Mexborough & Swinton Times, November 16
To Prevent Waste
Conisborough Defence In Rationing Case
The West Riding magistrates at Doncaster on Tuesday dismissed three summonses brought by the Ministry of Food against William Ackroyd, shopkeeper, of Church Street, Conisborough, for disposing of rationed butter without coupons. The Bench upheld the defence that Ackroyd had used the surplus in cakes to prevent it going rancid.
For the prosecution, Mr. W. L. Crawford said that the offences were committed during June and July, although Ackroyd had been warned as far back as February that he must not use the butter to make cakes. Ackroyd made wedding and Christmas cakes but was not registered as a catering establishment, and was not entitled to use the butter for this purpose.
The explanation he made to Mr. Alan Wolfe, the Ministry inspector, was that he was afraid the butter would go rancid if he did not use it.
The Magistrates Clerk, Mr. E. W. Petifer asked what use had to be made of the butter if it was turning rancid.
Mr. Wolfe said the Ministry should be informed and they would attend to the matter.
Mr. Petifer: If a man has butter in excess do the Ministry make any allowance for it to be used?
Mr. Wolfe said if the defendant had reported that he had surplus butter that was likely to go bad the Ministry would take it and send it to certain other firms with whom they had an arrangement to turn it into certain other kinds of food.
Ackroyd, in evidence, denied that he had been previously warned. He thought he should have been told that he was not allowed to use the surplus butter in cakes. He was entitled to 2 ½ lbs. of butter to supply his customers but the Ministry had sent him 4 ½ lbs. and he had used the surplus in cakes to prevent it going rancid. He had reported this to the authorities. He had given up making cakes since he was told he was doing wrong.
The Chairman, Mr. M. L. Nokes said the case was one which the magistrates could not uphold and it would have to fail. They had it in evidence that if this butter was taken back it would probably be used in another kind of food. The defendant himself had made it into another kind of food so that it would not be wasted. The case would be dismissed under the Probation of Offenders Act and the cost would be remitted.