Ireland rations coal, wheat (1-27-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (January 27, 1941)

Irish at last begin to feel war’s pinch
By Helen Kirkpatrick

Dublin, Jan. 27 –
The gravity of Éire’s position was brought home to the Irish public this morning by a government announcement that only brown bread is to be obtained from now on and that coal is to be rationed a half a ton per household monthly.

Up to Christmas, it was impossible to discover any indications in Éire that there was a war on. Food was plentiful and while gasoline was supposedly rationed, people found it easy to obtain almost unlimited quantities.

At Christmas, the first blow fell in the form of a government announcement that no more gasoline was available. The complete stoppage was due to the sinking of a tanker with supplies and the imposition of the British export licensing system which prevents Éire’s shortage from being made up by supplies from Britain.

Éire’s present stocks of wheat are sufficient to last at least until mid-summer, if strictly rationed. Hence, the introduction of what the government described as “slightly browned bread.” No wheat flour may be milled which is below 90% extraction, and in this way it is hoped to stretch the wheat supply until the next harvest.

Coal, imported entirely from Britain, now is rationed more as a precaution, according to the government, and in order to conserve stocks which now exist.

Tea is the only other food which is likely to run short. In fact, right now it is impossible to buy tea in any Dublin grocery.