Anti-hoarding orders

31 March 2017

March 30th, 1917.

MUCH uncertainty prevails in regard to the anti-hoarding orders that are to be issued. It seems that the public has been needlessly scared by the threat of domiciliary visits from the police-constable for the purpose of seizing improper hoards and arresting greedy hoarders. Housekeepers who had saved up their sugar with a view to preserving fruit when the proper time arrives have suffered pangs of fear, only to be told now that their conduct has been highly laudable. For if, when the fruit is ready, they have no sugar handy, there will be a waste of products which should have been preserved. We take it that what is meant is that richer folk must not accumulate great stores to the detriment of poorer people, and still less must be allowed to go on buying more. But it is a pity that the original order made it appear that it would be a punishable offence to be found in possession of more than a fortnight’s allowance. We may take it for certain that a very large proportion of the people will cheerfully do anything reasonable that is demanded of them. But orders should be clear and explicit, and threats which are not intended to be carried out might very well be spared. As it is, there is a feeling that administration by business men is in no way superior to that by men whose training was of the detached order. However that may be, perhaps we ought to judge with leniency anyone who, in these difficult times, has the courage to undertake tasks involving stupendous labour, and presenting problems for the solution of which there are no registered results of past experience.

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