1940s >> 1949 >> no-536-april-1949

Housewives: Let Us Face the Future

The Labour Party 1945 Election pamphlet, “Let Us Face the Future,” states that “by good food much ill-health can be prevented,” (P.10.) That’s what Socialists have been saying for years. What the sponsors of this aforesaid pamphlet overlooked is that food is produced primarily for profit. In the Daily Telegraph (3/12/48) a report was published dealing with an inquiry into the health and welfare of housewives made recently by members of the New Sussex Hospital (Brighton), It disclosed that ”88 per cent. of the 61 volunteers showed signs of fatigue ” and “ more than 77 per cent. of the wives were under-nourished.” The inquiry further disclosed that “the effects of fatigue in the housewives exceed those of fatigue in any other worker.” Let us try to imagine the housewife, often with several children, living in tenements or sublets. Her vitality is diminished by repeated childbirths and the daily struggle to cook, wash, shop, clean, and care for her little ones in unsatisfactory surroundings, living on “filler” foods such as bread, margarine and fish and chips.


The problem is one of poverty, a problem which repeatedly asserts itself as the cause of bad health. Despite a world of potential plenty Capitalism destroys food and creates shortages in order to safeguard profits when it becomes necessary. According to a December issue of the Daily Telegraph, hundreds of tons of onions have rotted and only half the 40,000 tons of onions grown on the Cambridgeshire Fens has found a market. Again the Sunday Observer (12/12/48) reported that there is a glut of cabbages and they are ”being ploughed in or fed to livestock.” No modification of capitalism can alter this condition of affairs. The solution is to abolish capitalism. Capitalism is only one of the forms of society which have evolved, and Socialism must succeed it if poverty, privilege, slavery, are to give way to comfort, equality and freedom. Unite for Socialism.


Cyril Acton