British Universities Film & Video Council

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Food and War


Series Name
The March of Time 8th Year


Issue No.
Date Released
31 May 1943
Length of issue (in feet)
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1Food and War


Story No. within this Issue
1 / 1
The March of Time synopsis: To meet their food problems, the United States of America have turned to the experience of Britain, for the new restrictions and limitations imposed upon the U.S. civilian is his first intimate contact with the realities of war. Preference on foodstuffs has been given to the Army and Navy. Not only does each fighting man require half as much again as the average civilian, but huge stocks must be set up for U.S. Forces overseas in anticipation of forthcoming operations.

Smallest factor in America’s food crisis is the 12% earmarked for shipment under Lend-Lease agreements with the Allies, to whom the U.S. Lend-Lease commitment in food and munitions is still America’s greatest contribution to the prosecution of the war. American food is essential to Britain, as by the most concentrated use of our land we can grow little more than sixty percent of what we need to subsist. The rest must be made up from the colonies and dominions, from neutrals and the United States. Second best customer for U.S. Lend-Lease are the fighting men of Soviet Russia, for whom all shipments sent from America in 1942 were allocated. But this year Russia’s share is to be vastly increased to meet civilian needs as well, and will make up more than half of America’s total food exports under Lend-Lease.

Anxious to play their part in winning the war are the six million U.S. farmers, who are trying to produce more than they have ever done before, despite shortages of manpower, machinery and transportation. But they feel that while their government is asking much of them it is giving too little practical help towards achieving the new wartime production goals. Already over a million agricultural workers have been called for military service, while another two million have gone into higher paid jobs in the new war industries. But however vulnerable it may be to criticism of methods and results the Department of Agriculture in Washington is alive to the needs of the consumer and producer alike, and has long been laying plans for 1943’s battle for food. To recruit a new land army a campaign has been launched across the land, and the drive is being implemented with all the aid government credit and organization facilities can muster.
In scenes showing the United Nations’ representatives studying post-war food requirements of the world, the March of Time says that the Allies have no greater psychological weapon than the knowledge today being broadcast to all the peoples under Hitler’s yoke, that on the day the Nazis are driven from their soil there will be food for all. The Nazis and the Japs have used, and will continue to use, hunger as a club to complete the enslavement of the people they have subjugated. But this two-edged sword cuts both ways.
With the Allied victory in North Africa now complete, British and American supplies are available to feed a population whose food resources up to the very day of Allied occupation had been shipped off to Germany and her satellites. And with the food has gone something even more important - tons of seed and the agricultural implements necessary to restore to productiveness a land whose crops once helped to feed half of Europe. And as the United Nations liberate one territory after another, they will bring not only immediate relief for the starving but supplies and equipment to restore the country to self-sufficiency and to make it capable of helping to feed other lands, as they in turn are freed.
Researcher Comments
This story was included in Vol.9 No.8 of the US edition.
Organisations; Food and cooking; Foreign relations; Foreign aid
Written sources
The March of Time Promotional Material   Lobby Card, Used for synopsis
Production Co.
Time Inc.

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