Mexborough & Swinton Times, July 13, 1940
Ration Card Muddle
Conisborough Woman´s Mistake
Four summonses against a Conisborough woman brought under the Food Rationing Order, and two other charges under the same Order against Conisborough tradesmen were dismissed by the Doncaster West Riding magistrates on Tuesday.
Ann Pickering, housewife, of Conisborough, was summoned for possessing and using more than one ration book: for unlawfully using a certain ration book: for unlawfully retaining a certain ration book: and obtaining certain rationed food contrary to the rationing order. Reginald E. Downend (40), butcher, of Conisborough and Ernest A. Senior and Luther Firth, of Messrs. Senior and Firth Ltd., were summoned for having unlawfully supplied certain rationed food to Ann Pickering.
Mr. Spencer Baker said Mrs. Pickering´s husband was in the Army,although he was near home and visited home regularly. There were four in the family, and Mrs. Pickering drew rations for all of them, including her husband. Her reason for doing so was that her husband came home quite regularly, and when he did not she sent his rations to him. In a statement she admitted having obtained full rations of bacon, butter and sugar for all of them, but not the full ration of meat. It was then found that no meat coupons had been taken from the books. Mr. Baker said; that the most important charge against Mrs. Pickering was for obtaining meat without producing a ration book.
Inspector Wolfe, divisional Inspector of the Ministry of Food, saw Mr. Downend about the matter and he said “She does not always get her full ration. I have asked her repeatedly for the coupons. I must have missed them in the first instance when I had the books. It was an oversight.
Inspector Wolfe gave corroborative evidence and said that actually Mrs. Pickering should have obtained a special ration card for her husband at the local Food Office.
Mrs. Birch, who employed in the food control office at Conisborough said Mr. Pickering´s new ration book was issued on application in the usual manner. Mrs. Pickering told witness that her husband was entitled to extra rations when he came home.
Inspector Wolfe said it was clear that when Mrs. Pickering´s husband came home he got his rations, as usual. When witness saw Mr. Firth he said that his firm was ignorant about the matter and they complied with the regulations.
Mr. M. L. Nokes (Chairman), said the Bench had gone carefully into the case, and they had found there had been mistakes. This soldier had been coming home to have his meals with his wife, as it was natural for any soldier to do if he could and they had simply made mistakes. In their opinion the cases were not strong enough for them to record a conviction, and they would be dismissed under the Probation of Offenders Act.