February 15, 1943

Consumption May Reach Level of Great Depression
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Department of Agriculture tonight released a food survey that predicts extensive rationing of food in 1943, projecting consumer consumption may be reduced to levels of the Great Depression. However, the report states food availability should provide “…a reasonably adequate diet per capita.” Even though agricultural output is projected to increase this year, military and lend-lease usage will be about twenty-five per cent compared to about twelve per cent in 1942. In a move seemingly in contradiction to this news, a House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee handed President Roosevelt a defeat when it rejected by a vote of 6 to 1 a food subsidy program that would have paid farmers $100,000,000 to increase production of certain food items. Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard immediately called on farmers to ignore the subcommittee vote and not to reduce production.

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