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					DORA:

On 8th August 1914, the House of Commons passed the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) without debate. The
legislation gave the government executive powers to suppress published criticism, imprison without trial and to
commandeer economic resources for the war effort.

During the war publishing information that was calculated to be indirectly or directly of use to the enemy
became an offence and accordingly punishable in a court of law. This included any description of war and any
news that was likely to cause any conflict between the public and military authorities.

In August 1914 the British government established the War Office Press Bureau under F. E. Smith. The idea was
this organisation would censor news and telegraphic reports from the British Army and then issue it to the
press. Lord Kitchener decided to appoint Colonel Ernest Swinton to become the British Army's official journalist
on the Western Front. Swinton's reports were first censored at G.H.Q. in France and then personally vetted by
Kitchener before being released to the press. Letters written by members of the armed forces to their friends
and families were also read and censored by the military authorities.

After complaints from the USA the British government decided to look again at how the war was reported. After
a Cabinet meeting on the subject in January, 1915, the government decided to change its policy and to allow
selected journalists to report the war. Five men were chosen: Philip Gibbs (Daily Chronicle and the Daily
Telegraph), Percival Philips (Daily Express and the Morning Post), William Beach Thomas (Daily Mail and the
Daily Mirror) Henry Perry Robinson (The Times and the Daily News) and Herbert Russell (Reuters News Agency).
Before their reports could be sent back to England, they had to be submitted to C. E. Montague, the former
leader writer of the Manchester Guardian.

Over the next three years other journalists such as John Buchan, Valentine Williams, Hamilton Fyfe and Henry
Nevinson, became accredited war correspondents. To remain on the Western Front, these journalists had to
accept government control over what they wrote.

DORA was also used to control civilian behaviour. This including regulating alcohol consumption and food
supplies. In October 1915 the British government announced several measures they believed would reduce
alcohol consumption. A No Treating Order laid down that people could not buy alcoholic drinks for other
people. Public House opening times were also reduced to 12.00 noon to 2.30 pm and 6.30 to 9.30 pm. Before the
law was changed, public houses could open from 5 am in the morning to 12.30 pm at night.

In 1916 the Clyde Workers' Committee journal, The Worker, was prosecuted under the Defence of the Realm Act
for an article criticizing the war. William Gallacher and John Muir, the editor were both found guilty and sent to
prison. Gallacher for six months and Muir for a year.

The Clyde Workers' Committee was formed to campaign against the Munitions Act, which forbade engineers
from leaving the works where they were employed. On 25th March 1916, David Kirkwood and other members
of the Clyde Workers' Committee were arrested by the authorities under the Defence of the Realm Act. Then
men were court-martialled and sentenced to be deported from Glasgow.

The Ministry of Food did not introduce food rationing until January 1918. Sugar was the first to be rationed and
this was later followed by butchers' meat. The idea of rationing food was to guarantee supplies, not to reduce
consumption. This was successful and official figures show that the intake of calories almost kept up to the pre-
war level.

The growing disillusionment with the war was reflected in the novels that were written at the time. A. T.
Fitzroy's Despised and Rejected was published in April 1918. A thousand copies were sold before the book was
banned and its publisher, C. W. Daniel, was successfully prosecuted for sedition. Another novel, What Not: A
Prophetic Comedy by Rose Macaulay was due to be published in the autumn of 1918. When the censors
discovered that the book ridiculed wartime bureaucracy, its publication was stopped and did not appear until
after the Armistice.

The Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) of 1914 governed all lives in Britain during World War One. The Defence
of the Realm Act was added to as the war progressed and it listed everything that people were not allowed to
do in time of war. As World War One evolved, so DORA evolved. The first version of the Defence of the Realm
Act was introduced on August 8th 1914. This stated that:

       no-one was allowed to talk about naval or military matters in public places
       no-one was allowed to spread rumours about military matters
       no-one was allowed to buy binoculars
       no-one was allowed to trespass on railway lines or bridges
       no-one was allowed to melt down gold or silver
       no-one was allowed to light bonfires or fireworks
       no-one was allowed to give bread to horses, horses or chickens
       no-one was allowed to use invisible ink when writing abroad
       no-one was allowed to buy brandy or whisky in a railway refreshment room
       no-one was allowed to ring church bells
       the government could take over any factory or workshop
       the government could try any civilian breaking these laws
       the government could take over any land it wanted to
       the government could censor newspapers
       As the war continued and evolved, the government introduced more acts to DORA.
       the government introduced British Summer Time to give more daylight for extra work
       opening hours in pubs were cut
       beer was watered down
       customers in pubs were not allowed to buy a round of drinks

    As the war continued and evolved, the government introduced more acts to DORA: the government
    introduced British Summer Time to give more daylight for extra work, opening hours in pubs were cut, beer
    was watered down, customers in pubs were not allowed to buy a round of drinks .

    On 8th August 1914, the House of Commons passed the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) without debate.
    The legislation gave the government executive powers to suppress published criticism, imprison without
    trial and to commandeer economic resources for the war effort.

    During the war publishing information that was calculated to be indirectly or directly of use to the enemy
    became an offence and accordingly punishable in a court of law. This included any description of war and
    any news that was likely to cause any conflict between the public and military authorities.

    In August 1914 the British government established the War Office Press Bureau under F. E. Smith. The idea
    was this organisation would censor news and telegraphic reports from the British Army and then issue it to
    the press. Lord Kitchener decided to appoint Colonel Ernest Swinton to become the British Army's official
    journalist on the Western Front. Swinton's reports were first censored at G.H.Q. in France and then
    personally vetted by Kitchener before being released to the press. Letters written by members of the armed
    forces to their friends and families were also read and censored by the military authorities.

    After complaints from the USA the British government decided to look again at how the war was reported.
    After a Cabinet meeting on the subject in January, 1915, the government decided to change its policy and to
    allow selected journalists to report the war. Five men were chosen: Philip Gibbs (Daily Chronicle and the
Daily Telegraph), Percival Philips (Daily Express and the Morning Post), William Beach Thomas (Daily Mail
and the Daily Mirror) Henry Perry Robinson (The Times and the Daily News) and Herbert Russell (Reuters
News Agency). Before their reports could be sent back to England, they had to be submitted to C. E.
Montague, the former leader writer of the Manchester Guardian.

Over the next three years other journalists such as John Buchan, Valentine Williams, Hamilton Fyfe and
Henry Nevinson, became accredited war correspondents. To remain on the Western Front, these journalists
had to accept government control over what they wrote.

DORA was also used to control civilian behaviour. This including regulating alcohol consumption and food
supplies. In October 1915 the British government announced several measures they believed would reduce
alcohol consumption. A No Treating Order laid down that people could not buy alcoholic drinks for other
people. Public House opening times were also reduced to 12.00 noon to 2.30 pm and 6.30 to 9.30 pm.
Before the law was changed, public houses could open from 5 am in the morning to 12.30 pm at night.

In 1916 the Clyde Workers' Committee journal, The Worker, was prosecuted under the Defence of the
Realm Act for an article criticizing the war. William Gallacher and John Muir, the editor were both found
guilty and sent to prison. Gallacher for six months and Muir for a year.

The Clyde Workers' Committee was formed to campaign against the Munitions Act, which forbade
engineers from leaving the works where they were employed. On 25th March 1916, David Kirkwood and
other members of the Clyde Workers' Committee were arrested by the authorities under the Defence of the
Realm Act. Then men were court-martialled and sentenced to be deported from Glasgow.

The Ministry of Food did not introduce food rationing until January 1918. Sugar was the first to be rationed
and this was later followed by butchers' meat. The idea of rationing food was to guarantee supplies, not to
reduce consumption. This was successful and official figures show that the intake of calories almost kept up
to the pre-war level.

The growing disillusionment with the war was reflected in the novels that were written at the time. A. T.
Fitzroy's Despised and Rejected was published in April 1918. A thousand copies were sold before the book
was banned and its publisher, C. W. Daniel, was successfully prosecuted for sedition. Another novel, What
Not: A Prophetic Comedy by Rose Macaulay was due to be published in the autumn of 1918. When the
censors discovered that the book ridiculed wartime bureaucracy, its publication was stopped and did not
appear until after the Armistice.

Soon after the outbreak of the First World War the the German Navy attempted to halt the flow of imports
to Britain by introducing unrestricted submarine warfare. By the end of 1916, U-German boats were on
average destroying about 300,000 tons of shipping a month. In February 1917, the German Navy sank 230
ships bringing food and other supplies to Britain. The following month a record 507,001 tons of shipping was
lost as a result of the U-boat campaign. However, Britain was successful at increasing food production and
the wheat harvest of 1917 was the best in our history.

Potatoes were often in short-supply and sugar was often difficult to get. Whereas the weekly consumption
of sugar was 1.49 lb in 1914, it fell to 0.93 lb in 1918. The consumption of butchers' meat also dropped from
an average of 2.36 to 1.53 lb a week during this period. At the end of 1917 people began to fear that the
country was running out of food. Panic buying led to shortages and so in January 1918, the Ministry of Food
decided to introduce rationing. Sugar was the first to be rationed and this was later followed by butchers'
meat. The idea of rationing food was to guarantee supplies, not to reduce consumption. This was successful
and official figures show that the intake of calories almost kept up to the pre-war level.
1) Charles Young was interviewed about his experiences of the First World War in 1984.

When I returned after the war relatives told me how bad it had been. You see, us being an island hardly any
food could get through, because German U-boats were sinking our food convoys. My family lived on bones
from the butcher made into soups. And black bread. And when some food did get delivered to the shops
everyone for miles around besieged the place. The queues stretched for miles, and if you were old or infirm
you stood no chance. Many, especially children, died of starvation. Food riots were very common. But news
like this was kept from us, over in France. we only got to hear about it from men who came back after being
on leave. I think that is why leave to England was very rare, and severely restricted.

One day I was in the trench and we'd been under-non stop attack for days. Well, two of the blokes with me
shot themselves on purpose to try and get sent home and out of the war. One said to me "Chas, I am going
home to my wife and kids. I'll be some use to them as a cripple, but none at all dead! I am starving here, and
so are they at home, we may as well starve together." With that he fired a shot through his boot. When the
medics got his boot off, two of his toes and a lot of his foot had gone. But the injuring oneself to get out of it
was quite common.

(2) David Lloyd George, War Memoirs (1938)

So far as the vast bulk of the population was concerned, this rationing system, troublesome though in some
respects it was to them, ensured a regular and sufficient food supply; and it made it possible for those in
charge to calculate with some precision how best they could make the stocks of available food-stuffs go
round equitably. When meat was slightly more plentiful, the ration could be raised. When it grew scarcer,
the amount purchasable with each meat coupon was cut down. The steady improvement in our national
health figures during and after the War, as compared with pre-War returns, shows that compulsory
temperance in eating was in general more beneficial than harmful in its effects. Although there was a
degree of scarcity, we were never faced with famine or actual privation. Credit is due to our people for the
loyal manner in which they submitted themselves to these strange and unwelcome restrictions. Without
general goodwill it would have been impossible to make the regulations effective.

 The British government became concerned about the consumption of alcohol during the First World War.
They feared that war production was being hampered by drunkenness. Other governments involved in the
conflict were also worried about this problem. In August 1914 Russia outlawed the production and sale of
vodka. This measure was a complete failure, as people, unable to buy vodka, produced their own. The
Russian government also suffered a 30% reduction in its tax revenue.

Attempts to reduce alcohol consumption were also made in Germany, Austria-Hungary, France and Italy. In
Britain, David Lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, led the campaign against alcohol. In January
1915, Lloyd George claimed that Britain was "fighting German's, Austrians and Drink, and as far as I can see
the greatest of these foes is Drink."

Lloyd George started a campaign to persuade national figures to make a pledge that they would not drink
alcohol during the war. In April 1915 King George V supported the campaign when he promised that no
alcohol would be consumed in the Royal household until the war was over.

The government was particularly concerned about the amount of alcohol being consumed by female
munition workers. A survey of four pubs in London revealed that in one hour on a Saturday night alcohol
was consumed by 1,483 men but 1,946 women.

In October 1915 the British government announced several measures they believed would reduce alcohol
consumption. A No Treating Order laid down that people could not buy alcoholic drinks for other people.
Public House opening times were also reduced to 12.00 noon to 2.30 pm and 6.30 to 9.30 pm. Before the
law was changed, public houses could open from 5 am in the morning to 12.30 pm at night.

The government also increased the level of tax on alcohol. In 1918 a bottle of whisky cost £1, five times
what he had cost before the outbreak of war. This helped to reduce alcoholic consumption. Whereas Britain
consumed 89 million gallons in 1914, this had fallen to 37 million in 1918. Convictions for drunkenness also
fell dramatically during the war. In London in 1914, 67,103 people were found guilty of being drunk. In 1917
this had fallen to 16,567.




                                  Arthur Johnson, Kladderadatsche (1914)




(1) The Morning Post (14th March 1916)

At Southampton yesterday Robert Andrew Smith was fined for treating his wife to a glass of wine in a local
public-house. He said his wife gave him sixpence to pay for her drink. Mrs Smith was also fined £1 for
consuming and Dorothy Brown, the barmaid, £5 for selling the intoxicant, contrary to the regulations of the
Liquor Control Board.

				
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