By Lynne Taylor
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Additional resources for Between Resistance and Collaboration: Popular Protest in Northern France, 1940–45
The prefectoral authorities attempted to rectify the situation by imposing quotas upon the dairy farmers, requiring, initially, 3 litres of milk or 120 g of butter per dairy cow per day. 47 The problem of shortfalls in delivery continued, however, for in July 1941, the Préfet was reporting to the OFK 670 that the dairy farmers still were not delivering sufficient quantities. In fact, the Contrôleurs de Ravitaillement estimated that the farmers were only delivering 60 per cent of their production, reserving 40 per cent of it for their own use.
The list of foodstuffs now rationed had expanded as well. Bread, meat, fats in the form of margarine, butter and oil, sugar, cheese, coffee, pasta and soap all continued to be rationed. However, added to the list were milk, potatoes, sugar syrup, jam, chicory (pure coffee was impossible to find and illegal to sell), rice, flour, chocolate, wine, salt, cereals, baby foods, dried vegetables, canned vegetables and dried fruits. The ration diet had grown from an initial six items to 23. Initially, the objective of the rationing system appeared to have been to guarantee a minimum ration of the basic necessities of life to the population.
The wholesalers in turn accumulated the coupons submitted to them by the retailers and then made a request to the Departmental Purchasing and Distribution Groups for the stock necessary to satisfy the demand represented by those coupons. 55 The basic purpose of a rationing system is to ensure the equitable distribution of scarce resources, especially food, among a subject population. However, the system imposed in northern France was never quite that simple. From the start, different ration categories were created for different types of consumers, and each ration category was allocated different sizes of rations.
Between Resistance and Collaboration: Popular Protest in Northern France, 1940–45 by Lynne Taylor