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Military developments in 1942-43 favored the United Nations. So too did the distribution of wheat and of total food supplies. Aided by a record potato crop, German Europe made adjustments to the greatest bread-grain deficiency of the war period. The United States, Canada, and Australia turned some of their surplus wheat to nonfood uses that contributed to the war effort. But shortage of shipping and shipping blockades prevented much wheat from flowing to major grain-deficit areas in three of the United NationsSoviet Russia, India, and China. Urban bread rations were reduced in various countries of the Danube basin, but elsewhere in German Europe the bread rations of the preceding year were generally maintained or increased. In most countries bread-grain supplies were stretched by greater diversion of feed grains to human consumption. This was associated with further reductions in the prevailing low rations of meat and fats. World exports of wheat and flour were smaller in 1942-43 than in any year since the late 1880's. At least 90 per cent was supplied by the four chief exporting countries, which shipped about half of their aggregate exports to the British Isles. Britain's takings were nevertheless the smallest in 25 years. This reflected the efforts of the British Ministry of Food to cut importation and consumption of foreign wheat through increase in the average wheat-extraction rate for National Flour and through new admixtures of barley and oats. The four chief exporting countries together used about as much wheat for livestock feed and alcohol production in 1942-43 as they exported to other countries. Yet at the end of the crop year the remaining wheat stocks in the four countries were by far the largest on record-more than sufficient for a year's domestic wheat consumption.


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