Following a request by the States Food Control Committee, the Lieutenant Governor has telegrammed and written to the UK Government on the matter of flour supplies. The need to replenish local stocks is becoming urgent, General Wilson assured the Food Controller in London. If no flour is forthcoming, then ‘the island is threatened with a very serious shortage at an early date’.
Jersey presently consumes 80 tonnes of flour per week, most of which needs importing. While there is some local production of wheat, the island’s mills are unable to turn out more than 20 tonnes of flour weekly. What’s more, it’s very low quality, given the antiquated nature of the milling machinery.
To avoid a catastrophic situation, the States have maintained a policy of keeping one month’s supply of flour in protected storage. This is reducing, however, with no more than 120 tonnes expected left by early December.
Orders have been placed with several UK flour merchants, the Lieutenant Governor has explained to the British Government, but rail network congestion and a lack of available shipping is preventing its delivery to Jersey. Hopefully the powers that be in Whitehall can help expedite matters.
A/E/10/6 contains correspondence on Jersey’s wartime flour imports including the serious situation faced by the island in late 1917.