very scarce, such as the rings used to seal preserving jars. Rubber-selling firms concentrated on repairs: besides doing gumboots, tennis shoes and sandals, boots and shoes were resoled, wringers were re-rubbered.272 Meanwhile thousands of rubber gas masks had been manufactured in Christchurch, and distributed to the EPS late in 1942.273 Rubber for sporting gear, such page 777 as tennis balls, golf balls and the bladders for footballs and basketballs, which had become very scarce274 was released fairly generously from mid-1943.275 Scarcity of labour kept tennis balls hard to get during 1944, though the numbers obtained by clubs increased slightly. In September, the Auckland Lawn Tennis Association's share of New Zealand's total 7500 dozen balls (6000 dozen made locally of rubber, 1500 imported synthetic balls) was 815 dozen, compared to 700 dozen in the previous season, and there were prospects of more after Christmas.276
There were shortages of some locally grown goods, of honey, eggs and vegetables. With vegetables, increased production was the answer; with eggs and honey, fair distribution, meeting priority needs first and spreading the rest evenly.
Normally beekeepers could sell their honey as they chose, direct to private customers, to traders or to the Internal Marketing Division. With the honey crop of 1942 unusually low, all the honey sold to Internal Marketing on the growers' option was needed for hospitals, for the Services and prisoner-of-war parcels, leaving none for sale in cities. Thus areas where growers sold through local trade channels had honey, while others had none. To make distribution more widespread, regulations on 9 December 1942 obliged keepers of 20 or more hives in the coming season to sell 70 per cent of their honey to Internal Marketing, but 30 per cent they could sell where they pleased, as could the small producer with fewer than 20 hives, though all prices were fixed and 60lb was the maximum amount of any retail sale to a buyer at the apiary.277 Among the 8407 beekeepers, with their 133 604 hives, some thought this reasonable, and said so;278 others, like many producers in other fields, resented the intrusion of regulations, and it was suggested that some with, say, 30 hives, would reduce these to 20 so that they could simply sell to the public, getting about 2d more per pound than the 7d per pound paid by Internal Marketing.279 Despite some opposition and prosecutions, further restrictions were imposed in the 1943–4 season: the sale of all honey produced by owners of 20 or more hives was subject to Internal Marketing direction, although at page 778 the apiary sales not exceeding five pounds to any one customer at a time were permitted.280 In November 1944 beekeepers had to sell to Internal Marketing 30lb of honey from each but 19 of their hives, though if the total yield was as low as 40lb a hive they could also keep ten pounds from each hive after the nineteenth, and they could still sell in five pound lots.281
From mid-1941 onward, eggs were scarce in some cities, often very scarce indeed. New Zealanders were used to plenty of eggs and there were frequent grumbles, many directed at the government for interference in what it did not understand. Seasonal variations in production were normal, and for two years before the war the Internal Marketing Division, by exporting and pulping eggs during the flush, had assumed the task of maintaining equable demand. In wartime scarcity its efforts to maintain even distribution, with prices held by the Price Tribunal, were more difficult and less popular.
Pre-war, domestic hen-keeping was widespread. Even in city suburbs, although ‘batteries’ were unknown, the larger sections often had small hen houses where a few hens were fed on scraps and garden greens, with a little wheat and pollard, while farmers' wives were considerable egg producers. With the war fowl-feed from Australia became scarce and dearer282 and by 1942 was mainly reserved for registered poultry-keepers.283 Meanwhile as people became more busy fowls became more burdensome, especially as price controls precluded much profit. With backyard keepers giving up or reducing their flocks, many who had kept themselves in eggs and sold their surplus became buyers of eggs. Military camps took large quantities, their demands increasing steeply in 1942, along with those of hospitals, visiting ships and United States forces.
Successive regulations sought to bring eggs at controlled prices from production areas to those in need of them, first meeting Service demands and civilian priorities, then distributing the remainder equitably. These regulations were resented by many producers as bureaucratic encroachments by officials who did not appreciate the problems and costs involved.284 Meanwhile since stores supplying eggs would increase their overall trade, some shops were willing to pay more than standard rates and contrived to secure more than their share from the producers.page 779
By regulations in August 1940 the four main centres became egg marketing areas in which wholesalers had to be licensed and have proper facilities for grading, storing and pulping eggs. All eggs entering these areas had to go to the wholesalers who, if they had eggs or pulp, must supply any retailer who asked for them but could supply non-retailers only with the consent of Internal Marketing.285 Directing eggs to wholesale channels would make all producers contribute to non-civilian priorities and as many eggs as possible would go to ordinary retailers; wholesale supplies were not to be monopolised by a few stores, nor were hotels, restaurants, etc, to secure an undue share. Price orders adjusted prices seasonally, with district variations.
In mid-1942 grocers' supplies were markedly short, especially at Auckland and Wellington, where black-marketing augmented the drain-off to ships and Services.286 Also, grocers claimed that while prices were stabilised in the main centres, control was less strict in country districts, where higher prices could be charged, so that eggs did not reach the cities.287 In June 1942 priority rationing began in Wellington where the Plunket Society, Internal Marketing and the grocers arranged that Plunket chits for young children and expectant and nursing mothers should have first claim on whatever eggs were available to grocers.288 On the same day a Wellington shop in two hours sold hundreds of eggs, at prices slightly above tribunal rates, to a queue 100 yards long.289 More regulations on 18 June increased ministerial powers to direct eggs to wholesalers and lessen sales made directly to some retailers at the expense of others.290
Regulations could not, however, make eggs plentiful or regular at Auckland and Wellington, though they were relatively abundant elsewhere and though areas of directed selling were extended so that supplies could be pooled for the whole country, ‘We have no eggs. We don't know when we are getting any. We don't care’, a wearied Wellington grocer wrote on his window.291 A few weeks later, a Wellington paper reported that while in provincial districts any reasonable quantity of eggs could be bought in shops, some Wellington restaurants were reducing ‘bacon and eggs’ to ‘bacon and egg’ or even ‘bacon on toast’.292page 780
The Department of Agriculture tried to encourage small producers by issuing a leaflet on poultry-keeping and offering consultation with its experts.293 The price to producers was raised by 2d a dozen, and organisers strove to persuade country stores to crate their surplus to the cities, although profit thereon, after paying railage, was only about 1d a dozen.294 On the other hand, prosecutions for evasions, which would have been difficult and unpopular, were not attempted. In all, eggs reaching official centres decreased by thousands, so that while some chain stores could advertise six dozen lots for preserving, other grocers could muster only half a dozen to a family per week.
In June 1943 at Auckland and Wellington priority rationing was established by regulation, replacing earlier rationing through the Plunket Society and grocers;295 young children, expectant and nursing mothers and some invalids were to have at least three eggs a week from their regular retailers, and only after reserving their quota could the retailer sell his remainder to other customers. In March 1941 this system was extended over wide areas in both islands.296 Apart from this, after March 1944 there was comprehensive rationing of eggs not required by priority customers. It was linked to butter rationing, for which each person registered at one shop; the number of eggs available against each ration book varied and was announced week by week.297 From October 1944 ration books contained egg coupons. In June 1944 government had met the producers' long-standing complaint of inadequate prices with a subsidy of 3d a dozen on eggs passing through proper channels.298 Meanwhile commercial cooks were using egg pulp and the less desired egg powder from Australia.299
In 1938–9 market gardens totalled 7806 acres,300 with home gardens making a substantial contribution to the nation's vegetables. Commercial potato plantings and yields varied, from the 20 033 acres of 1939–40 to the 15 200 acres of 1941–2 and the 27 178 of 1943–4. For the four years 1940–4 the yield per acre averaged 5.8 tons. Good crops and low prices were followed by smaller plantings, as in 1938–9 when 18 032 acres gave 87 671 tons (the lowest yield since 1892) and Australian imports were needed. A glut yield page 781 of 141 000 tons followed in 1939–40, and as there was no indemnity for wartime over-production, farmers predictably turned away from the laborious potato field: 17 000 acres were planted for 1940–1, and 15 200 for 1941–2, averaging nearly 92 000 tons.301
During 1941, complaints of general vegetable scarcity and high prices led to an investigation by the Price Tribunal,302 which on 9 January 1942 stated that, apart from seasonal difficulties and 250 acres of the Hutt Valley being taken for housing, the shortage was mainly due to both home and market gardeners going into the forces, which themselves devoured large quantities, and to lack of planning among market gardeners. Vegetable growing should be encouraged in every possible way, such as the British allotment system in parks and reserves; planning should be organised among market gardeners, and wherever possible they should sell directly to retailers.303
Already a new phase was beginning on the vegetable front, with needs increasing vastly and supplies diminishing. Commercial labour was reduced by mobilisation and by the pull of better paid jobs— even among steadfast Chinese gardeners, some were drawn to the meatworks,304 while domestic gardening was lessened by mobilisation, overtime and the Home Guard.
To avoid large rises in the prices of basic vegetables, the government bravely included potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, swedes and cabbages in the main stabilisation programme, launched in December 1942, though it was realised that the inclusion of vegetables with their uncertain price structure put the whole scheme in some peril.310 To learn what supplies were probable in the near future, the government in January 1943 required every gardener cultivating more than half an acre, and all glasshouse growers cultivating not less than 2500 square feet, to send in lists of crops already growing and those to be planted before 31 July 1943.311
Although commercial growers were extending their acres considerably,312 the government, aware that American-augmented Service page 783 demands were beyond their scope, introduced its Services Vegetable Production Scheme,313 which the Department of Agriculture began in July 1942. Within six months 1800 acres,314 in areas ranging from 10 to 190 acres, had been taken over from farmland, ploughed and planted, with some part-time help from soldiers,315 and were producing 3 million pounds a month of various vegetables. The basic staff was 350 strong, more than 100 being women. Casual labour—mainly Maori, many women and, during their holidays, students and secondary school pupils–coped with rush jobs, such as pea picking. In addition, commercial growers under government contracts arranged by Internal Marketing were devoting many acres to Service needs.316 The Commercial Gardens Registration Bill, passed without opposition in March 1943, furthered the contract system. Under agreed prices, growers undertook, in addition to meeting civilian requirements, to grow required acreages for the Services; what they could not supply would be grown by the State farms.317 These farms continued to grow rapidly; 27 projects were established, some of 500 acres, nearly 5200 acres in all, with peak full-time staff of 1000, plus seasonal workers. At least once American servicemen, about 160, volunteered to fight an invasion of weeds on farms near Auckland,318 and mothers of school children were asked to give a few hours' work daily, the Army providing transport.319 Cultivation on the larger areas was mechanised, with garden tractors, tillage equipment, vegetable planters, sprayers and pumps brought from the United States under lend-lease working on both State farms and the commercial growers' contracts.320
Apart from those eaten in New Zealand camps, vast quantities of fresh and treated vegetables were going to Americans in the Pacific. To handle these the Internal Marketing Division built sheds at Pukekohe, Hastings, Motueka and Riccarton and gradually introduced processing machinery which lessened the early demand for land workers. In 1944–5, from the Hastings building alone, more than 29l/2 million pounds of fresh vegetables went forth, trimmed, crated, wired and cool-stored. The Marketing Division, informed on recent British and American developments, established New page 784 Zealand's first major dehydration plants at Pukekohe, Hastings, Motueka and Riccarton. Also, by arrangement with the American firm Birdseye Foods and its associated New Zealand company Lever Brothers, the Marketing Division in November 1944 began quick-freezing peas and beans by the Birdseye process for American hospitals in the Pacific. Canning, as an economic ancillary to quick-freezing, was also developed; in the 1944–5 season, 192 139 30oz tins of peas and 6386 of beans were produced, and there were small experiments in canning peaches and pears.321
During 1944, with troops in New Zealand decreasing and commercial production expanding, State vegetable growing was lessened. By the autumn of 1945, 3495 acres had been re-sown in grass, for return to the owners, leaving 1686 acres for cropping in the 1945–6 season. On about 150 acres wheat and barley were grown instead and when American demands ceased suddenly in 1945, considerable quantities of vegetables became surplus. By September 1946 the remaining acres were returned and the equipment sold off through the War Assets Realisation Board.322
There was a good deal of waste in the later stages of production for the Services. From lack of co-operation between the forces, the Agriculture Department and Internal Marketing Division, vegetables were grown for camps already abandoned or were ordered for the same troops from both State farms and commercial contractors, ‘too often to be entirely excusable’.323 Still, the arrangements produced thousands of tons of assorted vegetables in a hurry, met a major wartime need, and must, says Baker, be rated a success.324 At the same time, the foundations of a future industry were established.
The Services Scheme was not intended to compete with commercial growers for the civilian market, though some Army surpluses, coinciding with civilian shortages, were sold through Internal Marketing.325 In the civilian field, vegetable growing became a patriotic effort. Public institutions, such as hospitals, were urged towards self-support, especially in potatoes and root crops326 and householders were urged to grow vegetables everywhere.327 Some city councils provided allotments on public land: Wellington, for instance, had about 600 plots.328 At Auckland the New Lynn borough ran page 785 a co-operative scheme: four acres were ploughed and planted with potatoes, peas, beans, etc, residents recording their hours of labour and receiving vegetables in proportion, any surplus being sold at reasonable rates to residents not in the scheme.329 Mount Eden ploughed three acres of Potter's Park and grew potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, beans, etc, that were sold in patriotic shops for the War Purposes Fund.330
In school gardens children grew miles of vegetables;331 soldiers guarding vital points relieved boredom and improved their quarters, let alone their food, by growing both vegetables and flowers, often in most unlikely ground that needed patient cultivation.332 Home gardeners renewed their efforts, women often taking the larger part, and in many beds lettuces, beans and beetroot replaced marigolds and mingnonette.
In the winter and spring of 1943 the government launched a ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign, along lines taken by Britain since early in the war. Members of Parliament, mayors, councillors were involved: Department of Agriculture and other experts addressed well-advertised meetings, explaining ends and means; committees were appointed; EPS wardens, their original tasks laid aside, again canvassed their districts, to see the land and labour available, to find out who would cultivate vacant ground or help the less muscular to get gardens under way. Home Guardsmen, with invasion no longer considered, turned from rifles to spades. There were demonstrations and lectures and newspaper articles on what to grow and how to grow it; there were record sales of seeds and seedlings.333 Advertisements exhorted and advised: ‘Make every yard of ground yield. Beg, buy or borrow a spade and Dig for Victory. That section of yours must not be idle. You will need a garden. A garden will feed you. Grow vegetables that will keep your family fit. Give them a balanced diet and greens the whole year round. Help yourself and help your country. Listen to any North Island YA and ZB station every Thursday night for practical instruction.’334
Inevitably, commercial growers were restive under ceiling prices on basic vegetables. They were uneasy about State vegetable farms, uncertain despite government assurances lest these might encroach on the civilian market,335 while their contracts with the government, page 786 in the quickly changing months of 1944–5, were increasingly short term; nor could any one know how much home gardens would actually produce. Given these uncertainties, given also the hazards of weather—the spring of 1944 was late and cold—there were grumbles and minor shortages of various vegetables, but over all there was enough and, at times, fullness.
Delays in hydro-electricity projects and increased industrial demands made electricity critically short at peak-load hours from 1942. First the public was asked to be thrifty, then on 5 June Electricity Control Order 1942/171 decreed that in all shops, offices, warehouses, factories, hotels, theatres and other places of amusement no electric radiator or other electric space-heater could be used between 4 and 6 pm on any day save Sunday during the months May to August each year, and that inspectors might enter premises to check. Householders were asked to stand in line by doing without radiators during these hours, and by switching off hot water systems as much as possible. These two economies would give the greatest relief, but households were also each asked to cook as much at one time as possible and to switch off lights and radios in empty rooms. At first it appeared that banning radiators in places of work and amusement was not having much effect; housewives, with coal and firewood short, made more use of electric heaters.337 By the end of July, however, regulations and appeals had proved effective: during a cold snap in Wellington the average peak load had been lessened by 10 000 kilowatts.338 Helped by an extra wet autumn and winter, and by a new power unit at Lake Waikaremoana, 1942 passed without further electrical crises.
The following year, more steps towards reduction were taken. There were voltage cuts, and in crisis times for brief periods all power was cut off in some areas—for instance, on 27 May 1943 the Bay of Islands and half of central Hawke's Bay were without power for 10 minutes before 6 pm.339 In some towns shopkeepers decided to close half an hour earlier to save peak-hour winter loading.340 Early in July, regulations empowered any electrical supply authority to require owners to install devices curbing the electricity used for water heating. These included thermostat controls which cut power 336 page 787 off at 206°–210° Fahrenheit, and brought it on again at 196°.341 In some places water heating hours were cut: in Wellington, for instance, they were reduced by 11 per cent.342 At the same time an order prohibited the sale of electric radiators without a permit from the local electrical supply authority, which would grant replacements for broken parts, but would keep unsold radiators for necessitous cases. This measure conserved resistance wire besides checking further demands for power.343
To relieve peak load pressure, daylight saving was extended. For years before the war, clocks had been advanced 30 minutes from the first Sunday in September in any year to 29 April following. From April 1941, regulations maintained this half hour advance for all months throughout the war years.344
Besides the shortage of labour for all purposes from housemaids to shearers, teachers to undertakers, men in various trades and professions were over-worked and hard to get. Despite the virtual cessation of building, there were not enough plumbers for repair work.345 The legal profession, late in 1942, was concerned that the drain-off of lawyers and clerks was leaving too much work for those remaining.346 Dentists, along with dental mechanics and equipment, disappeared into Service clinics:347 by December 1942 it was estimated that between 30 and 40 per cent of dentists were with the forces and civilians were booking up to three months ahead, many putting up with minor pain until it became urgent. Dentists were thankful that the School Dental Service (established in 1921) was keeping children out of their chairs and also educating them, but extra work came from some American servicemen with ample funds who preferred private practitioners to their own dental units.348 The Dean of Dentistry assured the Otago University Council that for years to come demand for dentists would exceed the supply.349
The doctors left to cope with civilian sickness were overworked and people were urged not to seek them unless there was real need, though with illnesses such as spinal meningitis and infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis) about, delay could involve anxiety, if not worse. The page 788 doctor shortage was acute in some areas, notably Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hastings;350 it was less conspicuous in Otago.351 At Auckland in October 1942, according to the local BMA spokesman, there were 136 doctors in the telephone book, 33 being specialists. Of 103 general practitioners, 13 were aged over 70, nine over 60, ‘six were women’, 16 were overseas and 20 in home service camps.352 By February 1942 Auckland's Hospital Board refused to supply more medical officers for the Army, claiming that some already called into Territorial camps were wasting their time.353 In this city a night service was developed in March 1942; calls were made through the St John Ambulance Association, hospital house surgeons did most of the work without extra pay, but two general practitioners were rostered for duty each night; as well many doctors still answered most of their night calls themselves, especially to maternity cases.354 This night service was maintained until December 1943, but it was not copied in any other centre.355
Hospital intake of civilians was also straitened. A Wellington Hospital Board member claimed in January 1943 that citizens had to be acutely ill before they could be admitted.356 Auckland's medical superintendent explained that the number of servicemen requiring remedial operations restricted bed and theatre accommodation for non-urgent civilian cases. In the ear, nose and throat department the waiting period lengthened, at one stage to more than two years, but by December 1942 this was reduced to 11 months,357 and by March 1943, when Auckland's Green Lane Hospital began functioning, it was hoped that it would soon be lessened very much more; notably the new hospital would be extracting tonsils ‘by the dozen’, over weekends, with children admitted on Friday nights and home on Sundays, in place of the Saturday ‘shambles’ at the Public Hospital.358
When Japan's attack threatened sources, there was widespread panic buying of sugar and tea, some people who normally bought 6lb of sugar trying to buy 70lb bags, despite efforts by retailers to page 789 restrain buying and assurances by traders and officials that supplies were normal.359 To avoid such panic, the censor on 20 January 1942 directed newspapers not to refer to commodity shortages,360 and on 17 March the Minister of Supply stated that sugar would be rationed.361
During March, Australia, which drew most of its tea from Java, imposed severe rationing, while in New Zealand the prudent and the greedy laid in stocks, though articles were published explaining that stocks of tea in New Zealand were very sound, and that tea lost its flavour with keeping. Grocers, their wholesale supplies cut by half at the start of April, rationed regular customers and would sell no more than a pound to casuals and only when buying at least five or ten shillings worth of other goods.362
On 9 April it was announced that ration books would be issued the following week, on a family basis, the head of a household applying on behalf of every member and producing social security tax books for all persons over 16 years; catering establishments would make special applications. Books were issued through the Post Office with staff engaged or diverted for the job working overtime from 7 to 9 pm and, for a fortnight, at temporary central offices in the main cities. The public was in no great hurry to acquire the first of the little books that were to circumscribe housekeeping during the next five or six years.363
These first books, about 4 by 5½ inches, were flimsy: paper covers stapled together enclosed a page of rules and four thin sheets, each a different colour, with the letters S, T, M and O respectively on their 26 numbered squares. Those for females over 16 years had an extra page of X coupons which obviously concerned stockings. Each cover had a serial number, repeated on the pages, and there was regional variety in the colour of covers and in each area those for women over 16 years were distinct from the rest. There was as yet no indication of what else would be rationed besides sugar and stockings. The T page suggested tea, but what of M and O?
On 20 April people were told to register for sugar with their normal grocer: the heading of the S page, on which the customer's page 790 name and address were written, was cut out by the grocer, who wrote his own name and address inside the cover. On Monday 27 April 1942 rationing began very calmly, with 12 ounces of sugar per person per week, and for women one pair of fully fashioned stockings, silk, rayon or lisle, every three months. Clothing came next. In mid-May 1942 there were reports from Australia of frantic anticipation of clothes rationing, with queues disturbing traffic and shopping hours shortened to curb demand. There was wide approval of the suddenness of the announcement in New Zealand on Thursday 28 May that footwear, clothing and materials of all kinds would be rationed forthwith. As in Britain, there would be 52 clothing coupons for a year. During the next six months the 26 on the M sheet must suffice, and they could be used until 31 May 1943; a further 26 would be released towards the end of 1942.
On Monday 1 June, four days after clothes rationing began, tea was limited to eight ounces a calendar month per person; at first this applied to everyone except babies under six months who had no tea allowance, but from 1 November 1942 children under 10 were also excluded. As with sugar, there were caterers' allowances to tea shops and to hotels and boarding houses, which could claim the coupons of only regular boarders or persons staying a week or more. Factories, offices and shops acquired tea and sugar rations for morning and afternoon tea in porportion to their workers, while farmers were likewise entitled to extra tea and sugar for permanent and casual employees. The miners' custom of taking cold tea into the mine with their lunches led their unions to press for extra tea and sugar, and at the end of the year it was decreed that each miner should receive a quarterly permit for an extra half pound of tea and two and a half pounds of sugar.364
Tea was increased slightly on 1 November 1943 to 2oz a week, and remained so till its rationing ended on 31 May 1948. There were additional 4oz allowances in December 1942 and in March, April and December 1943. From 1 August 1946 people of 70 years and more received 4lb extra during each year.365 For some people, particularly those living alone, 2oz of tea a week came close to deprivation, and some very weak tea was drunk, but friends and relatives often helped with savings or with surpluses scrounged from work. It should be remembered that tea was the ‘out-standing necessity of a New Zealander’,366 with about 7lb a head, counting children, being used each year.367 Coffee was much less a rival than it page 791 has since become. Coffee bars had only a few elegant prototypes in the main centres,368 though some tea shops and restaurants served genuine coffee. There was no instant coffee at all, and few grocers sold beans as such. It was usually bought ready ground in jars or tins, sometimes mixed with chicory, as an advertisement proclaimed: ‘;Straight from the roaster to the sealed Vacuum Tin is the secret of the aroma and fine quality of Gregg's Club Coffee and Chicory’.369 This mixture was also widely used in a liquid form as coffee essence, served with hot milk, notably in railway refreshment rooms and in milk bars, to the confusion and distaste of Americans.
Sugar rationing had more variations. The original 12oz per person per week became 31b per calendar month on 1 August 1942, and dropped to 2½lb during October and November, reverting to 3lb on 1 December. From 1 November 1943 to 18 March 1945 it was 3lb every four weeks (ie, 12oz a week); it was reduced by 20z weekly between 19 March and 30 September 1945, then returned to 12oz till domestic rationing ended on 27 August 1948. There were jam and marmalade-making extras, in 3lb issues: 6 in 1942; 12 in both 1943 and the following year; 9 yearly in 1945–47, 6 in 1948.
The ration was quite adequate for most households, especially where tea was not sweetened. Soldiers' cakes were not threatened, but women accustomed to keeping their tins well stocked with home-made cakes and biscuits had to change their ways, or their recipes.370 The demand for pastrycooks' wares and shop biscuits increased but industrial supplies of sugar were reduced by half; this did not mean an immediate 50 per cent fall in volume, for the lines using most sugar were dropped first and icings vanished, but daily stocks sold out earlier and there was less variety.
In confectionary, chocolate for a while persisted while boiled sweets disappeared, and the popular penny lines, 20 sorts, were soon down to four.371 At the same time the demand for sweets increased sharply. ‘People have gone quite mad,’ remarked a Christchurch retailer. ‘They don't seem to want to save their money at all.’372 He thought that as people could not buy clothes, etc, they were buying sweets instead, or compensating for less sugar in cooking. They also could have been getting what they could while sweets were about, knowing that they would soon be much scarcer. Servicemen, especially Americans, were keen buyers. Quotas were quickly exhausted, some confectionery shops having to close on three days a week.273 Chocolate page 792 became a rarity and in 1943 there were few of the traditional Easter eggs. Some shops improvised paper-covered novelties, but the choice was limited and the prices hair-raising, stated the Auckland Star, a Queen Street shop displayed ‘what is presumably a chocolate egg’ covered in tinselled paper, about the size of a duck egg, priced at 12 shillings.374
In many foods such as condensed milk, ice-cream, jam, jelly crystals and beer, sugar content was lessened or production decreased. Cake shops closed early375 and soft drinks became very scarce.376 The laconic notice in a Wellington shop: ‘No gum, no matches, no coca-cola, no cigarettes, no cheek’377 briefly suggests much frustration.
Clothes rationing, being fully expected, was well received, especially for its sudden application without an unseemly last scramble. Shopkeepers were relieved that it had begun while stocks were still sound, especially as some women, assuming that rationing presaged scarcity and keen to get the best of what was obtainable, bought heavily in the first day or two of everything from fashion wear to Manchester goods and eiderdowns, even expensive but unrationed lines such as bedspreads and furnishing fabrics.378
As with tea and sugar, clothing coupons had to be cut from books by retailers, except for mail orders where they had to be fastened to slips showing the name and address of the sender. The numbers needed for each garment were published in trade lists, in newspapers, and on cardboard envelopes sold to protect the fragile ration books. For instance, from the yearly 52 coupons a man's three-piece suit took 16, an overcoat for a man or woman, boy or girl, took 12, a raincoat 8, a short coat, jacket or blazer 8, woollen slacks 5, jersey or cardigan 3, shirt or blouse 2, pyjamas or a nightdress 4, while boots and shoes varied according to size from 1 to 3 coupons; a woman's two-piece suit took 11, a fur coat 15, a dress 4, a long dress, dressing gown or housecoat 6; petticoat, slip or corset 3, bra, suspender belt or apron 1, gloves 2, school or woollen stockings 2. For children under 5 years an overcoat took 6 coupons, a jacket or dressing gown 3, rompers, playsuit, frock 2, shirts, shorts, cardigan, jersey, crawlers 1, bootees and gloves ½ a coupon. Material was graded by width so that as far as possible it required coupons equivalent to the garments it would produce. An ounce of wool took page 793 half a coupon. Coupons were transferable within a family and certified expectant mothers could claim an extra 26 coupons. The next- of-kin of prisoners-of-war could claim up to 15 a quarter, depending on the garments checked through the Red Cross, and servicemen in New Zealand received 15 coupons half-yearly for clothing not provided by the forces. For industrial clothing, departmental uniforms, overalls, smocks, nurses' uniforms, etc, there were special arrangements that did not encroach on private coupons.379
Household linen was rationed. Sheets required from 3½ to 5½ coupons, blankets from 2½ to 8, towels from ¼ to 1¼, all according to size; tea-towels took ½ and a pillowslip 1. In mid-June it was provided that couples married since rationing began could obtain 78 extra coupons, as could discharged servicemen married just before entering the forces and about to set up house.380
There was a wide assortment of unrationed goods, ranging from academic robes and ecclesiastical vestments to butter muslin, buckram, canvas, curtain net, curtains, babies' napkins and furnishing fabrics. Some of these took the edge off clothing problems: many an elegant, full-skirted housecoat or evening gown was made from mattress ticking, chintz, furnishing linen, cretonne or plush.
Clothing coupons were counted by retailers and sent into the Rationing Controller each month, while stocking coupons accompanied monthly hosiery returns.381 In July 1942 widespread complaints that retailers were not taking coupons or taking fewer than prescribed caused the Rationing Controller to announce that inspecttors would be engaged at once with a view to prosecutions.382 The first such prosecution was not made till June 1944 and was dismissed as trivial, the magistrate being satisfied that it was merely temporary forgetfulness while in friendly conversation with a police inspector.383 Retailers were concerned lest unlicensed or itinerant sales might detract from their custom, and in July 1943 the police by chance found black-market sheets and materials to the value of £200 in a remote farm house on the Hauraki plains.384 From time to time there were minor changes in ration values or in the non-rationed list, and there were special arrangements for sales. Originally, secondhand clothing was couponed, but this proved unsatisfactory and it was freed on 9 December 1942.page 794
After several months clothing retailers' associations expressed approval. The Christchurch body said in September 1942 that its introduction was wise. With rationing, fewer goods arriving and staff leaving for the armed forces or essential industry, the situation in shops was adjusting itself, and the public was more reasonable, easier to serve than ever before.385 Some materials were still very scarce, notably in Manchester departments, in cotton goods, pyjama cloth and pyjamas. The New Zealand Drapers Federation in January 1943 said that, given the shipping position and shortage of imports, few firms would have remained in business without the coupon system. Rationing had not hindered record sales at Christmas and there seemed to be ample coupons for the stocks available.386 In October 1943 the Wellington Retailers' Association reported that rationing was operating successfully, the New Zealand scheme as compared to some complicated overseas systems giving minimum inconvenience to traders.387
In the first days of June 1942 rumours that soap and cosmetics might be rationed caused a comical rush. Shopkeepers explained that soap shortage in a tallow-producing country was absurd and that most cosmetics were locally made from imported materials of which page 795 there was no foreseeable shortage. Some containers were becoming scarce but many lines were sold as refills and customers could help by returning jars and bottles. Such assurances did not check the crowds thronging the counters and defeating efforts to sell limited quantities. Hasty buyers snatched up soap of every quality, lipstick of every hue, face powders and all the adjuncts. Husbands were telephoned into urgent and awkward purchases of lipstick and powder, elderly women bought as much as a dozen girls would use in 12 months. An Evening Post article foresaw that some women might remember 1942 as ‘the year I bought all that carmine lipstick.’388
In October 1942 new ration books were issued. Those for children under ten did not have tea coupons and their buff covers bore a large C; others had blue covers. At the same time a second set of clothing coupons, marked O in the old book, came into action,389 while those in the new books were not available till June 1943; so for some months there were two books to keep in hand. From January 1943, to meet the needs of growing children, there was a supplementary issue of 26 clothing coupons for those between 5 and 17 years.390 The new books of October 1942 had two mystery pages lettered E and F, each with an instruction, ‘Do nothing with this page until told what to do’. For F, instructions were never issued, but between July and October 1943 E coupons 1–12 could each be used along with a quarter of an ordinary clothing coupon to buy an ounce of knitting wool, other than baby wool which could be purchased only with expectant mothers' or infants' coupons. Scarce knitting wool, like stockings in 1941, was becoming the monopoly of those with leisure to shop, and the use of these coupons curbed their opportunities.391 Subsequent books had coupons for wool.
The third set of books, issued in October 1943, contained A coupons, used for butter.392 From then on books were graded by age-groups, marked on the buff covers: for those of 10 years and upwards there were full rations; no one under 10 received tea; those under 5 had half-sized meat rations, plus eggs; for babies under 6 months there were coupons for eggs, butter, sugar and extra clothing including baby wool, but not for meat.
Covers were now uniformly buff and, from the fourth series, issued in October 1944, carried large numbers, 4, 5, 6, 7; for the seventh page 796 and last book issued in October 1947, the near-square shape changed to a larger oblong.
When meat was rationed393 in March 1944 separate sheets were issued and thereafter, in books 4 to 7, meat coupons bulked large. The books were thicker in pages and in texture. From October 1943 onward each lasted a year. Progressively they became more complicated. There were special coupons for household linen, for wool, for baby wool, for extra issues of tea and sugar. In several books there were spare pages ready should something else be rationed during the year. There were emergency counterfoils allowing occasional purchases of registered goods at other stores. There were separate sheets for hosiery, for the extra allowances of butter, sugar, eggs, tea for old people, young children, invalids, expectant mothers. During 1944 the rationing of eggs apart from long-standing priority arrangements became general.394 From October 1945 eggs had their pages in ration books, and there were calendars giving the weekly and monthly allocations for eggs, meat, butter, sugar and tea printed on the back covers.
Rationing of clothes ceased at the end of 1947; of tea and sugar and meat during 1948—for tea, it finished 31 May; for sugar, for domestic use 27 August and for manufacturing 29 November; for meat, 27 September. Cream ceased to need a permit after 22 February 1950, butter on 4 June, and motor spirits finally on 31 May 1950. As each item was cleared there was a sense of relief, of being freed from a burden. In a surprisingly short time the limitations of rationing slipped out of consciousness, probably lingering less than did the comparable limitations imposed by poverty, because they were a community experience not an individual one. Many people, especially women, kept a ration book or two as souvenirs of the war,395 some thinking to enlighten or impress their children or grandchildren.
1 Baker, p. 416
2 War History Narrative, ‘Petrol Rationing in New Zealand 1939–45’, pp. 11–12.
3 These figures are from Payton-Smith, D. J., Oil, a Study of War-time Policy and Administration, p. 205. Sullivan, announcing the restrictions on 22 January, said that the govern ment aimed to save 30 per cent of normal consumption. For July Payton-Smith increases New Zealand's savings to one-third of pre-war use, whereas July instructions in New Zealand reduced existing rations by one-third. Any seeming discrepancies may be resolved in the following pages which give the 1940–5 changes as they occurred in gallons to the private motorist.
4 Payton-Smith, pp. 41–2, 80, 203–6, 343–4, 349, 451
5 A to J 1940, F–1, p. 15
7 Baker, p. 417
9 Truth, 14 Feb 40, p. 1, charged that the government was concealing its need to save sterling funds under the cloak of patriotism
10 Press, 23 Jan 40, P. 8
21 NZ Observer, 4 Sep 40, p. 5
22 Ibid., 25 Sep 40, p. 8
23 Press, 15 Jul 40, p. 8
25 Evening Post, 13, 20, 29, 30, 31 Aug, 5 Sep 40, pp. 5, 4, 13, 5, 15, 6 & 10; editorials in Taranaki Daily News, 21 Aug 40, and Palmerston North Times, 4 Sep 40; NZ Herald, 7, 10 Sep, 4 Oct 40, pp. 13, 8, 9 (ad for petition); NZ Observer, 4, 25 Sep 40, pp. 5, 3 (cartoon). The retail price of petrol was 2s 6d a gallon in January 1940 and had risen to 2s 8½d by March 1942. NZ Herald, 27 Jan 40, p. 10; Dominion, 20 Mar 42, p. 4
26 Press, 1 Nov 40, p. 8
29 Press, 26 Apr 41, p. 8
30 Ibid., 1 Aug 41, p. 8; Baker, p. 472
33 Scholefield, Diary, 8, 11 Dec 41
34 Press, 27 Jan 42, p. 6
35 Ibid., 18, 20 Feb 42, pp. 4, 4
41 Ibid., 2, 21 Feb 40, pp. 8, 12; see p. 323
42 Baker, p. 419
43 Wanganui Herald, 16 Jul 40, p. 6
45 Press, 22 Sep 41, p. 4
47 Press, 13 Sep 40, p. 8
50 see p. 323
51 Press, 15 May 42, p. 3
52 A to J1943, H–40, pp. 2–3; Baker, pp. 419–20
54 Auckland Star, 22 Aug 42, p. 7
57 Auckland Star, 19 May 44, p. 6
58 A to J1942, H–40, p. 2
59 Ibid., 1943, 1944, 1945, all H–40, p. 1
60 Truth, 16 Oct 40, p. 35
62 Press, 31 Aug 42, p. 3
64 Ibid., 23 Oct 43, p. 7
66 Ibid., 7 Sep 40, p. 13
67 Ibid., 9 Aug 41, p. 10
68 Dominion, 15 May 44, p. 8. H. S. S. Kyle told the House on 24 June 1942 that men in the air force had bottles to fit their hip pockets in which they cook a little home each night. NZPD, vol 261, p. 396
69 Letter to author, 7 Oct 69
71 Auckland Star, 28 Feb 45, p. 7
77 Press, 12 Feb, 5 Mar 42, pp. 4, 6; NZ Herald, 7 Feb 44, p. 2. After February 1944 gas producers were prohibited on roads through the Waiotapu, Kaingaroa and Waipoua State Forests between 1 August and 30 April.
78 Auckland Star, 11 Aug 42, p. 6
79 A to J1943, H–40, p. 4
81 Ibid., 7 Aug 41, p. 10; Standard, 29 Jan 42, p. 2; Auckland Star, 11 Aug 42, p. 6
85 Mrs Vida Stace, 28 Forest Road, Raumati South, to author, 17 Oct 69
87 Letter to Cherry Raymond of NZ Woman's Weekly, 8 Sep 69
88 Mrs V. M. Bullen to ibid., 19 Sep 69
90 Nelson Evening Mail, 15, 28 May 40, pp. 4, 4; Evening Post, 10 Jul 40, p. 9, 20 Apr 42, p. 4; Press, 13 Jul 40, p. 10, 20 Apr, 18, 30 May 42, pp. 6, 4, 4; Auckland Star, 22 Apr, 31 Jul 42, pp. 6, 6
91 Press, 16 Aug 40, p. 7
93 Paper Manufacture and Sale Notice, No 1942/127, 1 May 42
94 Wanganui Herald, 8 Aug 40, p. 6; Press, 14 Apr 41, p. 8
96 Press, 30 Jul 41, p. 10
97 Wanganui Herald, 18 Nov 42, p. 5
98 Press, 26 Jan 43, p. 4, quoting from NZ National Review
104 Ibid., 5 Nov 40, p. 8
105 Press, 20 Sep 40, p. 7
108 Auckland Star, 10 May 41, p. 8
109 Press, 24 Dec 41, p. 4
111 Auckland Star, 3 Aug 42, p. 5
112 Press, 27 Nov 42, p. 6
113 Auckland Star, 13 Oct 42, p. 2
114 Ibid., 26 Feb 43, p. 4 (photo)
115 Ibid., 3 Aug 42, p. 5
117 Press, 5 Dec 40, p. 10
119 Press, 7 Dec 40, p. 12
122 Craccum, 28 Feb 45
123 Auckland Star, 20 Mar 42, p. 3
124 To wear stuff made in a hostile country, just for the sake of luxury, was rank disloyalty to England. Japan was a potential enemy, awaiting a favourable opportunity to attack, and buying Japanese stockings would be sending a donation to the Mikado for war purposes. NZ Woman's Weekly, 20 Feb 41, p. 1
128 NZ Woman's Weekly, 25 Sep 41, p. 1
133 Ibid., 31 Oct 41, p. 8
135 NZPD, vol 260, p. 981
136 NZ Woman's Weekly, 26 Nov 41, p. 6, 4 Feb 42, p. 6
139 Ibid., 17 Jul 42, p. 2
140 Lyons, Hon Dame Enid, GBE(37): wife Rt Hon Joseph Aloysius Lyons, PM Aust from 1932; 1st woman MHR (Darwm 1943–51); 1st woman member Federal Cab; newspaper columnist 1951–4
143 Press, 14 Jul 42, p. 3; Auckland Star, 22 Jul 42, p. 3
144 Mrs H. D. Mitchell of Hastings to author, 9 Sep 69
146 Press, 22 Mar 41, p. 10
148 Star–Sun, 10 Apr 41, p. 5
150 Press, 20 Jun 41, p. 6; Auckland Star, 6 Nov 42, p. 2
154 Statement by manufacturers in Straight Furrow, 15 Dec 43, p. 65
157 Ibid., 4 Jul 41, p. 7
158 NZPD, vol 261, p. 433
162 Auckland Star, 11 Dec 42, p. 4
164 Auckland Star, 4 May 44, p. 4
166 Auckland Star, 10 Oct 44, p. 5
167 Ibid., 10 Mar 42, p. 6
168 Press, 13 Jan 42, p. 7; Auckland Star, 10 Mar 42, p. 6
170 Auckland Star, 30 Oct, 4 Dec 42, pp. 2, 4
178 Auckland Star, 15 Oct 42, p. 6
180 Auckland Star, 14 Dec 42, p. 2, 9 Apr, 11 Nov 43, pp. 2, 4
182 Auckland Star, 7 Apr 43, p. 2
185 Press, 20 Sep 41, p. 10
187 Press, 18 Sep 41, p. 4
192 Press, 19 Nov 42, p. 6
197 Auckland Star, 27 Jan, 17 Nov 43, pp. 2, 2
199 Press, 19 Dec 41, p. 6
200 Auckland Star, 16 Jan 42, p. 2, 9 Feb 43, p. 2; Education Gazette, Jun 42, pp. 136–7; Press, 20 Nov 42, p. 4; NZ Herald, 29 Oct 42, p. 5, 19 Apr 43, p. 2; Evening Post, 11 Dec 72, p. 29 (article by Nancy M. Adams)
201 Press, 11 Sep 42, p. 4
203 Wanganui Herald, 18 Sep 40, p. 4
205 Press, 22 Jan 43, p. 4
206 Before the outbreak of war a move was made to further both tobacco growing and cigarette manufacture in New Zealand. This was accelerated during the war when importation of manufactured cigarettes was progressively curtailed and the percentage of locally grown leaf in cigarettes increased (30% in 1938–40, 35% for the next 3 years, 40% for 1944–6). Production of cigarettes doubled from 600 million a year in the years 1938–40 to 1200 million a year from 1944 to 1946. Baker, pp. 173–4
214 Baker, p. 140
215 Auckland Star, 28 Aug 42, p. 2, quoting Radiator, journal of the motor trade
216 Press, 30 Jun 42, p. 4
218 Star–Sun, 15 Jun 42, p. 4
226 Press, 21 Dec 42, p. 4
227 A to J1943, H–40, p. 1
228 In Auckland's eastern suburbs 20 were eliminated, leaving 80 on all routes in the area. Auckland Star, 31 Jul 42, p. 4
230 Baker, p. 465
232 Auckland Star, 31 Jul, 7 Aug 42, pp. 6, 4
233 Ibid., 18 Dec 42, p. 2
234 Press, 1 Nov 43, p. 4
235 Ibid., 17 Nov 43, p. 2
239 Baker, p. 145
240 Ibid., p. 151
241 Star–Sun, 20 Feb 42, p. 1
242 Press, 20 Jun 42, p. 4
243 Ibid., 11 Sep 42, p. 4
244 Auckland Star, 25 Mar 43, p. 4
245 Ibid., 7 Apr 43, p. 4; Straight Furrow, 15 Sep, 15 Nov 43, pp. 51 19; Press, 2 Nov 43, p. 4
246 Auckland Star, 11 Jun 43, p. 3
249 Ibid., 22 May 44, p. 2
251 Star–Sun, 15 Jul 40, p. 4; Wanganui Herald, 13 Jul, 14 Aug 40, pp. 6, 6
254 NZPD, vol 261, p. 433. The sum of 7s 6d was the consultation fee.
256 Press, 17 Jun 42, p. 4
257 Ibid., 27 Aug. 42, p. 7
258 Auckland Star, 21 Apr 43, p. 4
260 Ibid., 25 Mar 44, p. 2
261 Mrs Eunice Robinson, 14 Sep 69
262 Auckland Star, 21 Apr 43, p. 2
263 Ibid., 1 Aug 42, p. 3
264 Ibid., 1 May 44, p. 4
265 To the question ‘Do all women wear corsets?’, a corset manufacturer, in a military service appeal for a male cutter on the grounds of public interest, answered, ‘Yes they all wear some type.’ But the appeal was thrown out. Dominion, 14 Mar 41, p. 9; see p. 759
266 Dominion, 22 Oct 42, p. 3 (ad). A ‘tea rose corselette with dainty lace uplift brassiere’ cost 25-s; a heavy quality elastic corset, 22s 6d; a tea rose elastic roll-on corset, 14s 11d; aertex elastic panties 14 inches long, 8s 6d.
269 Press, 4 Oct 43, p. 2
271 NZ Woman's Weekly, 25 Nov 43, p. 20
273 See p. 564
274 Press, 24 Feb 43, p. 2
275 Ibid., 5 Jul 43, p. 4
279 NZPD, vol 263, pp. 428, 531, 603; Press, 30 Jul 43, p. 4
280 Honey Emergency Regulations 1943/200
281 Ibid., 1944/163
283 NZPD, vol 262, p. 908
285 Egg Marketing Regulations 1940/146
287 Ibid., 2 May 42, p. 6
289 Ibid., p. 7
292 Ibid., 22 Dec 42, p. 6. On the same page a correspondent wrote that lately in Palmerston North she had bought three dozen eggs, and could have bought twice as many.
293 Auckland Star, 3 Dec 42, p. 4
295 Egg Marketing Emergency Regulations, 1943/87 and 1943/88
296 Ibid., 1944/49
298 Press, 1 Jun 44, p. 4
299 Ibid., 3 May 44, p. 2
300 Yearbook1940, p. 439. A market garden was a holding of an acre or more, outside boroughs.
301 Ibid., p. 434; 1943, p. 268; WHN, ‘Department of Agriculture’, p. 170
306 Auckland Star, 22 Aug, 10 Sep 42, pp. 7, 2; A to J1945, H–30A, p. 8; Baker, p. 463
307 A Whangarei proposal to use sprouts (rose ends) from the peelings at camps, hotels, hospitals, etc, for seed purposes suggested that a good deal of this ration was pared off. Auckland Star, 25 Aug 42, p. 4; Evening Post, 13 Aug 42, p. 3
308 Barclay, Hon James Gillispie (1882–1972): former farmer, Dir Northern Wairoa Dairy Co 6 years, Pres Kaipara Branch Lab party; MP (Lab) Kaipara 1935–43; Min Agriculture, Marketing & Lands 1941–3; HC Aust 1944–50
310 A to J1945, H–30A, p. 8
313 See Baker, pp. 218, 463
314 At the same time commercial gardens totalled 9100 acres. Ross, Wartime Agriculture, p. 278
316 Statement by Barclay, Press, 19 Jan 43, p. 4
318 Auckland Star, 29 Nov 43, p. 4
320 WHN, ‘Department of Agriculture’, p. 209; Ross, Wartime Agriculture, p. 278
321 A to J1946, H–30A (1945 Report), p. 23; Auckland Star, 6 Sep 44, p. 6
322 A to J1946, H–29, pp. 42–3
323 Ross, Wartime Agriculture, p. 278
324 Baker, p. 218
325 Ibid., p. 463; Auckland Star, 6 Mar 43, p. 7
326 Auckland Star, 26 May 42, p. 4
332 Auckland Star, 23 Feb 43, p. 6
334 Ibid., 15 Sep 43, p. 6
338 Auckland Star, 24 Jul, 5 Aug, 42, pp. 6, 6
340 Ibid., 5 Jun 43, p. 8
344 Yearbook1950, p. 896
347 Auckland Star, 31 Jul 41, p. 5
349 Auckland Star, 15 Dec 42, p. 4
350 NZ Herald, 14 Oct 42, p. 2 (Auckland); Evening Post, 23 Jan 42, p. 4 (Wellington); Auckland Star, 27 Jan 42, p. 4 (Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington), 7 Nov 42, p. 6 (Hastings); Dominion, 2 Jul 43, p. 4
351 Auckland Star, 27 Jan 42, p. 3
353 Auckland Star, 10 Feb, 10 Mar 42, pp.6, 7
355 Auckland Star, 24 Dec 43, p. 3
357 Auckland Star, 15 Jan 42, p. 4
358 Ibid., 9 Mar 43, p. 2
361 NZPD, vol 261, p. 61
364 Press, 21 Dec 42, p. 4
365 Yearbook1950, p. 828
367 Yearbook1940, p. 887
370 Honey and golden syrup when available eked out pleasantly
371 NZ Herald, 10 Jun 42, p. 2
372 Press, 18 Jun 42, p. 4
374 Auckland Star, 22 Apr 42, p. 2
375 NZ Herald, 16 Oct 42, p. 2
377 Auckland Star, 26 Aug 44, p. 4
378 NZ Herald, 1, 2 Jun 42, pp. 4, 4
379 Official 16-page booklet of clothes tationing instructions; coverless copy in author's possession
380 NZ Herald, 18 Jun 42, p. 2
381 Auckland Star, 5 Sep 42, p. 6
382 Press, 10 Jul 42, p. 4
384 Press, 6 Jul 43, p. 3
385 Ibid., 11 Sep 42, p. 4
390 Auckland Star, 17 Oct 42, p. 6
391 Press, 7 Jul 43, p. 2
395 When the NZ Woman's Weekly, 8 Sep 69, published for the author an article headed ‘Have you a World War II ration book?’, a veritable rain of books poured in