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UNITED STATSS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Washington, D»C. PROBABLE NECESSITY FOR HATIONIJrG ESSENTIAL CIVILIAN GOODS Food rationing should be expanded ai rapidly as possible* All essential food items for which the demand will exceed the supply for an oxtonded period should bo included. Although farm production has been running at rocord levels for several yo-prs and 19^2 production was 15 percent higher than a year ago and by far the largest in history, the demand will exceed supply for a number of farm connoditios because: 1« Imports are reduced for such cor.imodities as sugar, coffee and vegetable oils* 2» . # Government purchases are extremely heavy, as is shown by the following table: 1943 Military and Lend-Lease requirements in percent of 19^-2 production Commodity Meat Milk and products in terns of milk Eggs ' Canned vegetables Canned fruit and juices Dried fruits Dry beans Dry peas Lard Soybean and Peanut Oil * 31 15 28 3& 53 53 32 hi 38 lU * 3» Civilian pur chasing power is highest on record. k9 There is need for accumulation of reserves against increased demand in the future. - 2— Therefore, rationing is necessary because: 1. It results in equitable distribution betweon individuals. 2. It results in equitable distribution of supplies through- out the yo?.Tm 3 - It prevents w^.ste and hoarding. . *+• It will enable us to obtain more benefit from our food supply since it will tend to balance the need for the scarce protective foods with the foods in greater supply. lor example, fluid milk could be given in gro-ter quantities to children and mothers than to others who could obtain thoir dietary needs froo other sources. It is recognized that rationing involves many administrative difficulties yet a single comprehensive rationing -program perhaps will present less total difficulties than will result from a piecemeal approach involving postponement until hoarding and scarcities occur. Until such time as a comprehensive rationing program can be put into effect, it seems desirable to acquaint the public with reasons for rationing.. It should be described as a means of provonting hardships rather than causing hardships. Pending establishment of the total rationing program, limitation and reservation orders of one kind or another should undoubtedly be put into operation. Also to prevent hoarding the public should be told that it will have to deduct household stocks from ration allotments, and in flagrant cases of hoarding a penalty should bo assessed. /•/ CLAUDE R. WICKAHD Secretary