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The Home Front Volume II

CHAPTER 17 — More Shortages

page 797

More Shortages

IF men and rubber were the outstanding shortages in 1942 and 1943, housing was probably the most intrusive from 1943 onwards. Building, severely reduced during the Depression, was brisk in pre-war years and continued strongly for almost two years into the war; good cheap homes for workers were a major target of the Labour government. Its housing scheme, begun in 1937, produced thousands of sturdy houses. They were roofed with tiles to promote local industry and save overseas funds and were placed sometimes in large groups in outlying suburbs, sometimes on small pockets of land available amid other development. They were built by private builders under contract to the Housing Division (part of the State Advances Corporation until 1944, then transferred to the Public Works Department), which bought the land and designed the houses. There were two, three and four unit dwellings as well as single ones and, in the cities, a few blocks of flats. The units each had two or three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, bathroom and laundry; single houses had a living room, usually a meal alcove off the kitchen and two to four bedrooms. They were not for sale but were leased by the State Advances Corporation. Rents, starting at 12s 6d a week in a four-unit dwelling, varied according to room space, from 26s for a standard four-roomed house up to 32.s. Details were standardised and general appearance was fairly uniform, but care was taken not to make this too obvious: there were about 300 type plans in use and individual houses in each group were different.1

The government held that the war did not lessen the need for houses, rather that it was an added reason for them; the shortage after the last war had been a tragedy. The State scheme would close down only if this would help to beat Hitler.2 For the first two years of the war, house building continued buoyantly. During 1937–8 399 State dwellings were completed; 2665 in 1938–9, 3395 in 1939–40, 3966 in 1940–1, 3208 in 1941–2.3 At the outset, page 798 materials were plentiful and heavy defence construction demands did not suspend civilian building.4

Costs of private building soon began to rise but not prohibitively: in May 1941 some Auckland architects gave the average current cost as 22s 6d a square foot compared to 20s before the war. There was ‘keen demand for a good type of house’. Some cost between £2,000 and £4,000, but the majority cost less than £2,000. In those of larger size there was a tendency to prefer the ‘Georgian period of architecture’ to strictly modern design, and Auckland appeared to be evolving a home which could be described as English domestic, with larger windows appropriate to the climate. Modernistic planning appeared most often in houses of medium size and cost, their streamlined effects achieved with concealed roofs and rounded bays and sun porches. Stucco finish had been improved and was expected to lessen both fire risk and painting while promoting new ideas in construction. The trend towards simplicity helped to offset diminishing supplies of imported materials: ceilings were plain, there were flush doors, and often one-colour interior paint and paper schemes— cream was very popular and correct. There were many built-in cupboards, sometimes built-in dressing-tables and tallboys, even beds. Many roofs were tiled, and local factories were producing baths, sinks and other fittings of good quality but limited design.5 Among the informed, new ideas were arriving and people were becoming more critical of house design. A European architect wrote: ‘The modern house has arrived, though sometimes not at its best. As everywhere else, the first superficial approach towards modern housing seems satisfied with a flat roof instead of a tilted roof and windows a bit larger than previously.’6

During 1941 shortages began to pinch. In mid-June the Director of Housing (G. W. Albertson) said that shortage of material was not sufficient to have a pronounced effect on the building programme, but shortage of labour was troubling contractors throughout the country and was most noticeable at Auckland and Wellington; 4300 men were employed on State houses in place of 6000 two months earlier. Since January, as Building Controller, he had faced the task of supervising the distribution of labour and materials to ensure priorities: defence, primary production, factories making articles that could not be imported, hospitals, housing. It was necessary to obtain his consent for the erection of any building which would cost £2,000 or use more than half a ton of steel.7 By page 799 the end of the year a number of houses could not be finished for lack of items such as electrical cables and equipment, baths and piping.8

With Japan's entry, defence construction thrust all other demands aside. Local bodies now had to submit every building application to the Building Controller, who from 1 June 1942 was supported by an active committee and numerous sub-committees.9 Electric cables were acutely short.10 Labour for private building was unobtainable, and from mid-April State housing contracts, which had already slowed very much, were suspended.11 Towards the end of the year the exclusion of labour from private building, alterations and repairs was eased slightly in some areas, including Auckland,12 but in the Wellington–Wairarapa area the earthquakes of 24 June, 2 August and 3 December 1942 were a further cause of diversion and delay. Thousands of chimneys were wrecked and roofs damaged, cracks in some city buildings called for complicated and extensive repairs, while from some apparently sound buildings parapets were removed.

Meanwhile, full employment with higher wages and overtime meant increased demand for existing houses. In 1942 the shortage was officially estimated as 20 000.13 Workers came to the cities for war jobs, wives came to be near their husbands in camps. With prices rising and expected to rise still further, house buying was both a sound investment and a tempting speculation, though rent controls curbed quick fortune-making to some extent.14 At Wellington, where sites were limited, building costs high and where government employees had multiplied rapidly during the past few years, the demand was particularly strong. As early as February 1941, a Wellington land agent stated that flats had come to stay, that but for the Fair Rents Act15 land agents could sell 70 per cent more houses than they were selling and that low deposits of £200 or £300 were becoming scarce.16 In November 1941, an agent declared, ‘We are not facing a first-class housing crisis. We are past that stage’; another spoke of an avalanche of buyers and of house dealers buying for cash, renovating cheaply and making £400 to £500 on each deal.17

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In July 1942, another agent said that if he had them, he could let 30 houses or flats in two or three hours, a state of affairs which he feared was going to be chronic.18 Already, those concerned with the rehabilitation of servicemen were troubled by the gap of several hundred pounds between the value of a house and its inflated ‘scarcity value’.19

At Auckland in May 1942 there was talk of a boom; land agents for several weeks had been exceptionally busy and house values were rising. A suburban home, which 12 months earlier would have changed hands at £1,300, sold for £1,525 within 24 hours of being placed on the market; a house sold by the builder for £1,750 was sold again six weeks later for £2,500. There were many cash sales and otherwise the minimum deposit was often one-third of the purchase price.20 In Dunedin sales were brisk, with houses long regarded as unsaleable changing hands.21 At New Plymouth, prices which 12 months earlier would have been far too high were paid without hesitation; 60 persons had applied to rent one house; 46 wanted a small house at £1 5s a week, 16 applied for another at £2 2s a week.22

By 1943 the Auckland boom was called ‘fantastic’. Houses a few years old were selling at 50 per cent above their 1940 price. One, built for £2,000 in 1936 on a £725 section, sold for more than £5,000; for another, which cost £1,600 to build on a £400 section, a £4,000 offer was rejected. The big money was along the eastern waterfront and the hills above—St Heliers, Mission Bay, Kohimarama, parts of Orakei and Remuera—but substantial margins were paid in other districts also.23 At the same time an agent recorded 300 applications for half a house (three rooms and use of a kitchenette), some offering a £20 bonus; another agent said that he had not had a house to let for nearly a year.24 There were many complaints of houses inadequately converted for rooming, and of over-high rents: for example, two rooms, a kitchenette and shared conveniences cost from £2 5s to £3 10s a week;25 an airman on £9 a week paid £3 16s for a flat for his wife and two children26 and a page 801 serviceman's wife with two children and a third expected paid 22s 6d for one room.27

The Fair Rents Act of mid-1936 affected only dwellings let between 27 November 1935 and the date of its passage and it did not apply where rent exceeded £156 a year. It held rents to those payable at 1 May 1936; change was achieved through landlord or tenant appealing to a magistrate. In 1939 it was extended to flats and apartments.28 In October 1942 a further extension tried to close avenues of exploitation. For every house or part thereof let as a separate dwelling, the basic rent was that paid on 1 September 1942 and for those let for the first time after that date it was the amount first paid. Rents could be raised only by appeal to a magistrate or by agreement, approved by a factory inspector, between landlord and tenant. It became an offence to refuse a would-be tenant because he or she had children.29 However, the Act did not apply to rents that included payment for food, such as a breakfast tray. This exposed many of the poorly paid to exploitation: for example, an apprentice paid 30s for a bed and morning tray in a room with eight beds.30 Returning soldiers, single men, found that many boarding houses had changed expensively into bed-and-breakfast establishments.31

Overcharging was linked with overcrowding. Background standards were not high. Traditionally, many workers in rural areas were used to fairly primitive accommodation and in town many lived in cheap houses built by speculators. Again by tradition, each family desired its own house. Flats were a relatively new conception; they had not been built extensively and were mainly in small blocks. Rooms with meals included were often let, mainly to single persons. There were many boarding houses taking permanent guests at fairly modest rates. Sub-division into agreeable flats of larger, older houses, where families had shrunk and servants departed, was going on modestly. But the biggest pressure for housing came from people who could not afford such accommodation. For them, subdivision often involved merely the installation of a stove, cooker or gas ring in the general kitchen, in the rented room itself or in a hall, passage, landing or laundry. Some owners and tenants let a room or rooms, nominally as separate apartments, with common use of totally inadequate cooking, bathroom, lavatory and washing facilities. Very page 802 high rentals were obtained from the cumulative effects of sub-letting.32

This situation was well established long before the war. In 1935 the Housing Survey Act was passed as a preliminary to planned reform. Local authorities in all boroughs and town districts with populations of not less than 1000, two suburban Road Boards, and any other authority named by the Governor-General in Council, were required to make housing surveys. By March 1939 these had been made in 115 of the 119 areas concerned and they covered 225 363 dwellings where 901 353 people lived. Of buildings used as dwellings, 31 663 were classed as unsatisfactory but repairable; 6827 were totally unsatisfactory. In 23 768 dwelling units equipment was only partly satisfactory, totally unsatisfactory in 20 096. There were 9835 overcrowded dwellings with 14 761 surplus persons in them, surplus in terms of the rooms and space occupied. In 27 214 dwellings accommodation below the defined minimum standard was provided for 68 405 surplus persons.33

During the Depression many people had perforce accepted deplorable conditions. With the war, although money was more plentiful, the housing shortage intensified. A number of city boarding houses were closed, being taken over by the government as Service, Fire Service or departmental hostels.34 Shortage of manpower and building materials made renovations more difficult. People, realising that there was no alternative, simply packed in.

‘Under existing by-laws’, stated an article in the Dominion in November 1943, ‘no minimum requirements are laid down for a dwelling house for use as a family unit. It might be a single room, and often is, in which a family sleep, cook, eat or work. There are in Wellington hundreds of houses [ie, dwelling units] without a bathroom.’35 Another article stated that large rooms had been divided, sometimes by box-like partitions, into four separate rooms. Married couples with two or more children, were living in one room, in the same building as single men, with only one bathroom and water closet for 15 to 19 persons, some with no cooking facilities.36

These evils were not ignored. In Wellington, where pressure for rooms developed earlier than in Auckland,37 a committee of eminent page 803 citizens,38 looking into social and moral problems, notably prostitution and excessive drinking, in August 1943 found that bad housing was a ‘foundation problem’. An official survey in 1937 had reckoned Wellington's shortage of dwellings as 7000; this had grown to 10 000, which led to the ‘grossest over-crowding’, and in some cases to social and sexual immorality. Rack-renting of girls on low wages, combined with the flood of servicemen, was producing malnutrition, bad health and prostitution. In some two-storeyed houses, of good appearance, let as rooms or so-called flats, the ‘normal amenities for domestic decencies are crude or are absent altogether’ and cooking facilities were often missing. Girls coming to Wellington could take rooms in apparently decent houses, then find themselves in a semi-brothel, where from force of circumstances they might stay and soon accept prevailing conduct as the way things were. It was not suggested that such conditions were general but the committee had evidence of ‘20 premises where to unprincipled greed are added immoral influences.’ Several had been placed out of bounds to servicemen on account of disorderly behaviour, ‘wallet rolling’ and venereal infection.39

In November 1943, Wellington's Hospital Board called the housing situation ‘shameful’, bad for the health and morale of the people, and began to prepare a report.40 At about the same time 26 organisations, including the Association of Scientific Workers, the National Council of Women, the Business and Professional Women's Club, the Federation of University Women, the Vocational Guidance Centre, the YWCA and the student associations of Victoria University and the Teachers' Training College, formed the Citizens' Housing and Accommodation Investigation Committee. It aimed to co-operate with the committee already working under Councillor Nimmo, and with other concerned parties, investigating thoroughly various aspects of the housing problem, including the working of the Fair Rents Act, bath and laundry facilities and the availability of meals, in order to publish reports which would move the City Council and the government to action.41

Wellington was not alone in such investigation. Early in 1943 a Christchurch City Council survey of 4122 dwellings, 639 apartments, 97 boarding houses and 394 combined dwelling and business page 804 places found 49.35 per cent to be satisfactory, 45.9 per cent unsatisfactory but repairable, 0.7 per cent overcrowded and 4.13 per cent due for demolition. Many houses which looked attractive enough from the street were divided into rabbit warrens, and rents for rooms containing a bed, small table, chair, sink and cooker ranged from 6s to 27s 6d. A single block of apartments contained 99 units housing 116 people; they had eight lavatories, five wash-basins, seven baths and two wash-houses; one room measured 8ft by 7ft 3ins. This survey deduced that many recently built flats were too expensive for men with families on £4 to £6 a week, who perforce had to share dwellings.42

Drive towards improvement was impeded as building and renovation became impossible, while many felt that the pressures would ease with the end of the war. Armstrong, Minister of Housing, said in mid-1942 that, but for the war, legislation on rents and conditions of flats and rooms would have been passed already: people were being ‘unmercifully exploited’, there were houses without bathrooms and with appliances 20 years out of date. A Housing Improvement Bill was being drafted which included provision of government loans, at very low interest, to owners who could not afford necessary renovation.43 The draft bill was available to the bodies which would administer it, whose suggestions were considered before it was re-introduced during the 1945 session for its second reading.44 It became operative from 1 November 1945 and thereafter, with advice from the Health Department, regulations implementing its provisions were devised.45

Senior Labour member of Parliament, James Thorn, in the New Year of 1944, wrote that the housing shortage was one of the gravest internal problems facing the government. In the previous September there had been 28 031 applications for State houses, of which 11 955 were assessed as urgent, some very urgent, ‘indeed, desperate and tragic’. Many of the others were not urgent but resulted, claimed Thorn, from the excellence of State houses and their reasonable rent. Many people who might otherwise have thought themselves satisfied, on seeing these houses and finding the rents to be 10 to 20 shillings a week less than their own, immediately applied. Applications came from 140 towns and smaller places, but 22 273 were from the three main cities: Auckland, total 11 575, urgent 3068; Wellington, 8698, urgent 5002; Christchurch, 2000, urgent 1282.

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About 16 000 State houses and flats had been completed since 1936: in Auckland 5422, in Christchurch 1488 and in Wellington, which had been distracted by preparations for the Centennial, 2741. Between December 1941 and November 1943 only 507, a ‘tragically inadequate’ number of State house units, including the 116 Dixon Street flats, had been completed in Wellington.46

In May 1944 the city engineer reported that Wellington's housing shortage was going from bad to worse: the total number of new houses erected during 1943–4 was 142, well below the normal average of 700 residential buildings a year.47 There were, however, complaints from several parts of the country, including Christchurch and Taranaki, when Semple as Minister of Works proposed to bring in 350 carpenters and others in building trades to hasten the 800 State houses contracted for in the Wellington area.48

From 1943, with men released from the home forces for industry and returning soldiers righteously demanding homes, the problem grew worse, especially at Auckland and Wellington where industrial growth was largest. The population of the Auckland district, said Mayor Allum, had increased by 25 440 between 1940 and September 1944.49 There were then 1375 ex-servicemen and 13 776 civilians in Auckland wanting State houses, while Wellington had 1243 house-hungry ex-soldiers and 10 808 civilians, Christchurch 503 ex-soldiers and 2578 civilians, Dunedin 206 and 975 respectively.50 Servicemen had a 50 per cent preference in allocation and the RSA wanted 75 per cent. There were distressing cases. A woman, her three children and husband returned after five years in the Air Force, were living in one room. A returned soldier, whose wife was pregnant, was paying 25s for a room 10ft by 12ft, up two flights of stairs, the bathroom shared with 12 other tenants. Another, whose four years in the Army had included Greece and Crete, was living with his wife on the sunporch of a five-roomed house occupied by four families totalling nine adults and two infants. A couple lived in a basement flat with no fireplace, poor ventilation, continual dampness and a bedroom 6ft 6in high. An ex-serviceman was living in a ‘garage’.51

Auckland's problems were enhanced by the increasing urbanisation of Maoris. For years they had been coming in from country areas, drawn by better pay, more varied jobs and the idea of city page 806 life, but this movement had accelerated with the war. In 1935 there had been 1800 Maoris in the metropolitan area; in 1943 about 10 000 lived there, more than one-tenth of the whole Maori population of 97 000, while more than 30 000 lived north of Mercer.52 More than 2000 Maoris were employed in Auckland's essential industries, with the girls doing notably well in boot and shirt factories.53 There was strong reluctance to let houses and rooms to Maoris, who then inevitably crowded into the slum areas, accepting dismal conditions and thereby augmenting the idea that the worst would do for them. No one favoured the idea of setting up a Maori quarter in the city, said George Graham,54 secretary of the Te Akarana Maori Association, but Public Works Department hutments near work places would be better than Auckland back streets; the suburban Orakei block could be developed to house the whole Maori population of Auckland and keep them, especially the women, away from the temptations of the city. A residential area there or elsewhere was urgently needed.55

When A. S. Richards, Labour MP for Roskill, visited some Maori housing, the disturbing reports that he had heard were confirmed. For 30s a week, a family of eight (six children) lived up a narrow staircase in dingy rooms sub-let by a Maori tenant who paid 10s. In a basement room 10ft by 20ft three men, three women and four children lived, for £1 a week; since the men were in essential work, sometimes on night shift, they could afford a house but were refused one because they were Maori. Two men slept on a table in a cellar without a window. Ten adults and two babies lived in two rooms, five people cooked and slept in a room 15ft by 12ft; seven adults and five children lived in three rooms, one only 8ft by 9ft; there were 14 people in two rooms; a family of 11, three children, three older girls and five adults, lived in one room. There was evidence of much effort to make the best of wretched conditions; Richards noticed the pervading smell of boiled clothing, and white linen hanging on the lines. Facing the obvious need for action, the Health Department said that Maori housing was the responsibility of the civic authorities, who said that it was a task for the government; meanwhile three times as many Maori as white people had tuberculosis.56 A supporting editorial declared that there was a need for all to help, as all had helped with defence needs a year earlier.57

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Little, however, was done except that an Army camp was taken over and improved for about 200 men from Rotorua and other districts. There was an overseer to supervise, catering was done by contract, there was a large recreation hall, and social life was run by a committee of the Maori War Effort Organisation. The men, with a very low rate of absenteeism, went in trucks to and from the freezing and phosphate works in Westfield and to tanneries and brickyards at New Lynn.58 Again in Auckland a few small hostels for Maori girls were set up59 and, in a temporary building in Airedale Street, a Methodist-run club for young Maoris.60 By August 1944 Auckland Maori leaders, including returned soldiers, despairing of government taihoa (procrastination), decided to raise £7,000 by asking Maoris in the city to donate £1 each as a start towards creating a Maori centre on a large suburban site where buildings to accommodate a number could be provided. This self-help, declared the Auckland Star, should be no substitute for action by the Rehabilitation Department but should supplement it to meet a growing evil and to find temporary homes for returned men; positive and earnest assistance was needed in the acquisition of a site and the planning of buildings.61

In the election campaign of 1943 both parties promised houses. Labour reminded that it had built 15 000 State rental homes before the war closed in, and promised expansion at the war's end which would complete 16 000 dwellings a year.62 Holland declared that houses would be priority number one if the National party were returned. He held that rents were too high and proposed that tenants should be able to buy State houses.63

During 1943, the inflation of house prices was curbed by the Servicemen's Settlement and Land Sales Act, which established the Land Sales Court, a court of record, the consent of which was necessary for all land transactions. It worked through local Land Sales Committees which settled prices of house properties based on the value in December 1942, increased or reduced to a fair value according to improvements or changes. These bodies had a restraining effect on property prices generally, though on a sellers' market vendors could arrange for the fixed prices to be recorded and extra sums page 808 to be paid secretly. Some cases came to light and others were suspected.64 At a Christchurch RSA meeting in June 1944, for instance, it was said that there was a ‘fair amount of razzling going on’. Sellers were asking buyers to backhand the difference between their prices and those fixed by the committees.65 Open charges about such demands were not often made; pay up and shut up was the style.

Prices for newly built houses were also rising. The Associated Chambers of Commerce called a conference of building organisations which reported that a standard house, privately built but very similar to a government house, which in 1939 would have cost £1,400 would in November 1944 cost £1,800; to this increase materials contributed £126, labour £200 and sales tax about £52.66

After the slowdown of 1942–3, it was not easy to get housing under way again: skilled labour was short and so were materials, timber shortages being added to the lack of piping, electric cable and fitments which had already delayed the finishing of many houses. War had exhausted timber stocks. Wooden ships had been built for American use in the islands and, apart from New Zealand camps, enough timber for 2200 houses had been built into Pacific camps.67 So many boxes and crates were used for sending foodstuffs to the Pacific and elsewhere that the need for radiata pine exceeded the supply and considerable quantities of rimu and matai, normally building woods, were used for packaging.68 There were competing demands. Farmers required timber to maintain or further production; with Australian hardwoods unobtainable, deferred bridge repairs needed rimu, matai or totara; shortage of bricks and bricklayers increased builders' calls on wood, while supplies of rimu, etc, from the South Island were often delayed by shipping.69

The earlier cutting off of Japanese oak and lessening of Australian imports had turned attention to native hardwoods, notably tawa which when kiln dried and treated with Pentachlorphenol was found suitable for finishing, interior fitments and furniture. Tawa was the only native timber of which production notably increased over the war years, from 116 534 board feet in 1938–9 to 5 327 046 in 1945–6.70 Totara production remained fairly constant, at about 11 million board feet in each year of the war; beech increased slightly page 809 from 9 million in 1938–9 to 12 million in 1945–6; matai dropped from more than 22 770 000 board feet in 1938–9 to about 19 million a year during the period 1941–6.71 Radiata pine was beginning its march towards being New Zealand's leading timber. In 1938–9, 41 867 513 board feet of it were sawn, 13 per cent of all wood cut; in 1945–6, 96 819 028 board feet, 28 per cent of the total. When kiln dried and treated, it served well in furniture, joinery and building, but in 1945 the trees, though they were beginning to produce large quantities of flooring, were not yet big enough to yield many weather-boards. Rimu, growing not in convenient plantations but in forests more and more remote, remained the essential building timber. The 1945–6 production of about 175 million board feet was nearly 13.5 million less than in 1938–9.72 War Cabinet in September 1944 directed that all experienced timber-mill hands or bushmen serving within New Zealand should be released immediately to their trade.73

There were a few moves towards hurry-up building and prefabrication, but no major departures from the standard house. Armstrong said in September 1942 that the Housing Department had designed a house smaller than usual but convenient and fully equipped, which could be built for about £800, using prefabrication in a modified form.74 In February 1944 Auckland's first prefabricated State houses, which could be erected more rapidly and with less skilled labour, were begun at Mt Albert.75 Similar houses, it was claimed, had been built for £675 in 10 days at Hamilton by private enterprise.76 At Naenae in the Hutt Valley in April 1943, experimental prefabrication methods produced five dwellings in days instead of weeks.77 Some two-storeyed flats built in February 1945 near the corner of the Great North and Western Springs Roads, Auckland, were designed to save timber and time by using pre-cast reinforced concrete columns, beams and floors.78

The Director of Housing Construction reported in 1944 that to increase house production, reduce costs and relieve the demand for timber, the Department had erected a number of experimental houses and would erect more. These experiments were in three groups: prefabricated wood units; prefabricated concrete units; concrete in situ and block units. Already the Department was constructing the bulk page 810 of wooden houses in Auckland and Wellington on a modified prefabricated system and, in view of the many suggestions received, more experimental buildings would be erected. Early trials in prefabricated concrete had warranted further constructions to try out various systems in this material.79

A few non-traditional houses appeared, such as one built at Ellerslie, Auckland, in five days, using plastic-bonded plywood on the structural principle of ‘stressed skin’ as in aircraft. Apart from the foundations, painting and papering, the five-roomed house with French windows and a concrete terrace was erected in five days and cost about £1,300.80 Another model, by Christchurch architects, was completed on its prepared foundations in nine hours' work, except for its roof-covering, gutters and plumbing.81 But such departures were rare.

An example both of prefabrication and of the special demands made on the Housing Department was the township of Benneydale,82 south of Te Kuiti and three miles from the railway at Mangapehi. This was built after the government took over a failing coal mine, and in two years raised its production threefold. To the original village of about 20 prefabricated houses there were added, by November 1943, a hostel, a co-operative store, a recreation hall and about 50 houses incorporating successive improvements in prefabrication. About 20 of the latest sort were also built at the Tatu mine near Ohura.83

There were a few proposals for temporary housing. A Wellington Hospital Board member suggested that Public Works buildings might be transferred to city reserves, matchlined and given plumbing; he claimed that they would last for four or five years and be habitable even if unsightly. Another held that additional housing must be temporary as many people would be returning to the land after the war and there would be a slump in town properties.84 An Auckland City Council proposal to build small, temporary, wartime houses on vacant lots for necessitous cases, with the government sharing the cost, met no encouragement.85

In March 1944 Churchill promised to bridge the housing void for the people of Britain with, among other measures, half a million prefabricated houses.86 Not surprisingly, some New Zealanders hoped page 811 for a similar solution to their own immediate problem. At a meeting of South Island local bodies, the Mayor of Christchurch urged, in view of the likelihood of science in the next few years producing cheaper and better building media, that the government adopt a scheme like Britain's for cheap houses that could be erected quickly even if they would have but a short life. Other speakers also favoured factory-built houses in the emergency.87 In July there was further thought in Christchurch of ‘Churchill houses’ being adapted for New Zealand, using wood and asbestos board instead of pressed steel. There was talk of relaxing building standards, but only for houses which belonged to local authorities.88 The Press on 10 July warned that the question of temporary houses must be approached with the utmost caution; even if they were built only on city council land, ‘the proposal is a dangerous one’. Their life might be extended for 25 years or longer, just as condemned houses were occupied, because there was nowhere else to go. At Hamilton a local firm proposed, given loan money and priority in men and material, to erect 50 houses for £647 each, or £800 with paths, fences, etc. This was treated cautiously by the Council, which said that housing for the people was the concern of the government and would do no more than submit the loan proposal to ratepayers.89 The Wellington Housing and Accommodation Committee advocated small temporary units costing about £300 each; rent at £1 a week would cover interest and maintenance and return capital within eight years.90

There would be no temporary homes erected to become permanent slums, declared Semple: temporary buildings were about double the cost and less than half the remedy.91 However, some military camp buildings became transit housing, with the government and local bodies co-operating. An early example was Western Springs, Auckland, which had been built as a rest-home for the United States Army Air Corps. It housed about 300 adults and children, some in flats, some in units with communal facilities and with caterers supplying the main meals.92 Transit camps, where the government supplied and reconstructed buildings while local bodies provided land, water and drainage systems, became fairly widespread. In some places local authorities decided who might enter the camps, but in general the State Advances Corporation, which handled the letting of State page 812 houses, shared in allocating this temporary relief until families could be granted State houses. In March 1948 nearly 800 transit units were occupied by families urgently in need of help, while about 950 former tenants had progressed to State houses. The camps were not closed until the mid-1950s.93

Besides houses and flats let to the general public through the State Advances Corporation the Housing Division, beginning in 1940, built houses required by the government for development, as for mines, electricity, railways, rehabilitation (where houses and farm buildings were put up on land prepared by the Lands and Survey Department for returned servicemen). In 1942–3, 1259 State houses were completed including 165 for other government departments. In 1943–4 only 880 were completed, 24 of them for departments. By March 1945 strenuous efforts had produced 1969 houses, 52 for departments, but there were 38 388 applicants waiting with 5860 ex-servicemen among them. In the next year 2985 were finished, 129 for departments, while 3400 others were variously incomplete.94

Meanwhile building in the private sector was reviving, or at least the number of permits issued revived;95 there are no figures on the completion of such houses, but they too were subject to the paralysing shortages lamented in Housing Division reports. An Auckland Star editorial on 13 December 1944 described one project. About a year earlier it had been announced that 440 houses were to be built on a block of land. Though many had been started, not one was finished and scores of foundations stood amid grass-covered wastes in formed and sewered streets. Shortages of materials accounted for delays.

Official reports on State housing in 1946 and 1947 explained that supplies of timber, cement and bricks were persistently inadequate, while lack of roofing material, baths, electric ranges and water pipe fittings caused frequent delays. Standard practices were modified, there were substitutes and experiments. Pinus radiata, specially treated, was used for framing. Concrete and asbestos products and bricks replaced timber sheathing or construction in about a third of the houses built in 1945–6 and in nearly three-quarters of those built in 1946–7, when only 2595 were completed. Beginning in 1946, portable, prefabricated houses were designed for timber workers, to increase timber production.96

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A long battle lay ahead; in 1947 52 759 names, 15 278 those of ex-servicemen, were on the lists for State houses.97 In 1944 the Director of Housing Construction had written that nearly 25 000 houses had been provided during the war; without the war the number of houses built by private and State enterprise would at a conservative estimate have reached at least 9000 per annum, or 45 000 over the five-year period. ‘The minimum number lost through the war is therefore 20 000, which would have overtaken any serious needs … it is estimated that the timber and materials used for defence construction purposes in all its ramifications would have been sufficient to erect 20 450 houses—that is to say, the number of houses lost to New Zealand by reason of the war is almost exactly counterbalanced by defence construction.’98

Tea, sugar and clothing were rationed in mid-1942 because supplies from overseas became scarce. The next items, butter in October 1943 and meat in March 1944, were rationed because of overseas demands for more of New Zealand's plenty. Yet in 1940 there had been surging desire to help Britain by producing more, and spontaneous proposals to send more farm produce, even as gifts, even by curbing local consumption.99 Reasons for the change and delay were complex. There were shipping limitations and war-shaped shifts in demands for butter, cheese and meat which had blunting effects on effort and sentiment. By 1943 production was falling owing to poor seasons, reduced labour and fertiliser, and farmers' desire for the incentive of higher prices. The government, with an election due late in 1943, was sensitive about farmers' complaints of its mismanagement; it shrank from adding the grumbles of a public losing some accustomed foods, and feared a black market.

Pre-war, average annual consumption of butter in New Zealand over 10 years was 31 300 tons, of cheese 3600 tons.100 In 1938–9 148 000 tons of butter and 85 000 tons of cheese were produced; 116 000 tons of butter and 80 000 tons of cheese went to the United Kingdom.101 In 1939–40, original contracts for 115 000 tons of butter and 84 000 tons of cheese102 were exceeded: 130 400 tons of butter were exported from 160 800 tons produced, 91 700 tons of page 814 cheese from 97 600 tons produced.103 Initial arrangements for September 1940 to August 1941 were for 120 000 tons of butter and 107 000 tons of cheese. When supplies from the Low Countries were cut off in June 1940 Britain asked for 15 000 more tons of cheese. With willing farmers and a good season 118 899 tons of cheese were exported, while butter exports totalled 139 444 tons.104

In 1941 Britain strengthened its preference for cheese, asking that for the duration of the war and one year after New Zealand should limit butter supplies to 115 000 tons annually but increase cheese to 160 000 tons.105 So far, prices had not increased since 1939: top grade butter was 112s 6d sterling per hundredweight, cheese 63s 3d and 62s 3d for first and second grades.106

The change to cheese meant much reorganisation: thousands of large cans were made or mended, motor transport was provided, cheese factories were extended or re-opened. Withal 153 074 tons of cheese were graded for export in the 1941–42 season and 103 000 tons of butter.107 Government and farmers could feel that they had nearly met Britain's request for cheese and that their butter offering was still substantial.

Early in 1942 Japan cut off margarine materials while unexpectedly large amounts of cheese were available by the short haul from Canada. In June 1942 Britain asked New Zealand to revert to butter-making: the new targets were 115 000–200 000 tons of butter and about 90 000 tons of cheese.108 Britain increased its prices to pay for the change: butter rose by 4s 6d to 117s sterling per hundredweight, cheese by 3s to 73s.109 In 1942 military service drew off or disrupted farm labour; fertilisers, with Nauru Island phosphates cut off, were scarce; farmers were impatient because they were expected to produce more with less labour, less fertiliser, less petrol and with prices which seemed inadequate against rising costs.110

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In 1942–3 export gradings of butter were 106 947 tons, of cheese 96 837; in 1943–4, 101 992 tons of butter, 85 473 of cheese.111 Production was falling and from 1942 a good deal of dairy produce was going to the American forces in the Pacific and in New Zealand. In March 1943 London suggested that butter could be rationed in New Zealand.112

The Prime Minister hinted at rationing in a speech on 17 April 1943: New Zealanders might have to make more sacrifices, forgoing things they hardly dreamed of being without, such as butter and cheese, in order that the people of Britain might get enough food.113 A few days later a Dairy Board member, speaking of the fall in production, suggested that rationing of butter and cheese might be needed. Replying on 25 April Barclay, Minister of Agriculture, said that the government had not definitely considered such rationing but if it were necessary it would in no way be related to the fall in production, for which climatic conditions were mainly responsible, but to the needs of Britain.114 If rationing had not been considered, questioned the Press on 28 April, why not, and why had the Prime Minister mentioned it? The New Zealand consumer could do with less if Britain needed more, and the fall in dairy production clearly showed that if shipments to Britain were to be increased or maintained, local consumption must be cut. Barclay had, chided the Press, come close to describing his government in four words: ‘It is the Government of not yet and not definitely.’ The Dominion commented that if shipments were lessened by causes outside the control of the dairy industry, there would be few complaints should the deficits be made good by reducing domestic consumption, which averaged more than 401b per person yearly. It urged that the government should speedily take producers into its confidence.115 In Dunedin, where these exchanges gave rise to rumours that butter was about to be rationed, there was a notable rush on supplies.116

On 10 May, Barclay, speaking at a small town near Whangarei, said that the British government had asked that butter should be rationed in New Zealand so that the British 2oz a week could be maintained. He added, ‘I think that the people of New Zealand will be behind the Government if it accedes to the request.’117

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Barclay's kite-flying had a mixed reception. The Dominion was surprised that no government action accompanied revelation of Brit ain's request. Canada had led the way on 21 December 1942118 with a ration of 8oz weekly, reduced for a while to 6oz: here, where a poor season plus American demands had reduced exportable surplus, rationing would be readily accepted to keep up shipments, even if it meant hardship. It would be valuable to have Britons retain a taste for butter after the war, but the reason dwarfing all others was their present need. The disclosure of this important matter to a small country meeting gave ‘the impression of timidity, of a trying-out of public opinion, with its strange qualification “if the Government accedes to the request.”’ Had the British government been left in doubt about the response of the people of New Zealand? How could the request possibly be refused?119

Quite a different sound came from the New Zealand Herald. Rationing in New Zealand, if needed to maintain the 2oz ration in Britain, would be accepted with good grace, but people would have to be convinced of the necessity. They were not persuaded that the present famine in civilian eggs was unavoidable. The Minister was more ready to regiment producers than to encourage them to greater output, and he seemed intent on making a case for butter rationing rather than on seeking ways and means to avoid it. ‘New Zealand is capable of producing enough butter ro fill Britain's need and have sufficient left over to make domestic rationing unnecessary. If, instead of antagonising the farmers, Mr Barclay sought their co-operation and gave them the help required, the double goal would be reached— full supplies for Britain and plenty at home.’120

A Dairy Board member, early in June, said that farmers owed a great debt to Britain and to the merchant navy; food needs in Britain must be met. If farmers were given the necessary labour he was sure that output could be increased to meet the full requirements of both Britain and New Zealand.121 The Auckland Farmers' Union showed its general irritation at this time by adopting a Waikato remit for direct action after the war: the time had come to announce that injustices should be ended and steps taken to show the determination of the industry, though it might be necessary for dairy companies and other branches of farm business to close down.122 A Wellington correspondent asked why the government did not explain that because of its lack of foresight and its mishandling of manpower, the country page 817 could no longer produce enough food for its own people while exporting pre-war quantities. In war the most important thing was food, both for workers and the Army, and New Zealand could have been in the unique position of supplying all that was required both now and for war-torn countries afterwards. ‘It is still not too late to put more men and land into full production, so that even though our sons are overseas, neither we nor they need go without butter.’123

Presumably such criticism encouraged government silence when Australia on 6 June 1943 followed Canada into butter rationing, at half a pound a week.124 At a dairy conference in June Barclay, while appealing to farmers to produce as a minimum 120 000 tons of butter and 100 000 tons of cheese for Britain, said that rationing was under consideration. The Dominion wondered at the ‘incomprehensible delay’, contrasted New Zealanders' 42lb a year with British citizens' 6½ lb, pointed out that while it took time, manpower and fertiliser to increase production, rationing would increase exports immediately, and concluded that a frank statement on the needs of the Mother country would draw ready support.125 Government speakers might have answered that the needs of the Mother country were already well known: a British Ministry of Food mission was currently explaining them, but it had induced no spontaneous profferings of butter as in 1940. There were even expressions of reluctance. Mary Dreaver,126 Labour member for Waitemata, on 6 August in the House asked Barclay to allay the fears of housewives that butter rationing was to be introduced. The Minister replied that rationing was under consideration'.127 Truth, in September, expressing concern for the diet of New Zealanders, claimed that they, unlike the people of Britain and other European countries, had no substitute fats for milk and butter: in Britain, though the butter ration might be small, ‘the fat consumption may be very high.’128 This argument ignored the well-known facts that the total weekly British margarine-butter allowance was 6oz, along with 2oz of cooking fats. In the Evening Post on 6 October, while one correspondent wanted rationing and increased shipments, another claimed that cutting down New Zealand's butter eating would make very little difference, per person, in Britain: ‘How can so few give more to so many?’129 The Social Credit journal Democracy on 17 June 1943, noting the advent page 818 of rationing in Australia, had said that though it sounded ‘a little absurd’ rationing of dairy products in New Zealand had been sug gested, and there was also a distinct possibility that the requirements of the fighting services in the Pacific would overtake the supply. Democracy saw little hope of policing any attempt at rationing dairy products in a country which had more cows per head of population than any other, with thousands of families besides registered farmers owning at least one cow. ‘The Black Market would be liable to turn white—or at least Cream.’

As the months passed, several bodies publicly pressed the government towards rationing. The Northern Dairy Association in July urged that every effort should be made to supply the quantity of butter asked for by Britain, even if this required local rationing.130 The Chambers of Commerce at both Wellington and Dunedin said that limiting each New Zealander to half a pound a week would Add more than 10 000 tons annually to the meagre British supplies And they believed that the country would gladly support the decision. Wellington members declared that it was a plain duty though they realised that it would not be simple to arrange equal sacrifice in town and country. Dunedin members wondered why rationing had not been effected already; did this timidity come from fear of offending a section of the community before the general election?131 Early in October a New Zealand Dairy Board member told a Farmers' Union meeting that the Board, consulted by the government on the matter, had already advised immediate rationing of butter and regulation of the sale of cream, but the government had not yet taken action.132 The Dominion133 continued to contrast New Zealand's luxurious plenty with Britain's poverty, as did the Press on 4 September: ‘New Zealanders who think they are enduring great hardship are in serious want of nothing but a sense of proportion.’

During the election campaign apparently few questions were asked about butter rationing and these were answered warily. Barclay said that it was being considered and he thought that it would come but there was great difficulty because it was not possible to ration farmers or prevent them from supplying their friends.134 Sullivan said that no official approach had been made by the British Ministry of Food in regard to butter rationing, but on such an approach page 819
Black and white cartoon drawing of four figures dancing around in a field, picking petals off flowers saying "Next Week" "Sometime..." "Never!" "This Week...". The text of the cartoon reads "Butter Rationing".

buttercuts and dazes

Cabinet would immediately deal with it.135 In September, the Grocers' Association paper published an article showing that it had dis cussed a butter rationing scheme in detail with the government.136 ‘On good authority’ the Auckland Star announced on Tuesday 5 October, 10 days after the re-election of Fraser's government, that rationing at 8oz a head would be introduced the next week,137 while butter merchants complained that they were still in the dark and had no half-pound wrappers.138 Butter sales, especially at Auckland, rose steeply, as they had in several centres at various times during the previous few months.139 Minhinnick cartooned a housewife, a merchant, a retailer and a farmer capering on a field labelled ‘butter rationing’, plucking at daisy petals ‘This week, next week, sometime, never’—while Fraser piped the tune on two pipes, Nash leaned on a cow and Sullivan smiled.140

Finally, on 28 October 1943, just after the third series of ration books had been issued, with new pages, it was announced that people must at once register with a grocer or dairy for 8oz of butter each page 820 per week, infants under six months excluded. Unrationed consump tion was reckoned to be 13oz.141 Supplies to hotels, manufacturers, etc, would be reduced by one-third. Farmers would obtain their butter like everyone else; where normal supplies were too remote they could make butter for their own use or for sale to employees, but must cut coupons from the books of people using the butter. The sale of cream for domestic or manufacturing purposes was prohibited except with special permits. Permits for cream and extra butter could be obtained on a doctor's certificate. Perplexed doctors,142 seeking guidance from the Health Department and the BMA, were told to give butter and cream only to diabetics, active tuberculosis cases, nursing mothers who needed it, aged people and convalescents from long illnesses.143 To provide for casual or seasonal labour, farmers and contractors could obtain permits giving 8oz per worker for one week but thereafter the workers' coupons must be produced.144 Supplies to service canteen suppliers were cut by a third; clubs providing suppers on dance evenings were allowed ⅓oz per serviceman.145

As it was clearly announced that rationing was imposed to maintain the dismal 2oz British allowance there was no general grumbling, though the government was criticised from several angles. Rationing must be obeyed in letter and in spirit, said the Auckland Star. Those who could evade the law, notably farmers, must voluntarily refrain from doing so; otherwise there would be a black market in butter, official attempts to smash it, and all the attendant ills. But there was ‘widespread and justified feeling’ that the 11.7 per cent drop in the volume of dairy exports in the season just ended had occurred primarily because of the government's disposition of manpower and failure to understand the nature of farming; shortage of labour, even of hope for labour, and of fertiliser, had caused production to fall. The government must decide on priorities; ‘while too many things are attempted some are going to be done less well.’146 The Press censured delay:

The Government began six months ago to talk about this extension of the rationing scheme, has talked hedgingly and uncertainly about it ever since, has prompted selfish persons to stock their refrigerators, and has lost, in the six months, a cargo of page 821 5000 tons that might have been saved and shipped. It is inconceivable that the reasons on which the Government has acted now were less decisive in April than in October.147

The Dominion said that New Zealand, as the Mother country's largest supplier of dairy produce and also the unit with the greatest domestic consumption per head, should have led the Empire in butter rationing instead of bringing up the rear. ‘There can be not the slightest doubt that the delay was purely political…. The right thing has been done, but very, very leisurely. All the excellent reasons now given existed months ago, but were set aside until domestic political matters had received attention.’48 The Evening Post referred to ‘exceptionally long dilly-dallying’ in introducing a ration to which few if any would object.149 The New Zealand Herald, from which a broadside on mismanagement might have been expected, spoke of the pitiful 2oz a week in Britain, exceeded daily by many in New Zealand. The only proper criticism of the decision was that it should have been made earlier, as a voluntary gesture instead of in response to a request; now Canada and Australia had set the example, leaving New Zealand a bad third.150

Many people had stocked up in advance, though refrigerators were still luxuries. The Internal Marketing Division, surveying holdings in cool store found large quantities placed there by manufacturers and some for private use. The manufacturers were allowed to draw only their weekly quotas from these reserves, and those held by private persons were taken over, only one flagrant case being prosecuted.151 In this instance a soldier had during September bought 20001b at the retail price of 1s 6d a pound, expecting the price to rise, and was still holding it in January 1944; the butter was taken over at cost, and later a £10 fine was imposed.152

Uneasiness about farmers' reception of butter rationing had been a factor delaying its introduction. Government spokesmen, such as the Food Controller, hastened to point out to farming audiences that if Britain did not get the tonnage of butter requested, British authorities might find it impractical to implement the 2oz ration and take butter off the civilian market. If the United Kingdom were diverted to margarine for the duration, it might be very difficult for the New Zealand producers to recapture their British market after page 822 the war.153 Barclay had admitted publicly that it would be impossible to ration farmers or prevent them from supplying their friends.154

Farmers are and were independent people, and the idea of measuring their cream and butter was rather like proposing to count their cabbages. Undoubtedly many a bowl of cream was whipped up, many a churn that had been out of regular use now made extra butter for farming households, hospitality or friends. This, however, was not the same as diverting a substantial portion of the cream normally destined for the factory into black-market butter. A woman who ran a grocery recalled that people who milked cows used their butter coupons and sent all the cream to the factory because they were paid more for the cream than the butter cost.155 The regulations provided that farmers who supplied cream to factories should now register with retailers and obtain rations like everyone else, save where distance made this difficult, but in any case they should not make for themselves more than the amount of the ration, surely a forlorn counsel of perfection. Wherever possible, all cream should be sent to factories but, to make good use of farm butter, in areas outside cream collection rounds wholesalers and retailers could accept such butter and supply it to manufacturers and collective consumers at 20 per cent discount on their quota. Thus a baker or a hotel could get 121b of farm butter for every 10lb of creamery butter allowed.156 But grocers who used to buy a few pounds of home-made butter, used mainly for cooking, from customers with two or three cows, now rejected it as people would buy only creamery butter with their coupons, refusing to expend them on butter of uncertain quality157 Some wholesalers who accepted farm butter found themselves loaded with unsaleable quantities. In this area, advised the Press, the regulations were self-defeating: ‘those who cannot conveniently change their practice, sending surplus cream to a factory instead of surplus butter to the shop, and many cannot, will cease to produce a surplus or will waste it. Otherwise, it must tend to find an outlet in black market trading.’ The regulations were not working smoothly because, as too often, ‘they were framed by men who know desks and paper better than they know farms and shops.’158

There was talk of quantities of farm butter being wasted or sold without coupons. At Nelson in particular, suppliers and grocers carried on as usual for a month or so: some 4000–5000lb were sold page 823 over grocers' counters without coupons, while about two tons that accumulated in a wholesalers' store was finally cleared when Internal Marketing shipped it, somewhat mature, to Wellington manufacturers. It was arranged that future surpluses in the district should go to Service camps.159

Many non-dairy farmers' wives were accustomed to offsetting grocers' bills with butter sales. Where the cream could not be conveniently collected, it became official policy to continue this practice, with the grocer handing the butter on to an agent who, after meeting district manufacturing needs, would send any surplus on to the main centres for manufacturers there.160 Some Primary Production Councils suggested that to encourage backyard production of separator butter from a few cows, its coupon value should be half that of factory butter.161 The Rationing Controller replied that while this solution to the serious problem of utilising farm butter had been carefully considered, it had been found quite often that cream collections could have been extended and that in other cases, through retailers and wholesalers, this butter was going to manufacturers as part of their quota.162 There was, he also explained to a Tolaga Bay resident, no objection to the owner of a few cows supplying butter to neighbours, provided they registered with him and he cut the relevant coupons from their books; local rationing committees were being formed to cope with special cases.163 Obviously in such cases the neighbours would not be limited to 8oz a week. On the other hand, petrol rationing limited access to such supplies. No doubt there were evasions, but they were not so widespread as to induce much cynicism.

In July 1944, rationing for hotels and restaurants was tightened. Instead of receiving two-thirds of their normal supply, for casuals they were allowed ⅓oz per person, for each of the three main meals, while permanent guests' own ration books would determine their ration. To makers of sandwiches, etc, butter rations were based on the amount of bread used, ¼lb being allowed for each 4lb sandwich loaf and ⅓oz for each three scones, gems or pikelets.164

Many workers who relied on cut lunches felt that their living standards were eroded unfairly compared with those who could buy sandwiches or pies or a restaurant meal. Timber workers claimed to have a special case. Some lived in rugged camps, remote from wifely page 824 ministrations, and were used to plain fare but plenty of butter; even those in their own homes thought that their heavy work in all weath ers demanded double the fats adequate for men in less strenuous or exposed occupations. The West Coast Sawmill Workers' Union, at its annual meeting, stated that unless each member's ration increased to lib per week by 20 November the men would cease work. Possibly this strong resolution was pushed by a militant few.165 The union secretary explained that timber workers were not prone ‘to just going on strike any old time’ but they believed that with less butter they would be physically unable to cope with the work and weather.166 The timber workers' national secretary made less peremptory demands167 and North Island men confirmed that the ration was quite inadequate, citing one bush cookhouse that normally used 32lb a week, now reduced to eight, which would last for three days' lunches.168 Sullivan stated on 12 November that prior to the West Coast meeting the timber workers' national secretary and the Fed eration of Labour had made ‘representations in the normal way’ for more butter for groups in heavy industries. The government would decide these claims without being influenced or diverted by threats or inflammatory language. The Auckland Star reproved all concerned: workers in heavy industry overseas received extra rations, and while the timber workers' talk of direct action was demoralising they were justified in seeking more, though not a full double ration; it was not to the credit of the administration that they had had to wait for it.169 The West Coast union secretary's comment, that no New Zealand government could fool all the workers into believing that strikes or threats of strikes did not get results, persuaded the Director of Censorship and Publicity that the jostle for extra butter was damaging morale, and he requested newspapers to eliminate any suggestion that only by striking or threatening to strike could those with legitimate grievances in rationing obtain redress.170 This request was stiffened into a directive on 3 December.171 As Baker puts it, ‘Discussion then became much less public’,172 and on 26 November it was quietly announced that an extra 4oz a week would be granted to miners and to sawmillers and bushmen in isolated page 825 districts. In December the Freezing Workers' Union also pressed for extra rations for the whole industry, but it was granted to freezing chamber hands only, on 20 January 1944.173

The heavy-work allowance was maintained when, between June 1945 and October 1949, the general butter ration was reduced to 6oz a week, although expectant mothers and persons of more than 70 years still received 8oz. Manufacturers and collective consumers were then reduced to one half their pre-rationing norm.174 Butter rations were restored to 8oz at the end of October 1949 and abolished on 4 June 1950. Annual consumption in New Zealand fell from 481b a head in 1942–3, to 361b in 1944–5, and to 36lb in 1945–6.175

At the outset it had been clearly estimated that rationing at half a pound a week would save between 10 000 and 12 000 tons of butter a year for Britain.176 Some early post-rationing estimates came near these claims. The 1944 annual report of the Internal Marketing Division stated that for the year ended 31 July 1943 butter sales in New Zealand through the Division (less purchases by the United States) totalled 32 066 tons. In the 10 months from 1 November 1943 to 31 August 1944, these sales totalled 19 018 tons, the equivalent of 22 822 tons per annum, thus saving about 9200 tons or about 30 per cent.177 In May 1944 Sullivan claimed that saving at the rate of 14 000 tons a year, about 37 per cent, had been effected.178 The Yearbook of 1945 estimated that the 6oz ration would leave 15 000 additional tons for export.179 Later figures were more modest. The Yearbook of 1947–9 estimated that the 6oz per week ration permitted a saving of about 8000 tons of butter per annum, ‘although this figure may be slightly high because of a possible insufficient allowance for the increase in farm-made butter, and also because of the greatly increased use of industrial margarine which may to some extent become a permanent feature of New Zealand's economy.’180 Baker has: ‘It was estimated that restrictions on the use of butter by consumers and by manufacturers reduced per head consumption in New Zealand by a quarter, and made available an page 826 extra 8000 tons a year for export or supply to the United States Forces.’181

Butter rationing modified housekeeping substantially. With unlimited butter at ls 6d a pound, many women were used to ‘slapping a bit of butter into almost everything’.182 They now had to practise restraint, saving to make their soldiers' cakes and family treats.183 Those who cut lunches felt the pinch most. There were letters of complaint to newspapers, such as one claiming unfairness to workers. Professional business men and women could buy hot lunches, and timber workers, being organised, had made their stand. Other workers relied on cold lunches, often without even a cup of tea, ‘yet a Government calling itself “Labour” would cut out their bit of butter.’184 An irate mother wrote:

If it [butter rationing] is a necessity, it jolly well shouldn't be! Our Government knew we would have to produce more food, but did they organise the armed forces to keep the farmers on the land? Not they! Thus a bigger butter rationing than need be. This is the first time I've been thankful that my elder, growing son is in the Air Force, as he will then get all the butter he needs, but what of my other three children? By the time their school lunches are cut there is nothing at all for breakfast and tea. It is bad enough to be without or very short of sultanas, bananas, raisins, baked beans, dates, honey and eggs for school lunches, but without butter, too, it is a bit too much.185

There were various butter-stretching devices: for instance, equal quantities of warm milk could be worked into butter, and softened butter into which gelatine dissolved in milk was skilfully beaten would spread over a lot of bread.

By late 1942 in daily newspapers, women's pages had shrunk to a few inches, usually reporting weddings and meetings, but the Woman's Weekly, which since 1941 had advised copiously on saving all sorts of materials and effort, proffered recipes using minimal butter, sugar and eggs, as did women's columns in weeklies or periodicals such as Truth or the New Zealand Exporter. The virtues of good dripping and of cod fat, supplied by the butcher and rendered down in the oven, became widely known. Women exchanged recipes in which dripping, golden syrup, vinegar, glycerine, lemon juice and custard powder replaced butter and eggs. On weekday mornings, page 827 over the commercial radio, ‘Aunt Daisy’186 broadcast. While advertising, this remarkable woman contrived, through homely warmth, great practicality and a touch of Providence, to achieve wide rapport with housewives and she gave national publicity to recipes and improvisations sent in by contributors. This ‘Daisy Chain’ was printed in the New Zealand Listener.

Cook books, produced sometimes by commercial concerns, sometimes by local organisations for patriotic purposes, appeared advising how to get the most out of one's rations. Self-Help Wartime Cooking Suggestions listed its puddings, cakes, breads and biscuits in groups such as ‘no butter, no eggs’ or ‘one oz. butter, one egg’. The diet-conscious Red Cross Wartime Rationing Cookery Book187 concentrated on ‘the Lunches, High Teas and intermediate meals so popular in New Zealand’ amid its biscuits and cakes and puddings. The foreword, dated November 1943, spoke only of sugar and butter shortages, most of it having gone to press before meat rationing was announced, but that event was hailed on an early, altered, page188 with thrifty advice. Many meatless or nearly meatless dishes, using vegetables and cheese, and others with liver, sausages, rabbit, tongue, etc, were included, but ‘Fish, as an alternative in price or availability we are almost afraid to mention.’

Margarine had become unavailable to housewives. It had proved the most suitable cooking fat for the United States forces in the tropics, and to meet resulting contracts it was decided to withdraw domestic pats from the shops, concentrating on bulk production.189 All buyers and retailers were fully supplied during November but thereafter margarine for bakers and cake manufacturers was, like butter, cut by one-third.190 In cake shops the most butter-demanding items disappeared; there were more sponges, more scones, rock-cakes, buns, cheese muffins and doughnuts adorned with dollops of mock cream. Trays under counters held less, though window displays were bravely maintained.191 Supply routines developed, such as that in a Remuera cake shop which each morning before a certain hour filled with women awaiting the arrival of sponges, and filled again in the afternoon as they waited for hot scones.192

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Cheese was rationed only to the extent that supplies on the local market were restricted to the level of the 1942–3 season.193 During the war cheese in New Zealand was almost entirely cheddar, mild to tasty; the many varieties available today were to appear gradually in the post-war era, beginning with blue-vein. Much less cheese was eaten. Statistics in 1942 showed the average annual consumption per head as five pounds, compared to 42 pounds of butter.194

Another shortage which affected cooking may be mentioned here. Early in the war, cream of tartar, the base for most rising agents used in cakes, scones, biscuits, puddings, etc, disappeared. It was replaced by phosphate baking powders which, unlike cream of tartar preparations, did not begin aerating when cold liquid was added; the process began only when heat also was applied. Cooks, both domestic and commercial, had to adapt to this change, along with using wartime flour from which less bran and wheatgerm had been extracted. Mixtures needed to be rather moister than of yore, needed less initial heat, and benefited from a pause before baking.195

The risk of finding his produce surplus to the market is the farmer's ancient dread. At the outset of the war, when Britain contracted with the New Zealand government to buy all the country's exports in meat, wool, butter and cheese, farmers were confident that all they could offer would be needed by Britain; ‘increase production’ was a prevailing slogan, ‘farm or fight’ another.196 These were comfortable words for those remembering the struggle to sell meat and butter and wool in the Depression, still not a decade away. There was special pleasure in the early clearance of 1 million ewe carcasses, comprising much of the more than 40 000 tons accumulated in store.197 Loss of ships, a major feature of the early war, pressed particularly against the meat trade, supplies from South America being so much closer to the United Kingdom. There was no arrangement to idemnify farmers who could not sell their stock to companies whose stores bulged with meat that could not be shipped, and the prospect of unwanted mutton plagued 1941.198

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In the contracts for 1941–2 canning was stressed: originally there were contracts for 37 150 tons of meat in cans, the equivalent of 111 500 tons in carcasses, along with 190 000 tons of frozen meat. Actual liftings of frozen meat were larger than expected, totalling about 297 866 tons.199 In October 1942 Britain undertook to buy during the calendar year 1943 meat totalling 328 000 tons, but by April 1943 the shipping situation was improving and meat targets rose: Britain wanted all that New Zealand could export.

The public was aware of these arrangements, but did not know that the British government in April 1943 also suggested that any increase in exports from control of consumption in New Zealand would be very welcome.200 As with butter, the New Zealand government found this proposal inopportune before the election, though inevitably the idea grew in responsible minds. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture mentioned in the House on 29 July 1943 that meat rationing might become necessary, and Opposition member W. Poilson, while saying that New Zealand would tighten its belt if necessary to help the Mother country, reminded that in 1914–18 farmers were enticed to greater efforts in beef production by increased prices.201 Occasionally press and primary production leaders spoke of Britain's needs and New Zealand's plenty. Thus the Press on 2 August 1943 stated that the New Zealander who every year ate 421b of butter, 140 to 150lbs of beef, 85lb of mutton and lamb and 221b of pigmeats, ‘will not look without a sort of shame at the British ration scale—a dab of butter, a morsel of cheese, a scrap of meat.’ A Dairy Board member in October claimed that if meat consumption were reduced by one pound per person per week, 34 500 additional tons would be available for export.202 As with butter, some farmers complained that falling production was due to the government's not recognising the place of farming in the economy and the war effort.203 Others spoke of the need for heavier beasts and higher prices.204 Bankes Amery,205 assistant secretary of the British Ministry of Food, visiting Australia and New Zealand late in 1943, broadcast his confidence that these countries, regardless of hardship, would see that Britain's weekly meat and dairy rations— 1s 2d worth of meat, 2oz butter, 3oz cheese—were maintained. Nash, page 830 as Deputy Prime Minister, hoped that the people of Australia and New Zealand would think out and decide what was the maximum they should do to sustain the people of Britain in health and strength till the enemy was defeated; he would make no comment on the question whether such considerations would imply meat rationing in New Zealand.206 There were newspaper references to meat rationing in the United States and Canada207 and at the end of October Australia announced that its meat rationing would begin in the New Year.208

Meanwhile, there were increasing demands from United States forces, especially for beef and for diminished pigmeats—the check to meat shipments in 1941, the change from butter to cheese (using whole milk) and shortage of labour had set back the pig population. From May 1943 all pork sales on the civilian market were prohibited, bacon was limited though not rationed and there were no hams at Christmas.209 Beef was sometimes short in butchers' shops on account of price pressure, for while retail prices were fixed wholesale prices were not, and many butchers could afford little of it.210

In the inner councils, on 15 November 1943, the British Ministry of Food representative was blunt: the British meat ration, 1s 2d worth a week, less than a pound weight, was in danger unless Australia and New Zealand could increase their exports. Meat consumption in both countries was higher than that in the United States, Australia was to begin rationing in January, and the United States would undoubtedly expect New Zealand to contribute to the British ration. War Cabinet decided on 13 December 1943 to introduce meat rationing.211

This was not made known until details were worked out, though hints were dropped. For instance, a member of the Meat Board on 17 December, in talks with the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the only way to maintain Britain's meat was to ration New Zealand's.212 Sullivan, Minister of Supply, on 26 December talked of Canada's 2lb a week and of American and Australian rationing.213 The Prime Minister, when visiting Australia in mid-January, said that there was every likelihood of New Zealand following suit.214 page 831 Sullivan on 28 January said that plans for rationing on a value basis as in Britain, but more liberally, would soon be completed,215 and there were further statements to this effect in the first days of February, along with propaganda items.216 On 16 February when it was announced that meat rationing would begin on 6 March 1944, New Zealand was not surprised.

It was intended that civilian consumption should be reduced by one-third. Everyone over five years old was entitled to 1s 9d worth a week, rising to 2s in seasonal price fluctuations, which meant about 2½lb or rather less of more expensive cuts. Children under five years had half rations, and babies under six months had none. Sheets of coupons were issued and pasted into current ration books. For each week there was a row of five coupons valued at 3d and an H coupon for the balance of the ration, worth 6d in the cheaper season, 9d at other times. Each new row became available on a Monday and was current for two weeks. Farmers could kill and share as usual, but could not sell without a permit. The only workers to get extra rations were underground miners and bushmen and timber workers in back country districts, who received additional coupons worth 10½d a week,217 but some groups, provided with meals by their employers when working overtime, refused to use their coupons for rationed meat and objected to mince.218

Sausages, mince, oxtail, heart, liver, kidneys, brains, tripe, assorted hocks, shins, trotters, flaps and cheeks, and bones were not rationed, nor were poultry, rabbits (which were plentiful), bacon or fish. Makers of pies would get two-thirds of their usual supplies. Restaurants had difficulties. They had to collect coupons for each serving of rationed meat, and were allowed 50 per cent more rationed meat than their coupon returns. Thus for an average meal a 3d coupon was collected and 4½d worth of meat served. Grills which by price regulations were supposed to be 80z of raw steak were plainly impossible and reduction to 5oz was authorised.219 Previously, most of the restaurant trade was in now-rationed meats, but customers now concentrated on non-rationed lines: during the first three weeks the face value of coupons collected was about 10 per cent of pre-rationing meat purchases. Not surprisingly, restaurants wanted two-thirds of their pre-ration supplies and no coupons,220 but this would have been highly unfair to those who did not eat at restaurants. The page 832 challenge was met in various ways, sometimes on the lines suggested by an advertisement: ‘No coupons … Chop Suey and a variety of special Chinese dishes prepared by first class Chinese chefs’.221 For the more conservative majority, the undefined braised steak, the haricot mutton, the colonial goose, etc, helped to eke out the 41/2d average.

Butchers also had their problems. Coupons were no mere façade and bank tellers, skilled in counting notes and coins, and in making rigid balances, gave authority to the scheme. Each day's coupons were placed in an envelope with a coupon deposit slip and handed to a teller, who checked them and gave the butcher a credit slip. This banking had to be done at least once a week. The bank's credit slips, with other supporting evidence, accompanied the butchers' four-weekly returns to rationing authorities.222

Most people tended to use non-rationed sausages, mince and offal early in the week, saving their coupons for week-end roasts etc; because retailers' supplies were reduced by one-third, on Saturday mornings it was impossible to meet all demands, some shops being cleared of roasts, joints, etc, by 9 o'clock.223 The demand for mince became so heavy that on 12 May mince and its making—thin flanks, ox and mutton skirts, trimmings, skins, etc—moved on to the rationed list. Demands by restaurants, boarding houses and hotels for unrationed meats were so large that from 17 April the Food Controller directed that these could be no more than one-third of their whole supply. These steps were necessary because the total quantity of meat used was not being reduced: in fact there was, in the fourth week of rationing, an increase of 3.36 per cent. Some butchers said that interest in meat seemed heightened by rationing: people were buying up to the limits of their coupons, and all their usual unrationed lines as well.224 In July, after four months in which some idea emerged of average retail demands, the system was tightened towards achieving the desired one-third reduction: already, reported the Auckland Star, it was increasingly difficult for even long-standing customers to get rationed meat without the prescribed coupons. Henceforth butchers were to receive 100lb meat for every £2 15s 10d of coupons banked in the preceding fortnight.225 Already there were reports of some people getting rid of their cats and dogs, amid the anguish of animal lovers. In September a line of evasion page 833 was closed when regulations stopped hotels and other institutions from augmenting rations from their own farms.226

Official estimates after a year made the rate of saving about 22 000 tons annually,227 but the Yearbook in October 1945 reckoned that savings would yield an additional 35 000 tons for export.228 Later the same authority stated that as pre-rationing consumption was not known precisely, only rough calculations were possible on savings, which were probably about 10 000 tons in the last year of rationing, which ended on 27 September 1948;229 Baker adopts this figure.230

The ration, with all the supporting odds and ends, was large enough to avoid any real sacrifice, but more skilled and varied cooking was needed. Traditionally, roasts and joints were served often; now women looked up recipes to see how casseroles and stews could be varied or improved, what one could do with liver or sausages or mince or rabbit or fish, how to keep chops from shrinking. Those given to entertaining had to plan ahead, saving coupons over a fortnight for special occasions. Families with strenuous meat-eating men, hungry lads or sudden visitors came to know the solid virtues of pies, and dumplings, of various meat loaves, of rich gravy and meat-flavoured vegetables, the stretching powers of beans and breadcrumbs. Cheese, costing about 1s a pound, was more widely used, especially in cooking. Booklets appeared, with recipes and general advice, such as Stretching the Meat Ration in New Zealand: 150 ways to make your coupons go further, ‘substantial meals from cheap cuts, unrationed meats and satisfying substitutes; also recipes to save sugar, butter and eggs.’231 It could probably be said that meat rationing helped towards liberating New Zealand dinners from the dominance of the roast.

Related to shortages and rationing were austerity clothing measures, which followed overseas patterns. In Britain, to conserve labour and materials austerity regulations were brought in during the first half of 1942. These reduced variety, to encourage long, economical runs in production, especially for underwear. In women's outer wear the numbers of pleats, seams and button-holes were fixed, as were the widths of sleeves, hems and collars. Trimmings such as embroildery and appliqué work were banned. For men, the tails of shirts page 834 were shorn off two inches, pockets were limited, trouser turn-ups and double cuffs were prohibited, and legs of socks could not exceed nine and a half inches.232 There was plenty to trim off pre-war fashions in women's clothes, both in material and in the skill and energy needed to make them: they were ‘dressy’, lavish in details and in cloth and there were firm distinctions about what was appropriate for times and occasions. In New Zealand an article in December 1939 foresaw change but did not welcome it:

If we're in for a long, long war, we'll all come sooner or later to the tight split skirt that saves material. But that's a distant date. There are oodles of material about just now, so for just a little longer we may play with it. For just a little longer we may plan vacations, buy all the bits and pieces that go with them, and have our fun in the buying and planning.233

Even in Britain curtailment was not officially imposed until early 1942. Australia soon followed: in July, ‘Victory’ styles were introduced by regulations which aimed to make 113 men's suits from material which formerly produced 100. Men's coats and jackets were to be single-breasted, with fewer buttons; waistcoasts and trouser cuffs were abolished; socks would be in one of three colours only, with no patterns. Women's clothes were simplified, though within limits their makers could devise individual styles. No pleats, tucking or shirring were allowed, and leg-of-mutton sleeves were abolished, as were long evening dresses, wide belts and double-breasted coats.234

At the same time New Zealand manufacturers announced that in August simplified styles in women's and children's clothing would appear, designed to reduce the material used; they hoped that if they took action themselves, regulations such as those in Britain, Canada and the United States might be unnecessary.235 Two weeks later Sullivan, Minister of Supply, announced that to save materials and manpower clothing would be simplified though ‘nothing so drastic as is implied by the term “austerity clothing”’ would be required as yet.236

On 29 October 1942, however, regulations were gazetted for austerity clothes, on specifications prepared by the Standards Institute, which in theory at least pruned manufactured outer garments for everyone except brides, mothers-in-waiting and children under 11 years. Women and girls could not have balloon or leg-of-mutton page 835 sleeves,237 capes or hoods, or double yokes (except on school tunics) and for those over 16 years hems could not be more than two inches deep. For the slimmer sort with hips of up to 42 inches, skirts should clear the floor by 15 inches; the more matronly could have theirs five inches longer. Slacks would not have cuffs or pleats, or legs wider than 22 inches at the hem, which could not be deeper than one and a half inches. Manufacturers must not make bridge coats, wraps or coateés, suits of more than two pieces or with coats more than 10½ inches below the waist, full-length frocks or any beachwear except bathing costumes, shorts and shirts. Dresses could not have matching long coats, boleros or jackets.

For men and boys, shirts must not have double cuffs, nor pockets, neck reinforcements, slide fasteners, laced fronts or more than five front buttons. Their coats could not be double-breasted, could not have belts or half-belts, pleats or yokes, unused buttons, more than four pockets (and these without flaps or tabs) or hems greater than one and a half inches. The same held for sports coats, though these could have only three pockets. Blazers could not have linings or ornamental braid. Waistcoasts were not to be double-breasted or to have backstraps. Trousers could not have cuffs, pleats or extended bands or ankle width exceeding 20 inches. Restrictions would not apply to clothes already ordered if they were completed within three months.238

Though a few fashion experts deplored the extinction of the dress and coat ensemble—‘the basis of the well-dressed woman's wardrobe’239—the female curtailments produced no outcry. Embroidery, braid and pin-tucks were not proscribed. The regulations did not order skirts shorter than was currently fashionable, said a Wellington draper; bridge coats, playsuits, and evening gowns taking eight yards of material were really luxuries. He added that the regulations would divert business from clothing factories to drapers, for women would make what they could not buy.240 But in New page 836 Zealand, as in England, there were ‘howls of dismay from men deprived of their turn-ups.’241

The Minister of Supply, who claimed that no sacrifice was called for that would not yield a corresponding gain to the war effort, cited one leading manufacturer as saying that the regulations would enable him to increase his output of men's trousers by 6 per cent while reducing his price by 7½ per cent; another said that 5 or 6 per cent of material would be saved.242 It was agreed that manufacturers, cutting from bolts of material could, by carefully arranging their restricted patterns, save considerable material, besides labour and buttons. Bespoke tailors, however, resenting intrusion on their craft, pointed out that they worked from suit lengths of 3¼ yards, whatever the size of the suit. Under the regulations two handfuls of scraps would go into the waste bag instead of one handful.243 Eliminating cuffs would make no effective saving. If the government wished to save material, wrote a correspondent to the Press, let it start on the uniforms of the Army, Air Force and WAAF, whose ‘flamboyant pockets' required nearly half a yard of cloth. To ask an already depressed and worried male population to wear depressing clothes, in the name of economy, while thousands of yards of material are being needlessly wasted on these unnecessarily large pockets smacks of inefficiency.’244 This criticism was also made by an Auckland tailor who said that bellows pockets on officers' dress uniforms were wasteful and that they had been done away with under new British regulations; he further suggested that double-breasted military greatcoats could well be abolished.245

By March 1943 in Australia trouser cuffs and double-breasted coats were again permitted in tailored suits. In New Zealand, wholesalers who made about 95 per cent of the suits worn had adopted austerity designs; with bespoke tailors the legal necessities were more honoured in the breach than the observance.246 The manufacturers, harassed by requests to ignore the regularions, wanted them to be enforced on the tailors.247 The tailors saw in the regulations and the manufacturers' attitude a conspiracy to crush the individuality and high standards of their craft. On 18 March, in conference with government officials, their representatives were willing to concede all the limitations suggested except pocket flaps and trouser turn-ups, page 837 but no agreement was reached.248 Some claimed that returned men deeply resented having to buy odd-looking suits—‘is that what we've been righting for?’—and the general public, especially those taking big sizes, wanted normal styles.249 Dunedin tailors held that the regulations had been framed by certain clothing manufacturers—‘at one time called “slop-suit makers” … from the North Island’— who themselves evaded the restrictions by making trousers too long so that cuffs could be made later. ‘The cuff is the thing’, said one; if a customer could get his cuffs and trousers a little wider than 20 inches he was willing to do without pocket flaps and other non-essentials.250

Amending regulations compromised: in April 1943 mock cuffs, using one and a half inches of cloth instead of four, were permitted, and coat pockets were to be jetted, looking as if the flaps were pushed inside, instead of welted like a vest pocket. Sullivan admitted that the long-established trouser cuff was apparently more than just a fashion; expressions of opinion, widely representative, had shown that the total abolition of the cuff had caused more feeling than the saving warranted.251 The Auckland Star commented that New Zealanders were docile, usually accepted any ukase which authority imposed without questioning either the authority or the necessity. ‘But once every so often they show an unexpected and exasperating streak of stubbornness, and then authority, after it has kicked them around a little, graciously gives way and the people, satisfied with a temporary triumph, slip back into the yoke again. We have just had one of the few instances of their obstinacy since the war began.’252 Trouser-makers in general restored cuffs, true or false.

Authority did a little kicking towards the end of 1943. Sullivan explained that as it was necessary when seeking material overseas to show that conservation measures were in full force, there would be prosecutions for breaches.253 Soon after, the first prosecution was taken against a strong-spirited Dunedin merchant tailor who on 30 January had told an Industries and Commerce officer that short of not making double-breasted suits he did not intend to comply with the restrictions.254 Other warning prosecutions, originating in September, page 838 followed, with £3 fines for trousers cuffs, pocket flaps, buttons on sleeves and more than four pockets on a coat.255

When Britain's austerity suits were abolished early in February 1944, tailors hoped that the ‘farcical situation’ in New Zealand would end.256 The New Zealand Herald thought that if Britain could do without these suits New Zealand should be able to, and the authorities would be wise to take this step at the earliest possible moment. ‘The war effort will not suffer noticeably.’257 Sullivan explained that enforcement must continue. On manufacturers' suits the saving was considerable and though he realised that with bespoke tailors austerity meant actual waste, if they were exempt trade would go to them from the manufacturers, reducing saving. He added that Britain exported suiting, New Zealand was an importer.258 Less than two months later, on 21 April, some relaxations of austerity were gazetted. These permitted double-breasted coats where there was no waistcoat, flaps on pockets, trousers with waist pleats and full cuffs, their width not exceeding 22 inches.259 The Auckland Star at the end of 1944 reported that suits were once more appearing with pocket flaps, trouser cuffs, coat sleeves with the little useless slits at the back, sometimes adorned with a couple of buttons, and more pockets than a year ago.260 Not content with these concessions, some Auckland manufacturers, claiming that the best use of the material was in the double-breasted coats for which the public was clamouring, produced large stocks of double-breasted overcoats, which they were not allowed to sell.261

The regulations of October 1942 had sought economies in outer wear and in men's and boys' shirts and pyjamas. Three months later, in January 1943, the Factory Controller sought also to simplify feminine underclothing and nightwear. Lounge pyjamas and evening-length slips were prohibited, dressing gowns and housecoats could not be made in certain materials.262 There could be no hand embroidery, hemstitching, appliqué work, lace or frilled edges, pockets, superfluous fastenings, or ‘other features which call for excessive processing or make undue demands on materials.’ Manufacturers realising the need to make the maximum quantity of clothing from the page 839 limited material available had co-operated with the Standards Institute in devising measurements for three basic sizes of pyjamas and nightgowns to avoid waste.263 Six weeks later ‘The new Interlock Nightdresses … cut with beautiful clinging lines’ were being advertised.264

That there was room for such curtailment during the fourth year of the war was indicated by advertisements for luxury nightwear appearing in September 1942:

It's a woman's way to sacrifice willingly and generously, to forgo, without murmur, those countless luxuries that make her days more pleasant—but to cling tenaciously, to scheme and devise by hook or by crook, to keep a modicum of elegance in her life— for without this she knows that she can never be her imperturbable, most efficient self. So it is that, with daytime clothes of more uniform severity, women seek out lingerie more entrancingly feminine than ever. To witness—the night gown illustrated—in heavy dull silk in the delicate shades—Peach, Sky, Magnolia and Cream—with self scroll braiding and fine rucking—57s 6d The same advertisement also featured a ‘Rich Satin Robe in tailored style with quilted revers, cuffs and pockets’ in seven colours, at 63s.265 A year later, despite the simplifications gazetted in January, a very similar robe was advertised: ‘… Well cut and finished, with delightful quilted Collar, Cuffs and Pocket. Shimmering Satin in lovely clear colours’, at 64s 3d.266

Many day clothes sketched or described in advertisements showed no signs of wartime austerity. A frock of black jersey crepe, pleated back and front, the belt and neck trim of open roulette work, cost 8 guineas.267 Much less expensive but hardly austere were frocks ‘specially cut for the petite figure’ in grosgrain silk marocain and crêpe, with full swing skirts. ‘Some have bodices trimmed with pin-tucks or hand embroidery, others are studded with novelty metal effects … from as low as 79s 6d.’268 A distinctive afternoon frock in moon blue moss crêpe, with fine tucking trims on back and front of the bodice, a skirt of knife pleats, and tucked bias pockets, sold for 10 guineas.269 A two-piece black silk suit with an almost wrist-length coat, self-material embroidery and pin-tucks cost £10 19s 6d.270 A frock in dull black crepe, its eight-gored skirt topped page 840 by a hip-length tunic, was trimmed with self black braiding and stain applique, at 10 guineas.271 For younger wearers there was ‘the Short Dress for impromptu night life, … Swishing taffetas allied to silk nets, queenly velvets enriched with gold and georgettes dense and black … at 4 to 6 guineas’.272 Frequently the elaborately trimmed frocks and suits were in large sizes. ‘For the mature figure … velvet appliqued Silk Crepe with flattering bodice treatment, gathered bracelet sleeves and a slim skirt knife-pleated in back and front’, in black and navy, about £6 10s.273 ‘Dressy afternoon frocks’, in satin back silks, bodices gathered and tucked, finished with applique and fancy stitching, priced from 5 to 8 guineas, were for leisured women.274 But ruffles and sequins appeared on some youth-style dresses: ‘… twilight blue sequins on sheer black crêpe … cleverly shorn of unnecessary details. … It is not just another street length frock but, in reality, has the dignity and charm of a full length evening dress …. a year round asset for gala occasions,’ at £7 18s.275

There were many advertisements for frocks much less elaborate, in wool, linen, nearly-linen, so-called silk, in spun and sheer fabrics, and cottons, in plain colours, florals, spots and stripes. Advertisements not infrequently stressed that they were easy to wash and iron. Simplification without meagreness was their main feature. Many were variants of a few basic patterns. The shirtwaist style was prominent, often with pleated skirts, fullness at waist and shoulders accommodating a range of figures. Frocks buttoning right down the front, again often with pleated skirts, were popular, as were cross-over bodices, another shape admitting fullness. The ‘diamond’ midriff with a tie belt also accommodated a range of sizes.276 Pin-tucks often decorated sleeves, pockets and bodices. Thrifty pinafore frocks appeared in 1944. Prices ranged according to fabric and style; there were many between £3 and £5, with cottons often between £1 and £2.277 There was more variety available than the above might indicate: not all dresses were advertised, and for dressmakers and women who made their own clothes there was no limitation in style. Classic suits in tweed or worsted appeared regularly, single-breasted, with close fitting jackets. Coats grew plainer; by 1944 the ‘camel hair’ page 841 coat, in fawn colour, with three buttons and a tie belt, was widespread.278 The short ‘reefer’ type saved material. ‘Coats take a short cut this year,’ announced a 1944 advertisement. ‘They favour the jacket length—perfect for topping a slim skirt.’279

There was a widespread tendency, encouraged by advertising, to oppose the dreariness of war with glamour. Advertisements persuaded that one would boost morale, comfort and reward the fighting men, sustain one's own usefulness, by wearing this lipstick, hat, frock or housecoat. There was also, as prices gradually rose, as material declined in quality and coupons imposed caution, a drive to conserve and to make over, encouraged by reports of such exploits in England. According to an Auckland Star article in March 1943, women's clothes were not shabby, but in mass they looked more sombre than of yore and were more practical. Women were achieving smartness and originality through ingenuity plus careful planning. Coupons were adequate for all but the extravagant or brides-to-be, who were usually helped out by family and friends. Coupon-free hats could brighten outfits and lift morale.280 Helpfully, fashions had changed very little in the last three or four years. There was not the variety of rich and colourful material that there used to be, but attractive materials were still displayed and could be made up at home. There was something of a cult in brightening up dresses with new belts, embroidery, changes of collar.281 Both home and professional dressmakers were making smart new clothes out of old ones, cutting up, turning, dyeing and joining new material to old.282 Home dressmaking classes, with special advice on using remnants, were popular.283

One notable change was the increased use of slacks by women. At the war's start, these were considered rather daring or for home Use only. Their practicality made them highly respected in England's Blitz and New Zealand opinion followed faithfully. In December 1942 a Wellington store with ‘an enormous stock of slacks of all kinds’, priced between 25 and 30 shillings plus 5 coupons, declared: ‘Everyone is wearing slacks these days. Everyone knows how comfortable they are, either on or off duty. Wherever you are, or whatever you are doing, a well-made pair of slacks is an essential item in your wardrobe.’284 Almost no one would have thought of wearing page 842 slacks to an office but they eased the stocking problem at weekends and evenings at home and, worn with thick socks, helped to offset the shortage of firewood, coal and electricity. But even at the war's end, slacks were not considered proper for women in public. In 1945 a woman in immaculately tailored slacks was turned away from a beach dance although men, ‘in shorts, displaying braces and wearing their shirts hanging out’, were admitted.285

The contrivance of new clothes from old ones or from bits and pieces was prominent in children's wear. ‘You wouldn't dream of buying new material for crawlers,’ writes a wartime mother, ‘but old shirts and coats were unpicked and made up to keep the little ones warm. I used to cut the tops off men's socks, when the feet were worn out, herring-bone the raw edge and pull them up on the sleeves of the children's jerseys and cardigans. They kept the sleeves clean and kept their hands warm too. A stitch between thumb and first finger made the sock into a mitten if you wished. I used them on my own jerseys to keep them clean and stop them wearing out.’286 Mothers contrived both warmth and style from old material and odd skeins of wool. A thrifty practice was to make the skirt and bodice of a girl's frock from winter material with knitted yoke and sleeves, giving the effect of a pinafore-frock over a jersey. ‘A similar idea was used for boys' cardigans—back, sleeves and front strapping all knitted, but the fronts were from the legs of Dad's old greys. These old greys also furnished pleated skirts of small girls—two legs from the knees down were joined together and pleated on to a bodice.’287 With wool hard to buy in any quantity, jerseys and cardigans were knitted with colour contrasts; often the tops of sleeves and the welts on cardigans were a different colour from the main part. Factory ends of khaki and air force blue woollen material came into many families and were dyed navy for boys' pants.288

School uniforms were modified slightly by war shortages. Pre-war, secondary schoolgirls usually wore pleated gym tunics and long stockings. A few private schools, some drawing staffs and standards from England, had in the late Thirties introduced ankle socks for summer, with unpleated cotton tunics and collarless blouses, though stockings were worn for any appearance in public. Black stockings became scarce during 1940 and in October the headmistress of Nelson College for Girls, following British wartime precedents, led the way into liberalism and economy by permitting bare legs and tennis page 843 socks.289 At about the same time the principal of Wanganui College for Girls stated that the black socks and sandals then worn within the school grounds would soon, if black stockings became scarce or too expensive, be permitted in the streets.290 At Auckland, the Takapuna Grammar School Board decided that in summer boys would go sockless in sandals or tennis shoes, while girls would discard their long stockings for white socks with sandals, pointing out that both stockings and socks were quite unsuitable for hot weather.291

In Christchurch during March 1941, at the Technical College, Rangiruru and three girls' high schools, it was decided that girls should don stockings to go to and from school, but leave them off within the grounds to save wear. At St Margaret's College, with the consent of parents, girls could wear their socks in the streets, and gloves were not worn with short-sleeved blouses.292

Stockings were not the only shortage. Navy blue woollen shirts were customary wear, all year round, in many boys' schools, but by 1942 many woollen goods were scarce. At Mt Albert Grammar, in February 1942, boys were encouraged to wear white silk shirts instead, while sandals without socks were also officially permitted.293 When clothes rationing began in 1942 the Rationing Controller decided that children at uniform-wearing schools would not have the privilege of extra coupons, though a standard issue of 26 coupons in excess of the general quota was made in each ration period for all children between the ages of 5 and 16 years. It was officially stated that though in normal times uniforms had many commendable features, in the pressing interests of clothing economy strict adherence should be forgone for the duration, especially for initial outfits, but as clothing wore out it should be replaced with uniform.294 The Minister of Education in January 1943 asked school principals to relax uniform rules where these meant hardship to parents or waste of clothing; many schools had already reduced their demands for special shades and materials, thus easing pressure on a clothing industry preoccupied by the needs of the forces.295 Meanwhile systems for buying and selling second-hand school uniforms were proving successful.296

In August 1943 there were reports that Auckland Grammar School Board members had said that pupils who could not afford grammar page 844
Black and white cartoon drawing of older men standing in a kitchen in nightware, with one man filling a hot water bottle saying "Thank Goodness You Released These Rubber Hot Water Bottles, Dan!". The text of the cartoon reads: An Acute Shortage of Winter Pyjamas For Men is at Present Causing Grave Concern to Members of the Public — News

we have no pyjamas to-day

school uniforms could go to district high schools and that they were not of the class that would benefit from grammar school education. This attitude was not encouraged by the Prime Minister, who said that he had never known a child who could not benefit from education; if one could not benefit from grammar school education then grammar schools were obsolete, which was not true of the fine schools at Auckland.297 A few months later two Nelson colleges declared that no pupil would be barred for inability to provide uniform, though uniform was to be adhered to as far as possible.298

It did not follow that when clothes were rationed there were enough of all sorts to go round. During the last two years of the war some of the most troublesome shortages were in utility clothing: working trousers and singlets, men's pyjamas and shirts and children's clothing. In November 1942 the United Mine Workers' annual meeting asked the Minister of Supply to ensure sufficient working trousers and singlets at reasonable cost.299 In February 1943 the Waimate Farmers' Union deplored the shortage of working clothes, as did Dunedin's Industrial Manpower Committee, saying that there was ‘actual distress’ in some parts of the South Island, particularly in Southland.300 There were widespread complaints of page 845 insufficient clothes for children301 and of scarce pyjamas.302 Sullivan on 13 August 1943 stated that the New Zealand industry would switch over as far as possible to civilian needs, catching up on clothing, particularly pyjamas, and footwear shortages.303 In October he explained to the Christchurch Consumers' League that through devotion to military needs, stocks of children's clothing had ‘become very depleted’. With Service requirements lessening, local mills would soon be producing civilian flannel, fingering wool, underwear, and serge for school clothes, while from overseas large quantities of wincyette and interlock would shortly be arriving and would immediately be made up in various factories; improvement was definitely assured.304 Less optimistically the chairman of the Canterbury Manufacturers' Association said on 29 July 1943 that though priority had been given to certain New Zealand-made goods—men's working and flannel trousers, worsted suiting, boys' and girls' jerseys, girls' gym hose, knitting wools, blankets, overcoating and sports coating— no big releases could be expected quickly: it would take three months for the woollen mills to get into production on these standard lines and several more months for the made-up goods to reach the shops.305 Complaints and promises were repeated, priorities listed, surveys and plans made, a National Garment Control Council and district committees formed.306 With all this effort, by 5 April 1944 Sullivan was not able to indicate with certainty when pyjamas would be available in substantial quantities.307

A potent factor in the continued shortage was the difficulty of ensuring that available labour was used for utility lines, on which price control was strict, whereas on luxury goods the profit was much higher. Manpower officers were instructed that new labour entering the industry was not to work on luxury clothing308 and in May 1944 it was announced that in the clothing industry there would soon be a six-months' transfer of labour to sections where there was serious shortage of production from those, mainly the frock section, where there was no shortage.309 Also, as a clothing trade unionist explained, some factories, while constantly calling for labour, had worked no page 846 overtime since the war's start, thereby keeping down both costs and production.310

Late in August 1944 the Auckland Star, quoting the president of the Clothing Retailers' Federation, drew attention to the many industrial sewing machines that were idle for lack of machinists, claiming that there were 300 such in Auckland alone, while returned men were desperate for shirts, pyjamas and suits. There was plenty of pyjama material in the country but not enough operatives to handle it, while for suits there was not enough material. Between Auckland and Invercargill, a survey of 28 representative stores had found in all only 440 suits. There was a strong case for directing women from the armed forces into clothing factories and both men and women to the mills. This theme was repeated, with a variation, by a correspondent whose business took him to factories and workrooms where he saw many industrial machines idle and many young women making luxury lines. How, he asked, were firms getting away with it while there was such a shortage of clothing for returned men?311 The Department of Labour, in its 1944–5 report, commented on the disappointing lack of co-operation of some manufacturers in the making of utility garments and on the preference of women workers for making women's and girls' wear.312

The government at length tackled the price factor with subsidies: men emerging from the forces should be able to buy clothes at prices not much above those that they remembered. Apart from subsidies, price tribunal control was tightened while wholesale and retail margins were reduced wherever possible. Suits, working trousers and boys' shorts were three clearly defined items for which price stability was particularly important. Subsidies were carefully placed so that non-essential goods were not subsidised. For men's suits they were placed on those of medium and lower grade materials, not on the more expensive cloth. This meant, explained Sullivan in December 1944, that suits of imported material were available at £10 to £12, instead of £12 to £14 without subsidy, while suits of a ‘good New Zealand material’ were coming on the market at between £6 14s 6d and £8 10s. At least 2000 would be in the shops before Christmas and 5000 more by the end of March 1945. Boys' shorts would be widely available, at 11s 6d to 13s 3d for 11–12-year-olds; working trousers, of New Zealand cloth, were selling at 30 to 35 shillings. These prices, he claimed, represented the values of 1940 rather than of 1942. Production was increasing notably in shirts and pyjamas: in the first 10 months of 1944 some 240 000 working shirts were page 847 produced, and 534 000 others. Sullivan warned, however, that temporary shortages would still occur in some lines.313

Sullivan's ‘good New Zealand material’ was viewed less enthusiastically by retailers. Their spokesman at the end of August 1944 said that local mills normally made only 50 per cent of New Zealand's worsteds, and the Services were still taking much of them. Some worsted was being imported from Australia, but not nearly enough for demand, and an ‘emergency cloth’ had been made locally. Some 300 000 yards of this tweedy material were being used for making suits, overcoats, flannel trousers, sports coats, work trousers, women's coats and gym frocks. Experience had shown that the material was unsuitable for men's suits, girls' gym frocks and sports coats, though it had partly filled the gap regarding overcoats and shorts.314

Meanwhile there were occasional gladdening advertisements: ‘English suiting—just arrived—a range of the latest blue tonings in worsted fabrics. Hugh Wright's provide the experienced styling and perfect fitting of a suit to your individual measurements. For four years we have wanted to make an offer like this. £14 10s.’315 Gradually the meagre supply of men's clothing became adequate, as both local and overseas industry eased back towards normal production, but suits were treated with respect, while on good shirts worn collars were carefully turned and fraying cuffs were shortened.

Led by banks and post offices, several services matched reduced staffs with shorter hours. From 9 February 1942 banks, previously open from 10 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday and 9.30 to 11.30 am on Saturdays, closed an hour earlier on weekdays and at 11 on Saturday mornings, though diminished staffs worked 44 hours weekly instead of 40. Also, bank holidays in honour of St Patrick, St George, St Andrew and Dominion Status ended.316

In 1939 there were 1705 post offices and 2568 street letter-boxes. Post and Telegraph staff, mostly permanent, totalled 12 211; in addition, 1603 country postmasters and telephonists, and 88 railway officers combined postal duties with other work.317 War brought extra duties, such as oil fuel control, impressment of motor vehicles, payment of soldiers' allotment warrants, National Savings, with fewer staff. Pre-war, post and telegraph offices had been open until 8 pm page 848 on weekdays and until 5 pm on Saturdays. In May 1940 these hours had been trimmed in all but the principal post offices, with Saturday half-holidays and tea-breaks between 5.30 and 7 pm introduced; some small offices closed at 5.30 pm, and evening deliveries of telegrams were curtailed.318 In December 1941 afternoon mail deliveries to residential areas ended.319 From 2 February 1942, with more than 5000 experienced men in the forces or soon to be called up, smaller post offices closed for lunch and most services ceased at 5.30 pm on weekdays, 12.30 pm on Saturday (except in the four main centres). Telegraph counters were open until 10 pm on weekdays and 5.30 pm on Saturdays; transmission rooms opened at 9 am, had lunch and tea intervals, evening telegram deliveries were again shortened slightly and telephone accounts were sent out at six-monthly instead of monthly intervals.320

Pre-war, postmen would deliver mail to the door if they did not have to go more than 60 feet from the footpath. From late in 1940 people had been asked to help them by putting mail boxes at their gates. By February 1941 some 55 000 had complied so that in all 236 000 of New Zealand's 275 000 householders had boxes at the gate. In some small towns, such as Gisborne and Inglewood, every gate had its box; in Nelson, out of 3620 households only 70 did not have them.321 From March to April 1942, when girls began to replace men with the bicycles and mail-bags, householders who did not provide gate-boxes had to collect their mail from the nearest post office. In March, of Wanganui's 5638 residences, only 35 lacked boxes.322 In Wellington, with about 23 000 households, only 600 then lacked boxes, fewer than 40 early in May.323 Dunedin was rather slower; in April 1100 households out of 19 400 had not yet complied.324

Milk deliveries made heavy labour demands. Supplies varied greatly over the country. In several places, notably Wellington, most milk was sold by municipal milk departments, pasteurised and bottled for household delivery, but in other cities and towns milk councils supervised, through licences, sale and delivery by competing vendors. Some sold bottled pasteurised milk, others sold raw milk, ladled into billies and jugs at back doors in the very early morning. page 849 Many people preferred raw milk to pasteurised and in some places, such as Auckland and Christchurch, householders could choose raw milk from the can, raw milk bottled or pasteurised milk bottled,325 while choosing one's milkman was as normal as choosing one's grocer. Long before Japan's entry, there were proposals for zoning milk deliveries, which would reduce the consumers' choice. These had been accepted in Auckland during 1940326 but dragged until mid- 1942 in Christchurch, where there was strong concern that standards would fall with removal of competition.327

In December 1941 front gate milk delivery was resisted in Auckland, where a housewives' meeting complained of milk roundsmen selfishly imposing inconvenience, and the risks of milk contaminated and money stolen.328 In February 1942 the Auckland Milk Council advised roundsmen to seek the co-operation of their customers over daylight front gate delivery, saying that one company had already done this very successfully.329 However, two months later when the Director of National Service pressed for savings of manpower on Milk distribution, some of the Council spoke of defenceless house- Wives being harassed and regimented, and there was union opposition to roundsmen being required to deliver more milk.330

As 1942 wore on, householders were not forced but were persuaded by Manpower arguments to accept milk at their front gates. In June the Wellington Milk Department reported ‘wonderful response’ to requests to place bottles as near the front gate as possible; rounds had been increased in size and reduced in number.331 In Auckland on 10 August the Milk Council decided that from 15 September, ‘for the duration of the war only’, milk would be delivered only to points not more than six feet from the street alignment.332 Roundsmen, who normally served 45–75 gallons to between 250 and 400 customers,333 agreed to deliver 10 gallons more per man and to spend three to four hours on Mondays collecting payment where people had not agreed to putting money out or in a safe place known to the milkman. Invalids could apply for backdoor page 850 delivery.334 Despite protests such as letters signed ‘Backdoor Billie’ and ‘Liberty’,335 roundsmen reported on 16 September that 90 per cent of householders were co-operating.336 In time, acceptance of front gate milk increased the demand for milk pasteurised and bottled.

1 Unsigned article by A.E. Plischke, an architect then employed by the Housing Division, in Introduction to New Zealand, p. 137; A to J 1944, B–13, p. 5; Olssen describes in detail the development of the housing scheme; see also p. 47

2 H. T. Armstrong, Min Housing, Dominion, 3 Jul 40, p. 10; Evening Post, 17 Jul 40, p. 6

3 A to J1943, B–13, p. 9

4 For expenditure on defence construction see A to J 1946, D–3, pp. 5–6

5 Auckland Star, 31 May 41, p. 10

6 Plishke, p. 137

7 Otago Daily Times, 14 Jun 41, p. 8

8 NZ Herald, 8 Nov 41, p. 10; Dominion, 31 Dec 41, p. 7

9 NZ Herald, 13 Nov 42, p. 10

10 Evening Post, 17 Apr 42, p. 4

11 Ibid., 16 Apr 42, p. 4

12 Auckland Star, 21 Aug 42, p. 6

13 NZ Herald, 7 May 42, p. 6

14 Dominion, 25 Feb 41, p. 6; Auckland Star, 13 Mar 43, p. 4

15 see p. 801

16 Dominion, 25 Feb 41, p. 7

17 Ibid., 25 Nov 41, p. 6

18 NZ Herald, 31 Jut 42, p. 2

19 Evening Post, 1 Jun 42, p. 5

20 NZ Herald, 21 May, 18 Aug 42, pp. 5, 2

21 Ibid., 8 Apr 42, p. 4

22 Ibid., 1 Jun 42, p. 4; for wage levels see pp. 10756

23 Auckland Star, 13 Mar 43, p. 4

24 Press, 11 Mar 43, p. 4

25 Evening Post, 16 Jul 42, p. 6

26 Auckland Star, 10 Dec 42, p. 4

27 Ibid., 12 Aug 42, p. 4

28 Yearbook 1947–49, pp. 690–1

29 A to J1943, H–11, p. 13; Auckland Star, 21 Oct 42, p. 2, 2 Apr 43, p. 4

30 Dominion, 5 Nov 43, p. 4

31 Auckland Star, 24 Jun 44, p. 7

32 Firth, Cedric, State Housing in New Zealand, p. 6

33 Yearbook1940, pp. 549–50

34 Dominion, 9, 10 Jul 42, pp. 4, 4; Auckland Star, 17 Sep 42, p. 6

35 Dominion, 4 Nov 43, p. 4

36 Ibid., 5 Nov 43, p. 6

37 Auckland Star, 4 Jul 42, p. 7

38 It included Bishop St Barbe Holland, Rev Ashleigh Petch, a Methodist minister, E. Hurley, a public-minded lawyer, D. R. Wills of the YMCA, Miss Tocker of the YWCA, and was chaired by R. H. Nimmo of the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce.

39 Dominion, 23 Aug 43, p. 4

40 Ibid., 26 Nov 43, p. 4

41 Ibid., 2, 9 Dec 43, pp. 6, 6, 31 Jan 44, p. 4

42 Star-Sun, 9 Mar 43, p. 4

43 Evening Post, 17 Jun 42, p. 4

44 A to J1945, D–1, p. 22

45 Ibid., 1946, D–1, p. 52

46 Standard, 13 Jan 44, p. 1

47 Auckland Star, 19 May 44, p. 6

48 Dominion, 9 Feb 44, p. 6

49 Auckland Star, 16 Sep 44, p. 6

50 Ibid., 3 Oct 44, p. 2 & editorial

51 Ibid., 27 Sep, 28, 29 Dec 44, pp. 4, 6, 3 & 6

52 Ibid., 13 Nov 43, p. 4; Yearbook1944, p. 30

53 Auckland Star, 8 Feb 43, pp. 2, 4

54 Graham, George Samuel (1874–1952): accountant, Native Agent 1929ff; Hon Sec & exec member Te Akarana Maori Assn

55 Auckland Star, 8 Feb 43, p. 4

56 Ibid., 13 Nov 43, p. 4

57 Ibid.

58 NZ Herald, 4 Dec 43, p. 6, 29 Feb 44, p. 6

59 Evening Post, 9 Sep 43, p. 6; NZ Herald, 17 Apr 44, p. 5

60 NZ Herald, 16 Oct 42, p. 4; Auckland Star, 5 Apr 43, p. 4

61 Auckland Star, 28 Apr 44, p. 2 & editorial

62 Standard, 2 Sep 43, p. 1

63 Press, 25 Sep 43, p. 6. In Holland's administration, 1949–57, tenants occupying State rental houses were given the option of purchase, aided by State Advances loans. Yearbook 1951–2, p. 607

64 Baker, pp. 514, 518, where he quotes an allegation in the Hawera Star, 12 Mar 45, that in the sale of one Taranaki property £300 was paid by a civilian purchaser for the front door mat

65 Press, 16, 17 Jun 44, pp. 4, 4

66 Auckland Star, 13, 14 Nov 44, p. 3, editorial

67 A to J1944, D–1, p. iii

68 Ibid., 1943, C–3, p. 11

69 Ibid., 1944, C–3, p. 18

70 Ibid., 1942, 1943, 1944, 1947, all C–3, pp. 19, 10, 37, 55

71 Ibid., 1942, 1944, 1947, all C–3, pp. 19, 37, 55

72 Ibid., and 1946, C–3, pp. 29–32

73 Auckland Star, 13 Sep 44, p. 6

74 NZ Herald, 12 Sep 42, p. 8

75 Ibid., 1 Feb 44, pp. 6, 7 (photo)

76 Ibid., 7, 17 Feb 44, pp. 4, 4

77 Evening Post, 21, 22 Apr 43, pp. 4, 4 (photo)

78 Auckland Star, 23 Feb 45, p. 6

79 A to J1944, D–1, p. 16

80 NZ Herald, 11 Mar 44, p. 4 (photo)

81 NZ Listener, 26 Feb 43, p. 4

82 See p. 406

83 NZ Herald, 20 Nov 43, p. 4 (photo)

84 Dominion, 26 Nov 43, p. 4

85 Press, 12 Oct 43, p. 6

86 In the end no more than 160 000 were built. Calder, p. 535

87 Press, 4 May 44, p. 4

88 Ibid., 6, 7 Jul 44, pp. 3 (photo), 4

89 NZ Herald, 18 Nov 43, p. 2

90 Wellington Housing & Accommodation Committee, Wellington's Disgrace; in the Shadow of the Slums, a Civic Responsibility, np

91 Evening Post, 3 Jun 44, p. 5

92 Auckland Star, 18 Jul, 18 Aug, 22 Dec 44, pp. 5, 6, 4, 4 Jan, 8 Feb 45, pp. 4, 3

93 A to J1947, 1948, 1950, 1955, all B–13, pp. 14, 16, 18, 18

94 Yearbook1950, p. 453, giving cumulative figures; A to J1945, B–13, p. 7, 1946, D-1, p. 50

95 In 1939–40 5816 private sector permits were issued; 1266 in 1942–3; 3020 in 1943–4; 5466 in 1944–5; 7081 in 1945–6. Firth, p. 67; Yearbook 1950, p. 453

96 A to J1946, D–1, pp. 50–1, 1947, D–1, pp. 49–50

97 Ibid., 1947, H–18, p. 8, B–13, pp. 13–14

98 Ibid., 1944, D–1, p. iii

99 See pp. 139–41

100 Department of Agriculture, Primary Production in New Zealand (hereinafter Primary Production) 1944, p. 22

101 A to J1945, H–30, p. 8

102 Yearbook1940, p. 426

103 Primary Production 1944, p. 22

104 Ibid., 1945, p. 16; A to J1942, H–30, pp. 6, 10, 11

105 Baker, p. 200

106 Yearbook 1947–49, p. 888

107 A to J1943, H–30, pp. 6, 7, 1944, H–30, p. 10, 1945, H–30, p. 10 (all references to this final source that appear in this section refer to the first of the two tabled reports, that for the year ending 31 July 1944). Production and export figures vary in official sources, according to the months considered, and to whether the produce was graded for export, sold, shipped or held in store: eg, under the sales for export for 12 months ended 31 July 1942 are 154 595 tons of cheese, 115 524 tons of butter. Ibid., 1943, H-30, p. 20

108 Ibid., 1944, H–30, p. 7

109 Yearbook 1947–49, p. 888

110 Between September 1939 and December 1942 prices and award wages had both risen 14 per cent. Baker, p. 285

111 A to J1945, H–30(1), p. 10

112 Wood, p. 278

113 Dominion, 19 Apr 43, p. 4

114 NZ Herald, 26 Apr 43, p. 2

115 Dominion, 30 Apr 43

116 Evening Star, 3 May 43, p. 2

117 NZ Herald, 12 May 43, p. 2

118 Keesing's Contemporary Archives, vol V, 1943–1946, p. 6099

119 Dominion, 13 May 43

120 NZ Herald, 12 May 43

121 Ibid., 9 Jun 43, p. 2

122 Ibid., 28 May 43, p. 2

123 Evening Post,19 May 43, p. 4

124 NZ Herald, 7 Jun 43, p. 4

125 Dominion, 28 Jun 43

126 Dreaver, Hon Mrs Mary Manson, MBE('46), JP (1887–1961): MP (Lab) Waitemata 1941–3; MLC from 1946

127 Evening Post, 7 Aug 43, p. 6; NZPD, vol 263, pp. 615, 617

128 Truth, 15 Sep 43, p. 11

129 Evening Post, 6 Oct 43, p. 6

130 Press, 29 Sep 43, p. 2

131 Evening Star, 21 Jul 43, p. 5; Evening Post, 28 Aug 43, p. 8

132 Press, 4 Oct 43, p. 3

133 Dominion, 16, 23 Oct 43

134 Press, 13 Sep 43, p. 4

135 Ibid., 25 Sep 43, p. 4

136 Ibid., 16 Sep 43, p. 4

137 Auckland Star, 5 Oct 43, p. 4

138 Evening Post, 6 Oct 43, p. 6

139 Press, 4 Oct 43, p. 3; Auckland Star, 5, 7 Oct 43, pp. 4, 6

140 Evening Post, 8 Oct 43, p. 4

141 Ibid., 28 Oct 43, p. 6

142 ‘Cream, brandy, honey and hot water bottles are things for which a section of the public is pursuing doctors,’ said a leading Wellington practitioner. Dominion, 6 Nov 43, p. 4

143 Auckland Star, 16 Nov 43, p. 4

144 Press, 19 Nov 43, p. 4

145 Evening Post, 9 Nov 43, p. 3

146 Auckland Star, 28 Oct 43

147 Press, 29 Oct 43

48 Dominion, 29 Oct 43

149 Evening Post, 28 Oct 43

150 NZ Herald, 28 Oct 43

151 A to J1945, H–30A, p. 2

152 Dominion, 22 Apr 44, p. 6

153 Ibid., 6 Nov 43, p. 6

154 Press, 13 Sep 43, p. 4; see p. 818

155 Mrs M. Cassin, RD2, Napier, to author, 10 Sep 69

156 Press, 6 Nov 43, p. 4

157 Ibid., 10 Nov 43, p. 4

158 Ibid., 22 Dec 43

159 Dominion, 21 Jan, 1, 2 Feb 44, pp. 4, 4, 4

160 Ibid., 13 Mar 44, p. 6

161 Ibid., 2 Feb 44, p. 4; Press, 18 Dec 43, p. 4

162 Dominion, 2 Feb 44, p. 4

163 Press, 30 May 44, p. 4

164 Ibid., 7 Jul 44, p. 6

165 ‘Sawmill worker’, in a letter to ibid., 12 Nov 43, p. 6, thought that probably only a few score attended the meeting: ‘from the mill where I work not five per cent went to the meeting nor were we told in advance that the subject was going to be discussed’

166 Ibid., 9 Nov 43, p. 6

167 Ibid., 15 Nov 43, p. 6

168 Auckland Star, 11 Nov 43, p. 2

169 Ibid., 16 Nov 43

171 WHN, ‘Censorship of the Press’, chap X, p. 3, quoting telegram to editors, 15 Nov 43

172 Baker, p. 470

173 NZ Herald, 17 Feb 44, p. 5

174 Yearbook 1947–49, p. 746

175 Baker, p. 204, quoting NZ Dairy Board Annual Report 1960, p. 40

176 Evening Star, 21 Jul 43, p. 5; Evening Post, 28 Aug 43, p. 8; Dominion, 28 Oct 43, p. 4; NZ Woman's Weekly, 12 Nov 43, p. 1

177 A to J1945, H–30(1), p. 10; Evening Post, 27 Jun 45, p. 4

178 NZ Herald, 22 May 44, p. 4

179 Yearbook1945, p. 603

180 Ibid.,1947–49, p. 746. New Zealand margarine was made from beef fat. Dairy Board interests precluded a product suitable for table use, although small packets were available for cooking.

181 Baker, p. 470

182 Auckland Star, 28 Oct 43, p. 3

183 ‘The heartbreak of trying to make shortbread with a precious bit of butter and the mixture crumbled’, remembered Mrs H. D. Mitchell of Hastings to author, 9 Sep 69

184 Auckland Star, 22 Nov 43, p. 2

185 Ibid., 15 Nov 43, p. 2

186 Basham, Mrs Daisy, MBE ('56): b London, educated NZ; radio broadcaster from 1930, daily morning programme for women from 1933; overseas b'casting tours 1938, 1944, 1946; d 1963

187 Dominion, 6 Apr 44, p. 6

188 Following the 31 January entry

189 Press, 11 Oct 43, p. 4

190 Ibid., 6, 23 Nov 43, pp. 4, 6

191 Ibid., 23 Nov 43, p. 6

192 Auckland Star, 16 Aug 44, p. 4

193 A to J1945, H–30(1), p. 10

194 Yearbook1942, p. 742. The provisional consumption figures for 1977 are 17½lb cheese and 31lb butter. Ibid., 1980, p. 633

195 Galloway, S., Better Baking

196 The latter was notably uttered by F. W. Doidge, prominent National MP, in February 1940, stressing that the war effort was as much concerned with production as with recruiting. ‘Farm or fight! Let us organise for victory on both fronts.’ NZ Herald, 12 Feb 40, p. 8

197 Point Blank, 16 Oct 39, p. 3; Star–Sun, 16 Oct 40, p. 5; Ross, Wartime Agriculture, p. 258

198 For details see pp. 288–91

199 A to J1943, H–30, p. 10

200 Wood, p. 279

201 NZPD, vol 263, p. 417

202 Press, 4 Oct 43, p. 3

203 NZ Herald, 2 Nov 43, p. 2

204 Press, 29 Sep 43, p. 2; NZ Herald, 19 Nov 43, p. 4

205 Amery, William Bankes, CBE('20) (1883–1951): British govt official from 1916; Miny Food, Head Food Mission to Australia 1942–5; member Board British Phosphate Cmssn from 1946

206 NZ Herald, 19 Nov 43, p. 4

207 Press, 28 Aug, 27 Dec 42, pp. 4, 4

208 Ibid., 27 Oct, 5 Nov 43, pp. 3, 4

209 Yearbook 1947–49, p. 923; Evening Post, 14 May 43, p. 4

210 Evening Post, 30 Jul, 13 Oct 43, pp. 4, 6; Auckland Star, 11 Nov 43, p. 2; NZ Herald, 17 Nov 43, p. 2

211 Wood, p. 279

212 Auckland Star, 17 Dec 43, p. 6

213 Press, 27 Dec 43, p. 4

214 Dominion, 18 Jan 44, p. 4

215 Ibid., 29 Jan 44, p. 6

216 Ibid., 7, 9, 10 Feb 44, pp. 4, 6, 4; Taihape Times, 4 Feb 44, p. 3

217 NZ Herald, 18, 24 Mar 44, pp. 6, 2

218 Ibid., 17, 18, 22 Mar 44, pp. 2, 6, 4; Press, 20 May 44, p. 4

219 NZ Herald, 17 Mar 44, p. 4

220 Ibid., 17, 28 Mar 44, pp. 4, 6

221 Ibid., 24 Mar 44, p. 6

222 Dominion, 3 Mar 44, p. 4; Chappell, N. M., New Zealand Banker's Hundred, p. 344

223 NZ Herald, 17 Mar 44, p. 4

224 Ibid., 12 Apr 44, p. 4

225 Auckland Star, 12 Jul 44, p. 2

226 Ibid., 5 Sep 44, p. 6

227 A to J1945, H–30(2), p. 26

228 Yearbook1945, p. 603

229 Ibid., 1947–49, pp. 745, 747

230 Baker, p. 470

231 Published by NZ Dairy Exports and Farm Home Journal

232 Calder, p. 280

233 NZ Observer, 13 Dec 39, p. 19

234 Auckland Star, 27 Jul 42, p. 3

235 NZ Herald, 28 Jul 42, p. 4

236 Press, 10 Aug 42, p. 4. Cable pages that morning announced that the United States had attacked Gaudakanal.

237 The latter were not in fashion, though shoulders in the 1940s were squared and often padded.

238 Dominion, 30 Oct 42, p. 6

239 NZ Herald, 31 Oct, p. 4; Auckland Star, 30 Oct 42, p. 5. The opulence of this basis, in some cases, and the labour involved, may be gauged by a current advertisement: ‘Smartly tailored ensemble in purty colour shade. The full length coat is embroidered with open-work Appliqué design on the front edge, also the long-sleeved tailored frock. 11 guineas’. Press, 3 Nov 42, p. 3. Or: ‘… just the Ensemble you require for the Races … featuring the short tunic. A navy dull silk crepe model attractively trimmed in scroll and leaf design. The transparent yoke of double Marquisette is finished with braid trimming. Smartly cut skirt with six gores attached to silk bodice. 9 guineas.’ Ibid., 4 Nov 42, p. 5

240 Dominion, 31 Oct 42, p. 8

241 Calder, p. 280

242 Press, 3 Nov 42, 4

243 Dominion, 31 Oct 42, p. 8

244 Press, 5 Nov 42, p. 6

245 NZ Herald, 31 Oct 42, p. 6

246 Dominion, 25 Mar 43, p. 4

247 Ibid., 26 Mar 42, p. 4

248 Ibid.

249 Ibid., 27 Mar 43, p. 4; Press, 23 Mar 43, p. 4

250 Evening Star, 31 Mar 43, p. 6

251 Auckland Star, 13 Apr 43, p. 4

252 Ibid., 14 Apr 43

253 Dominion, 25 Oct 43, p. 3

254 Otago Daily Times, 6, 13 Nov 43, pp. 6, 6

255 Auckland Star, 10 Dec 43, p. 6

256 NZ Herald, 7 Feb 44, p. 2

257 Ibid.

258 Ibid., 9 Feb 44, p. 2

259 Ibid., 22 Apr 44, p. 6

260 Auckland Star, 6 Dec 44, p. 4

261 NZ Herald, 12 May 45, p. 8

262 These were: woven artificial silks in plain colours, knitted cotton or rayon, or woven cotton materials other than molleton.

263 Dominion, 15 Jan 43, p. 4

264 Press, 5 Mar 43, p. 3

265 Evening Post, 2 Sep 42, p. 6

266 Press, 24 Dec 42, p. 3

267 Evening Post, 20 Aug 43, p. 6

268 Press, 9 Mar 43, p. 3

269 Ibid., 7 Sep 43, p. 2

270 Ibid., 21 Sep 43, p. 3

271 Ibid.,17 Aug 43, p. 3

272 Dominion, 4 Mar 43, p. 6

273 NZ Herald, 6 Apr 44, p. 2.

274 Auckland Star, 24 Jun 44, p. 7

275 Ibid., 7 Oct 43, p. 7

276 NZ Herald, 23 Nov 43, p. 5

277 Evening Post, 31 Aug. 7 Sep 43, pp. 8, 7; Press, 27 Aug, 6, 10, 20, 24 Sep, 21 Dec 43, pp. 3, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3; Otago Daily Times, 22 Nov 43, p. 5; Dominion, 26 Mar, 17 Aug, 4 Nov 43, pp. 6, 3, 6, 6 Dec 44, p. 9; Auckland Star, 6 Nov 43, p. 7, 16 Mar, 24 May, 12 Jul 44, pp. 2, 7, 5

278 Dominion, 3 Apr 44, p. 3

279 Auckland Star, 24 Jun 44, p. 8

280 ‘A pretty hat is as British as Big Ben’. Ibid., 5 Aug 42, p. 3

281 Tack-on collars were coupon-free, and widely advertised.

282 Auckland Star, 22 Mar 43, p. 2

283 Ibid., 8 Aug 42, p. 4; Evening Post, 15 Sep 43, p. 8

284 Evening Post, 19 Dec 42, p. 10

285 Auckland Star, 13 Jan 45, p. 7

286 Eunice Robinson to author, 14 Sep 69

287 Mrs R. G. Spooner to author, 15 Sep 69

288 Ibid.

289 NZ Herald, 9 Oct 40, p. 9

290 Ibid., 16 Oct 40, p. 9

291 Ibid., 24 Oct 40, p. 8

292 Otago Daily Times, 11 Mar 41, p. 8

293 NZ Herald, 6 Feb 42, p. 6

294 Education Gazette, 15 Oct 42, p. 255

295 Dominion, 29 Jan 43, p. 4

296 Auckland Star, 2 Dec 42, p.

297 Dominion, 16 Aug 43, p. 4

298 NZ Herald, 11 Apr 44, p. 4

299 United Mine Workers' Minutes, 25 Nov 42, p. 117

300 Press, 9, 26 Feb 4,3, pp. 4, 4

301 Ibid., 7 Jul, 16 Aug 43, pp. 2, 3; Dominion, 14 Jul 43, p. 3

302 Press, 6, 9 Aug 43, pp. 4, 4; Auckland Star, 30 Aug 44, p. 6

303 Evening Post, 13 Aug 43, p. 3

304 Press, 5 Oct 43, p. 4

305 Ibid., 30 Jul 43, p. 6

306 NZ Herald, 17 Apr 44, p. 4; Press, 6 Aug, 9, 12 Dec 43, pp. 6, 4, 2. The National Council did not include representatives of wholesale and retail trades, or of the workers who made the goods

307 NZ Herald, 5 Apr 44, p. 6

308 Press, 3 Nov, 9 Dec 43, pp. 2, 4

309 Auckland Star, 22 May 44, p. 6

310 Press, 22 Dec 43, p. 2

311 Auckland Star, 30 Aug, 6 Sep 44, pp. 6, 4

312 A to J1945, H–11A, p. 48

313 Dominion, 25 Oct, 9 Dec 44, pp. 6, 8

314 Auckland Star, 30 Aug 44, p. 6

315 Ibid., 18 Jul 44, p. 6

316 Press, 31 Jan 42, p. 6; Chappell, p. 344

317 Yearbook1940, pp. 363, 370

318 Evening Post, 29 May 40, p. 11

319 NZ Herald, 12 Dec 41, p. 8

320 Evening Post, 24 Jan 42, p. 6

321 Dominion, 8 Feb 41, p. 12

322 Wanganui Herald, 13 Mar 42, p. 2

323 Dominion, 13 Mar, 6 May 42, pp. 4, 4

324 Otago Daily Times, 14 Apr 42. p. 4

325 Press, 22 Jan 43, p. 2

326 NZ Herald, 3 Dec 40, p. 13

327 Press, 15, 22 Jan, 3 Feb, 6 Mar 42, pp. 4, 3, 4, 4, 24 Apr, 6, 9, 12, 18, 26, 27 May 42, pp. 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 4, 4; see p. 749

328 Auckland Star, 9 Dec 41, p. 11

329 Ibid., 20 Feb 42, p. 6

330 NZ Herald, 2 May 42, p. 8

331 Dominion, 18 Jun 42, p. 2

332 NZ Herald, 11 Aug 42, p. 2

333 nbid., 19 Jun 42, p. 4

334 Auckland Star, 15 Aug, 11 Sep 42, pp. 6, 4

335 Ibid., 8 Aug, 9 Sep 42, pp. 2, 2

336 Ibid., 8, 9, 16 Sep 42, pp. 2, 2, 4