Leeds nostalgia: End to potato rationing in April 1948

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Fish n’ chip shops across Yorkshire were in rapture after the Government announced it would end potato rationing from midnight on this day in 1948.

There was talk of “unlimited supplies” for restaurants and beloved chippies, whose owners could hardly wait to begin serving up spuds to their customers.

However, the announcement came with an addendum, which said that while the rules on potatoes were being relaxed, anyone who wanted to kill a pig for home consumption must have it registered with their local food office for four months.

Still, even the government of 1948 didn’t like to dole out too much good news at once and so it was that at a hastily arranged press conference later that day, Food Minister John Strachey was quick to qualify the position on potatoes, pointing out that while there would indeed be an end to rationing, that did not mean an end to “control”.

He said: “I cannot guarantee not to reintroduce rationing if we get another terrible drought and crop failure, like last year.”

But he conceded that for the time being: “We are very glad to be able to do away with it. It was an irksome thing. Restaurants will now be able to give customers their full helping of potatoes.”

More sardines were also on the way, after the government bought 6m tins from ‘Jugoslavia’.

Pictured on the same page is 18-year-old Shirley Wljberg, of Hares Road, Leeds, who had entered a beauty contest, the finals being held in Harrogate in September.

In Palestine, it was reported that Arab armies crossed the border into the Holy Land, with King Abdulla of Transjordan saying it would “tighten the ring around the Jewish enemy”.