Armistice 100: Leeds snubs Lloyd George and... Yorkshire’s ‘potato watch’ committee rolls its sleeves up

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Dateline: November 7, 1918...

On this day 100 years ago, there was a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post about Leeds snubbing Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

The rebuff came from Leeds Labour councillors, who refused to back a motion to confer upon Mr Lloyd George the freedom of the city.

According to the report, the Labour group in Leeds, meeting at the Trades Hall, discussed the situation, with the Rev T Stewart, chairman of the local Labour group, presiding.

The majority of the speakers apparently regarded the proposal to confer freedom of the city upon the premier as the “undesirable continuation of a political stunt” by those with whom the Labour Party would in the near future find themselves in electoral conflict. They therefore declined what they saw as a “political manoeuvre”.

In other news, it’s interesting to note that during the war, all kinds of committees and other such bodies were set up to control the sale and consumption of foodstuffs. One such was the West Riding Potato Control Committee, which had offices in Leeds. They were meeting on this day in 1918 to decide how allotment owners who had found themselves with surplus stocks should dispose of their goods.

It was determined that those with “not less than once acre” may dispose of their surplus stocks without licence but that they must not sell above the controlled price of 9s per cwt for Grade I potatoes and at 7s for Grade II.

Furthermore, retailers had to obtain licenses from the Local Food Office before taking delivery of potatoes from wholesalers and were not allowed to buy them direct from growers