On this day in Yorkshire 1945: Doing best against black market turkeys

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There will be fewer turkeys for Christmas than was anticipated owing to a 10 per cent drop in supplies from Eire.

This was one of the food items announced today by Sir Ben Smith, Minister of Food, who, when asked about the black market home birds, answered:

“We are doing our best but it is not enough”

Sir Ben said there would available a total of 1,277,000 turkeys, against 1,413,000 originally estimated.

The drop in Eire turkeys would be made good to some extent by more South American turkeys, diverted from Service needs owing to demobilisation.

Bananas are appreciably nearer. Sir Ben has made an order fixing new maximum prices. Quantities will be limited.

The first cargo, arriving about January 1, will comprise only 100,000 to 120,000 bunches. They will be saleable only to children and persons under 18.

The ration books will be marked for the first three days, but afterwards they can be sold off the ration, but only to children and young persons. They will arrive green and there will be some little time lag for ripening before they are on the market.

Sales to catering establishments and manufacturers are prohibited.

“Fortified Liquid”

Remarking that there was being sold as wine liquid which was merely coloured, flavoured and fortified, Sir Ben announced that he has made an Order demanding more informative labelling of British wines and spirit containing not more than 40 per cent proof spirit.

“I have no objection such products being sold as long as the public knows what it is getting.” he said. “A British wine must bear a clear indication of the true nature of the product, and a bold declaration of the fruit or fruit-product used in its manufacture.”

“The order also requires declaration of the alcoholic content of British wines and spirituous liquors of not more than 40 per cent, proof spirit, so that purchasers, particularly of the cocktail type drink, may be able to assess their alcoholic strength.

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Daniel Brown.

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