PhD Thesis: Chapter 5: Industrial Posters

The Second World War was fought in a more businesslike way than the First World War, although there ‘was no longer the feeling that production came first, and people a long way second’.[1] In the early years of the war, those in the UK’s factories were encouraged to believe that they were playing a major part in aiding the nation’s survival.[2] This chapter explores the posters used to maximise the industrial effort, identifying the longer-term discourses that they drew on. It discerns a range of discourses that were important to industry in the Second World War, including discourses of industrialisation; mechanisation; science and technology; health; protection; cleanliness; femininity and masculinity; and scientific management and psychology, with moral discourses largely absent. A varied range of posters styles, as with most poster campaigns, was used to get the message across, including technical diagrams, Soviet-influenced designs and homegrown designs.

The Context and Planning of Industrial Posters

In the First World War, men had been presented with white feathers if not seen in uniform. In the Second World War, behind the obvious military fronts was the ‘Battle for Production’, working continuously.[3] Workers, particularly men, needed convincing of the importance of their work: ‘Churchill told war workers that “the Front Line runs through the factories”’, where ‘they were “soldiers with different weapons but with the same courage”’.[4] Civilian contributions to the war effort were of ‘decisive military importance’, with Britain’s armed forces dependant on ‘the industrial and organisational skills of the home population’.[5] Much equipment produced in factories, particularly for the Royal Air Force (RAF), was complicated. A strict control of manpower was needed, as a high proportion of skilled labour needed to be retained in the factories.[6] A profit motive for industrial effort was rarely seen, as the British workforce worked for victory for the nation. Industry was central to the war effort, as it recovered from the poor reputation it had gained through the interwar years, with poor industrial relations and strikes. As seen in the previous chapter, much propaganda focus was on a sentimentalised, rural England. The urban and industrial England, providing the manpower and materials for the conflict, was often ignored,[7] partly due to the desire of the British to be seen as different from the ‘machine-worshipping’, inhuman Nazis.[8]

In the UK, the technical and manufacturing changes of the mid-eighteenth century created an industrial economy which provided a ‘dominant collective self-image’ of the country as ‘the world’s workshop’.[9] As work and the home became distanced from each other, both mentally and physically, the idea of ‘the worker’ became more prominent.[10] The industrial elite sought to appear gentrified and ‘clean’, to distance themselves from the grimness and ugliness of real industry,[11] of the ‘“satanic mills”’, a problem that discouraged wholehearted commitment to industry.[12] In the popular imagination factories were such as Priestley described, in his seminal 1934 account of the composition and appearance of England: Northern, dirty, and ‘a grim blackened rectangle with a tall chimney at one corner’. As the new consumer industries were created in the South in the 1930s, new ‘decorative little buildings, all glass and concrete’, which seemed merely to be ‘playing at being factories’ were built.[13] As the coal, steel, textile and shipping areas of the North declined, the consumer growth industries of the South, including electrical appliances, synthetic fibres, chemicals, and car manufacture, grew.[14] New (electrical) technological ‘magic’ was ‘clean and bare and glittering’, unlike the old industries.[15] By the Second World War industry was largely associated with the machine, which Priestley described as enslaving some in a monotonous routine, particularly women, although liberating others who enjoyed the possibilities of machine technology, principally men.[16] By the Second World War discourses of clean industry, achieved through science and technology, are evident, although mass factories still only employed a minority.[17]

British industrial working practices were influenced by those from abroad, including Taylorism from America, which applied scientific method to the details of work processes. It broke tasks down into the smallest possible units, introduced wage-incentive schemes, and rigidly separated jobs that required thinking from those that only required manual operation.[18] Joad’s popular text of 1926, The Babbitt Warren, depicted America as a ‘machine-ridden, work-and-money-mad land’, with a worship of ‘size, speed, mechanisation and money’.[19] There was no longer time for apprenticeships, and mass production intensified the stress on good time keeping, discipline and regularity.[20] Lenin was impressed by the methods of Taylorism, feeling that they fitted the Soviet industrial model.[21] Essentially an ‘urban creed’, Socialism was bound up with the idea of machine-production.[22] Visits to the USSR were quite common in the interwar years, with cultural achievements, such as the works of Eisenstein, celebrated.[23] Walter Citrine[24] and the Webbs[25] wrote influentially on the state of Soviet Russia, with the Webbs praising the factories, education system and the classlessness.[26] Associated particularly with the working classes, the Soviet system took on a symbolic character for the workers, for whom it ‘represented the achievement – real or imagined – of their aspirations’, whilst for the middle classes ‘it stood for all they feared’.[27] The dominant attitude of the state until 1939 was anti-communism, rather than anti-fascism.[28]

The British Communist Party, formed in July 1920,[29] had grown in number and influence in the interwar years. Initially it enthusiastically supported the war, but reversed the policy within a few days.[30] By January 1941 their party paper, the Daily Worker, had been suppressed.[31] With the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939, few outside the Communist Party had a good word to say for the USSR. After July 12 1941, when Germany invaded the USSR, few had a bad word to say.[32] The Anglo-Soviet alliance was enthusiastically received as Britain was no longer alone. Pictures of Stalin began to be displayed alongside those of Roosevelt and Churchill in factories and ‘other public places’,[33] whilst munitions factories held ‘tanks for Russia’ weeks, where the entire weeks output was dedicated to the Soviet effort. There were Anglo-Soviet committees everywhere, and Clementine Churchill’s ‘Aid to Russia’ fund raised £8,000,000 of aid.[34] The aims of British propaganda about the USSR were to combat ‘anti-Soviet feeling’ which might ‘jeopardise execution of policy’, and to ‘counteract enemy attempts to split national unity’ regarding the Anglo-Soviet Alliance. Those working in industry needed little convincing, but the government needed to anticipate and ‘curb exuberant pro-Soviet propaganda from the Left’.[35] Appearing to offer a viable alternative to Fascism, there was considerable grass roots support for the Soviet effort. Fearing that this would translate into support for Communism, the government decided to pursue a secret, long-term policy to ‘steal the thunder’ of the left.[36] Churchill vetoed the playing of the Internationale for six months. Stress was laid on cultural similarities with the ‘Russians’, rather than on the political system of Communism.[37] The BBC believed that the British people recognised the oppressive nature of Communism but were prepared to put up with it:

If the devil out of hell came to fight the Nazis just now, we would cheer him and all his fallen angels, and you needn’t worry that our cheers would mean that we were turning devil worshippers.[38]

Sir Walter Monckton, in 1941, whilst Director General of the MOI, made a special visit to the USSR to ‘exchange information on policy and technique in propaganda with the Soviet Propaganda Ministry and to establish co-ordination’ between the UK and the USSR. Arrangements were made for close co-operation through the exchange of information and material.[39] In 1942, newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook also visited, returning with a collection of original posters, published, with English translations, in factories two days after his return (figures 111 to 114),[40] with the British also providing posters in return (figures 115 to 118). Admiration for the Soviet Union arose largely from a ‘conviction of our inefficiency, resulting in an increasing degree of admiration for efficiency wherever it is found’.[41]

With rising numbers of strikes in the interwar years,[42] including the General Strike, 1926, presented by the government as being political in intent,[43] the government began to fear that British workers would look to the USSR example, and seize ‘power in a revolution’.[44] Men had returned from the First World War psychologically changed, ‘convinced that they were entitled to fair treatment and were prepared to act to get it’. The pre-war ‘tendency towards deference and humility’ was gone, and the demands for changes set in.[45] Whilst there was a surplus of work, the trade union movement expanded.[46] The 1927 Trade Disputes and Trade Union Act made ‘sympathetic strikes directly and indirectly against the government illegal’,[47] and from July 1940 all strikes became illegal.[48] On October 3 1940, under Churchill, Ernest Bevin was asked to take office as the Minister of Labour and National Service.[49] Bevin, a moderate who believed in achieving agreement through ‘reasoned argument’ rather than confrontation,[50] even referring to workers he met in factories as ‘mates’,[51] was readily accepted. As leader of the Transport and General Workers’ Union at the time of the General Strike, he was trusted more than Churchill, whose reputation with the miners was poor after the 1910 Tonypandy massacre.[52] The key figure from the labour movement in the government, Bevin’s responsibility was to achieve the highest possible level of war production, determining the allocation of labour, contain inflationary wage pressures, and avoid industrial trouble.[53] Bevin believed that ‘more hours of work did not necessarily mean more work’, and that to get the best from war workers, fair treatment and relaxation needed to be provided.[54]

Bevin ‘allowed several highly damaging and irresponsible [strikes] to go unpunished, rather than endanger his good relations with the unions’. Building up such trust allowed him to ask for, and get them to accept, the loss of various cherished privileges.[55] Able to legislate on behalf of workers, strike levels were initially the lowest they had been since records began, although some legitimate members grievances were ignored. Towards the end of the war the number of unofficial strikes rose, particularly in the coal industry,[56] losing control of their members to extremists. There was a lot of criticism for the strikers, and comparison with what soldiers had to put up with,[57] with calls from the public for strikers to be tried for treason. Farmers were angry: ‘If we stopped work England would starve’.[58] Towards the end of the war, factory workers felt the need to hold out for better post-war conditions, as advancing mechanisation made their position increasingly unclear. The sense of urgency for industrial war effort had gone, victory appeared certain, and workers felt that if they did not make a stand now, they would never get anything. Workers outside government industries often felt that they were not really doing anything towards the war effort, but simply giving the management profits.[59] Stories of ‘wartime strikes by dockers and miners find little space in the picture of a nation united in a common cause’,[60] but significant numbers of working days were lost to strikes (see appendix 8).[61]

There is no question that the miners were symbolically at the centre of the key inter-war strikes.[62] The heroic narrative, in which the miner appeared both as the symbolic victim of capitalism and as the indomitable survivor, was not peculiar to the UK, but held special resonance. The manufacturing greatness of the country was owed to steam power and machinery, and at its peak the coal industry employed one tenth of the male work-force.[63] Mining was a geographically differentiated industry,[64] but across the board the industry was clearly dangerous and lowly paid.[65] Orwell and Priestley’s important texts provide evocative images of the hardships of the miner’s life, bent double in small spaces, covered in dirt, breathing foul air, in return for a small wage.[66] The miner in employment was still considered ‘one of the lucky ones’,[67] as the increased application of science and technology to coal mining techniques increased coal production, whilst less coal was required.[68] Inefficient mines were shut down,[69] and many miners were unemployed or on short hours. The Victorian work ethic was still evident,[70] and most were ashamed of being unemployed, opinions that had percolated down to the working classes from the middle classes, talking about ‘lazy idle loafers on the dole’, who could ‘find work if they wanted to’.[71] The middle classes had their own visions of the life of the worker, believing that they were accustomed to the hardships and ugliness of their surroundings.[72] Walter Greenwood’s 1933 novel Love on the Dole tackled issues of unemployment, but a film version was not produced until 1941, and withheld until 1943. Orwell viewed the lot of the working classes as a dismal one, with the best they could hope for that industry would be stimulated by, for instance, rearmament, providing more work.[73] May Day procession floats of the 1920s, however, were decorated by socialists with slogans such as ‘The Burden of Armaments Crushes Social Progress’.[74]

With the outbreak of the Second World War, having contracted so much, the mining industry had difficulty in ‘recruiting and retaining’ labour in order to fulfil wartime requirements. As with other strategically important industries, plans for state involvement in a time of war had been drawn up as early as 1936, although the government was wary about potential unrest in the industry. During the war, local campaigns were significant. For instance, figure 119 appealed to Derbyshire’s miners, one-third of whom had been out of work in 1931-3.[75] Many of the unemployed would have joined the forces, and announcements were made at the pits when the local regiment distinguished itself. The Derbyshire Yeomanry were the first to enter Tunis, and this poster was rushed out for the local mines.[76] Figure 120, similarly, was rushed out for the Durham area, immediately after the Durham Light Brigade captured the Primo Sold bridgehead south of Catania.[77] In May 1941, it became obvious that there would be a severe shortage of coal if the current rate of production continued, and the state had to get more involved. Mining work required training, but miners were free to choose to join the forces, and unemployed miners had even been directed to the armed forces and munitions factories, rather than back into the mines. Being a miner was not an attractive career at the outbreak of war, with an ‘unenviable record of unemployment, poor labour relations and relatively low pay’.[78] With an ageing coalmining population, [79] (40% aged forty or over by 1941),[80] young men, known as ‘Bevin Boys’ were directed into the coalmines after 1943.[81] Absenteeism was a problem, particularly by the younger miners, and with the increasing technical nature of mining, the loss of a few key workers had a serious impact.[82]

Orwell complained that capitalism had slowed down mechanised progress as the profit principle, the driving force for capitalist industry, ensured that inventions which threatened to reduce profits were suppressed.[83] During the war British capitalism was enlisted ‘for the duration’ only, the profit principle abandoned,[84] and most, if not all, factories turned over to war work. Mass-production methods ensured that workers were ‘completely divorced from the product and the means of production’.[85] In April 1941, it was suggested that factory workers did not ‘thoroughly’ understand the importance of their role, and that this should be addressed.[86] Workers in the factories needed to be kept involved as ‘fighters’, as, ‘except in the assembling works, few workers appreciate the full significance of the parts’ on which they worked.[87] Those manufacturing small parts for which the purpose was not obvious, or non-military equipment, needed convincing of the importance of what they were producing. Time induced war-weariness and frayed nerves, particularly when workers were doing unspectacular work, ‘out of the limelight and monotonous’, was exacerbated by uncertainties about the future. Such uncertainties increased as victory became more certain.[88]

Blatchford, in 1894, had described the factory system as ‘evil’, and declared that England needed to choose between the ‘quality of men and the quality of production’.[89] Welfare took on an increasing concern in factories, and certain early philanthropic employers provided medical and leisure schemes for their workers.[90] Finding Taylorism inhuman, some maintained that English business was founded on values of ‘humanity’, ‘honour’ and ‘craftsmanship’. In the 1930s, with more focus on social obligations to its workers, working conditions improved.[91] Between 1914 and 1950 the chances of a worker sustaining a fatal injury at work more than halved. New technology improved the risk from some hazards, although it introduced new ones,[92] with machine work more monotonous, inculcating a belief that such work was safer, thus less attention was paid to the task in hand.[93] Increased discourses of protection (physical, rather than moral as had been the concern in the past),[94] led to the formation of the ‘National Safety First Association’ in 1918. This aimed to tackle workplace safety on a national scale,[95] becoming The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) in 1941.[96] ROSPA produced many accident prevention posters throughout the war, initially with little support from industry or the government, despite the economic benefits of less accidents. In summer 1940, however, the government took ROSPA over ‘lock, stock and barrel for the duration’.[97] ROSPA and the MOLNS combined to produce a bigger variety of posters than any other Ministry, with posters displayed for a week, fortnight or month, then turned over with new designs printed on the reverse to economise on paper.[98] The Factories Act 1937 provided the first safety legislation, requiring, for example, safety guards on dangerous machines,[99] evidence of the growth of state concern with, and intervention in, working conditions. With more recognition of the ‘interconnections between general standards of health and occupational problems’, there were improvements in real wages and living standards, and the Holidays with Pay Act was passed in 1937, although not enforced until after the war.[100] The Emergency Works Order (EWO), March 1941, laid an obligation on employers to provide for the welfare of their workers, with canteens, crèches, and ‘music while you work’.[101] An increased number of nurses, doctors and welfare officers on the shop floor, and more works canteens, were the result.[102]

The EWO was indicative of the extent to which the imperatives of total war legitimised state power, in a way which would have been inconceivable in the 1930s.[103] The state had avoided intervention in industry where possible, with Baldwin ‘believing that management was the task of the employer, not the state’,[104] although in 1935 he declared that laissez-faire was dead.[105] In the initial stages of the war unemployment rose as industries laid off their workforces,[106] but the importance of manpower to the war production effort was soon recognised, with the Ministry of Labour and National Service (MOLNS) formed, and a series of Acts passed.[107] Under the EWO, men and women were forced to register for possible industrial service,[108] and employers required to obtain workers through employment exchanges or approved trade unions.[109] The EWO was initially unpopular for some workers. Unable to leave work for more lucrative industries, the EWO lowered worker morale and impacted negatively on production.[110] The EWO caused problems for employers as, with a combination of higher wages and fears of dismissal removed, absenteeism increased.[111] In 1942, the EWO was amended so that habitual absentees could be prosecuted but these powers were rarely used, with a steady rate of about 6-8% for men and 12-15% for women from 1943 to the end of the war.[112] The government attempted to assess the factors causing absenteeism in industry, particularly those which might be remedied by propaganda. Absenteeism was particularly notable amongst married women, who would not otherwise be working in factories. Some absenteeism was accepted as a natural safety-value, avoiding longer-term involuntary sickness created by stress, with few holidays and increased overtime.[113] Working hours inevitably had to increase in a time of war, from the pre-war average of a 48 hour week.[114] Unpunctuality and slowness in starting work were considered almost as important as absenteeism in causing loss of production.[115]

Outside of wartime, industry is ‘built around a wide margin of inefficiency’. With a surplus labour force there was ‘no serious occasion to consider the best possible use of every worker every working hour’.[116] In wartime, production crises made headline news, and the question of productivity was key, particularly in 1941 and 1942. As it became obvious that the economy was fully mobilised for war production, ‘further growth in outputs would be possible only by the rationalisation and streamlining of manufacturing processes’.[117] Key in improving the situation was the creation of a new Ministry of Production in February 1942, designed to mobilise resources for war production as ‘fully and efficiently as possible’. Production needed to be increased without extra support from abroad, and without asking for longer hours and more sacrifices from already over stretched civilians.[118] Calls for increased effort had to compete against hostility from the public, who believed that workers in industry were slacking and time wasting, and bitterness within industry at time spent stood down. One report speaks of ‘deep resentment’ among many war workers at repeated appeals to ‘increase output and stay at their jobs’. There was no question of workers ‘wanting to slack, but shortage of material and bad internal organisation make it impossible for them to do otherwise’.[119] The importance of the industrial effort was stressed through the campaign ‘It all depends on me’ (figures 121 and 122). The slogan, originating in the Hoover factory, was intended to develop a ‘spirit of personal responsibility’ in ‘every worker in industry’,[120] symbolising the ‘importance of the individual in the national effort’. The Production Executive for Industrial Propaganda examined the best methods of ‘educative propaganda’ for arms workers, where interest needed to be stimulated in munitions production in general, and in the product of that factory in particular.[121] A variety of posters were produced to demonstrate to the worker where their part was used, and how it contributed to the war effort.

After the First World War, when women had taken war work, particularly in the factories, a ‘barrage of propaganda’ had been aimed at women to ‘remind them of their primary responsibilities as mothers and homemakers’, provided for by her husband.[122] Advertisements in women’s journals continued to present the nineteenth century ideal of the ‘lady of leisure’, with women a living testimony to her husband’s wealth, managing both appearance and the housework.[123] Women were forced to resign from white-collar collar occupations on marriage,[124] although the legal bars had been removed by the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919.[125] Single girls who took jobs not really required were regarded as selfish, having done so at the expense of someone else.[126] Work roles were assigned in a gendered manner, based on assumptions that such inequality was ‘a dispensation of providence’, that by working a woman was somehow being ‘untrue to the higher functions of wife and mother’.[127] Working class women could not afford to absorb such middle class views in full, needing to work, with housework a secondary consideration.[128] Women had previously done economically productive work at home, fusing it with their roles of raising a family. The need to go to work changed this.[129] The numbers of working women grew in the interwar years, particularly in the civil service. In 1939, outside of government service, women’s employment was still concentrated in ‘specific trades such as hosiery, laundering and dressmaking’, although ‘new engineering, light metal and electrical industries’ provided semi-skilled employment, concurrent with the decline in domestic service work.[130] The war accelerated this trend, with 7,000 women employed in government ordnance factories in 1939, 260,000 by October 1944,[131] although in the early months of the war, unemployment rose.[132]

As men ‘served their nation in arms’, women were encouraged to take on extra work in the factories, the fields, and the armed forces support services.[133] Alongside the patriotic impulse[134] there was also an economic incentive for paid work.[135] Wartime work constructed as ‘feminine’ was ‘routine and repetitive’, ‘portrayed as clean and light’, requiring no formal training, but dependant on ‘dexterity, concentration and the ability to tolerate monotony’.[136] The ‘male/female, public/private dichotomy’ needed to be preserved, with men in the armed forces doing their duty, rather ‘than simply giving free rein to supposedly masculine impulses of aggression’.[137] The government went some way towards trying to accommodate women in their joint roles, pioneering the use of nurseries, and using ‘schemes whereby two married women could ‘share’ the same job, each putting in a half shift’.[138] Women who had been out of work, those who had been divorced or widowed, and particularly those over 40, also felt that ‘they ought to place their past experience at the service of their country’, whether that had professional training or not.[139] Women often worked long hours, with those employed in munitions factories commonly working thirty-six hour shifts to complete rush jobs. This was bad both for the health of the people concerned, and for production, as following each spurt of effort, production would lapse, with increased absenteeism and spoilt work.[140]

Initially, Bevin had hoped that enough women would be persuaded to come forward voluntarily for work, with no need for compulsion.[141] In February 1941, a meeting was held to discuss publicity for the Ministry of Labour, which was looking to recruit half a million women to essential war industries, replacing men in non-essential jobs. Employers needed to be convinced that they should employ women, as they disliked spending time and money training women when they were then unable to compel them to stay at work.[142]. The campaign was to start with a national ‘background’ campaign, consisting of an ‘indirect appeal’. This was to be followed soon after by ‘publicity of a similar style applied regionally, allied with a direct appeal to certain classes for specific jobs’.[143] In March 1941 vacancies for women existed only in a few districts and welfare arrangements such as nurseries, to enable married women to take on work ‘were still more of an aspiration than a fact’. Consequently plans for a nation-wide appeal on recruitment were considered dangerous, and the appeal to women workers was de-emphasised,[144] with confusion caused when Bevin stressed the call for women in a broadcast on March 16.[145] All the problems envisaged by the General Division resulted,[146] with women turned away after answering appeals, ‘because there was nothing for them to do’. The results were still evident later in the year, with women happy to wait for conscription, rather than volunteering.[147] Conscription for all single women between twenty and thirty was introduced in the form of the National Service (No 2) Act in December 1941.[148] The UK went further than any other nation, further than Stalin’s USSR and far further than Hitler’s Germany, where women’s roles were to ‘breed and succour the master race’, which restricted the use that could be made of them.[149]

The projection of the UK as a shipping nation, an island people, who ‘owe nearly everything to the sea’, was belied by the condition of the docks visited by Priestley in the 1930s, full of ‘gloom, emptiness and decay’.[150] Although geographically false, the image of Britain as an island has powerful roots in the national imagination, suggesting a ‘small, clearly bounded and defined place, which is separate but not disconnected from the world, restful yet dynamic when the need arises’.[151] Increased production resulted when this image was threatened by fears of invasion. As the fear of invasion was removed, discipline was gradually relaxed and the production rate declined.[152] In December 1943 final victory over Germany was anticipated for 1944, although much of this depended on other events in the war, and the supply of equipment. There was a need for full industrial output but rather than ‘going to it’, the public was conscious only of delays, and industrial absenteeism and unrest reached new levels. The government responded with reallocation, and by mid-1944 43% of the working population was engaged in the war industry.[153] Initially the industrial war effort limited by the need to still produce goods for export, so as to pay for at least some of raw materials and equipment bought from America and elsewhere.[154] The export market, for coal at least, collapsed with the fall of France in mid-1940.[155] From March, 1941, the ‘cash and carry’ system was replaced with ‘lend-lease’, to be repaid after the war. If Lend-Lease from the USA and Mutual Aid from Canada had not been received, the UK could not have devoted its resources to war as fully as it did.[156] Industry did not really have to cater for consumer needs, as demand was cut by purchase taxes, quota schemes allocated materials to manufacturers, ‘utility’ standards were established in 1941, and points rationing on food and clothing was introduced.[157] With this context in place, the following section will focus on the posters produced, both within and external to the government, to maximise industrial production in the Second World War.

The Design of Industrial Posters

Shaw, an industrial propaganda critic, described figures 111 to 114 as ‘grim’ cartoons, of a type not yet exploited in industrial work in the UK. These posters were original Soviet posters brought back by Lord Beaverbrook. With a ‘fundamental difference’ in temperament, he felt it doubtful that the British race would ‘ever be attracted towards the “horrific” cartoon’.[158] Figures 123 and 124, in a ‘horrific cartoon’ series, however, were distributed to every Royal Ordnance Factory and over 10,000 Ministry of Supply contractors. British poster artists were not slow to ‘copy the Russian style’, with a ‘gory Hitler… scurrying away from a concentration of Waltzing Matilda’s tanks with blazing guns’,[159]  where the images exalt in speed and the machine. The Soviets, originally the subject of ‘name-calling’, were now being called on to name-call Hitler. Admired by the workers, the prestige of Soviet style was transferred to the British poster. Soviet-style posters are defined by strong graphics, colours and message, a focus on the worker, whether manual (figure 116), or technical (figures 117 and 118).

The British supported the Soviet effort with their own more refined designs, for example, figure 125. Very much in the British tradition, it plays on the heritage of the UK as a shipbuilding and seafaring nation, working with the modern industrial Soviet nation. As with figure 126, the emphasis was constantly on the association with Russia, with rare references to the Soviets. The British also produced posters for the Soviets in return, including the series designed by Reginald Mount (see example in figure 115). This presumably was only for export as there is no English translation, unlike figures 116 to 118, designed by the very proletarian sounding ‘British Artists’, which indicates they were also used for display in British factories.[160] Figures 117 and 118 used photographic images, a technical medium, appropriate for messages regarding technical equipment. British workers were encouraged to look to their Russian counterparts as an example, (see figure 127), but the stress was laid on cultural similarities and the shared danger from the Nazis (figure 128), rather than on ideological similarities. The Communist Party, as feared by the government, did (initially) try to turn the issue into an ideological one. It called for the ban on the Daily Worker to be lifted (figure 129), and for British workers to ally themselves with the Russian effort (figures 130 and 131), with an end to ‘corporate mismanagement and waste’.

Even more important than stressing solidarity with the Russians, was the need to stress a shared bond with the soldiers, and to emphasise that the ‘industrial front’ was as important as any other front in the war. An extensive series utilising three different slogans was regularly produced throughout the war, demonstrating the machinery and goods produced in the factories in use at points of victory. Illustrated in figures 132 to 134, this series used a detailed, British nationalistic style, depicting detailed heroic battle scenes without death, little more than pictures in a frame, unlike figure 129, a design where the text and image were integrated. Figure 133, produced in 1944, was described as continuing ‘the appeal to workers to back up the offensive now being intensified in the heart of Germany’.[161] Comparisons and interactions with members of the armed forces were used to illustrate the unity of the war effort (figures 135 and 136). In figure 135, the image is slightly surreal, with a loss of detail, and the juxtaposition of the worker in industry, and the fighter on the front, impossible without acceptance of techniques of montage, is key to the message. Figure 136, part of a series of three,[162] one from each of the Services, appealed to ‘the men who will give them the armaments and material of war’,[163] using photographs of real service personnel.[164] As evident in figure 137, the message sometimes went the other way.

The importance of individual effort, and the sense of being a link in a large chain is explicitly demonstrated in several posters in the ‘It all depends on me’ campaign (figures 121 and 122), with the ‘ME’ in figure 121 deliberately vaguely illustrated. In heavy industry, so reliant on technology, workers had to take care of themselves or they would weaken the whole chain (figure 138). Technology made industry reliant on a single worker more than before, if one was missing, work further along the line could be held up (figure 139). Both artists, within these images, were unafraid to use modern non-realistic graphic techniques, including abstraction, geometric shapes (both angles and pure circles), demonstrated a clear economy of line, combining the text with the image. Other posters made the individual ‘a cog in the great machine that grinds forward to victory’,[165] evident in figure 140. This, and figure 141, highlight problems of absenteeism, figure 141 in more of a cartoon manner, demonstrating the concrete loss made. Figure 49 illustrates the ‘Go to it’ campaign produced by the MOI in June 1940, the first major campaign to use commercial sites after the ‘Your Courage…’ campaign. Handled by S.H.Benson,[166] the campaign was based on a speech made by Herbert Morrison to factory workers calling for increased production.[167] Over 200,000 posters were released,[168] many in a large billboard size, although the blackout had reduced their effective viewing time.[169] With the idea of the ‘nation’ explicit within the words, the red lettering and bold, inventive typography gave a sense of urgency and an indication of speed.

Those in the hand tool industry, like many who produced non-military equipment, found it difficult to maintain ‘the enthusiasm of their workers’, with the work not felt to be ‘of sufficient importance to the war effort’. The MOI therefore produced a poster for the Ministry of Supply to issue to the workers, to ‘tell them how important to the nation is their work’ under the slogan ‘Let’s stick to our jobs and deliver the hand tools’. A photograph showing the wide range of hand tools produced, ‘from spanners to hack-saws’, was illustrated above sketches ‘of the tanks, ships, planes and guns which hand tools are needed to build, maintain and repair’.[170] Figure 142 used a ‘skilful photomontage’ which linked the worker directly with the final product. Figures 143 and 144 used adaptations of nursery rhymes to show how important a small part could be in the final issue. Many parts were quite dull in themselves, and it was a challenge to poster artists to produce interesting designs. Shaw feels that this was successfully done in figures 145 and 146, where artists opted to show the final product in use, with figure 146 opting for photography to represent this as reality.[171] Able to appeal to a specialised audience, detailed technical diagrams were suitable for use in factories,[172] with figures 147 and 148 prepared by the works relationship office of a manufacturing office. Shaw was keen to point out how easy it was for all factories to produced similar drawings ‘for the general interest and enlightenment of the workers’.[173] Some companies were content to do no more than display posters received from elsewhere, and the Ministries of Supply and Production had to cater for this. Figure 149 is one of a series of posters ‘intended for smaller firms and sub-contractors’, with space provided for the factory to ‘illustrate the particular element the factory is making’.[174] Outside the factory the object of propaganda was ‘to create and foster the belief that it is a privilege to be engaged on war work’, thus stimulating recruitment.[175] In a recruitment campaign aimed at suburban women, posters entitled ‘Vacancies’ contained lists of occupations vacant in local factories, placed near roadways to allow for detailed study.[176] Recruitment of women was a particular issue, to which this chapter makes reference (see figures 150 and 151). The applicability of domestic skills to factory life (figure 152) was emphasised, and women in industry became an accepted feature of wartime life, depicted in other wartime propaganda campaigns (figure 153), but this chapter is more concerned with increasing production for those already in industry. The war ended with large numbers of women in employment; in the Forces, in industry, in the public service and in all sorts of other occupations. In 1942, it was believed that most women would wish to return to home life, although[177] a significant proportion did want to continue working after the war.[178]

Most industrial propaganda was aimed at the entire work force, both men and women, with evidence that women were less interested in production figures.[179] Campaigns directed specifically at women appear to be largely concerned with appearance, particularly the conflict between appearing fashionable and glamorous and being dressed correctly for the job. Though uniforms still had an ‘undeniable femininity’, ‘traditional notions of what it was proper for women to wear inevitably retreated in the face of the requirements of their new jobs’. Trousers and shorts, worn pre-war only for holiday or sports, were suitable for industrial work, and regularly worn,[180] as illustrated in figure 154, designed in the style of a pattern book or women’s magazine article. Posters in figures 155 and 156 illustrate clothes that were perfectly acceptable to wear outside the factory, at least until the introduction of utility clothing, but totally unsuitable in factories, near running machinery.[181]

Many health and safety posters were produced by the government aimed at factory workers, a campaign to which there appeared to be an infinite number of angles,[182] with few ‘cross references to morale or to the war effort’.[183] Many ROSPA posters were in a modern graphic style, including figures 138, and 157 to 159. When the causes of factory accidents were analysed, it was deemed that untidiness was the main cause, but telling workers to be more tidy was believed to be ‘about as helpful as telling a worrying woman not to worry’. The artist could, however, depict various aspects of untidiness, and explain how tidiness improved ‘general efficiency’, for example humorously in figures 160 to 162, depicting the ‘British buffoon’.[184] Shaw believed that general exhortations to avoid accidents were pointless, as it was ‘doubtful if an accident poster’ could achieve much unless it was ‘specific and confined to a definite aspect or example of accident prevention’. Being wise before the event was more important than admonitions after the event,[185] as in the following specific examples, which all focused on ensuring guards were kept on eyes (figure 163), hands (figure 157), and machines in general (figures 158 and 159). In factories where there had been no recent accidents, there was no need for such propaganda, but familiarity with machinery rapidly bred contempt, and posters needed to get across to workers the risks they were running by being careless.[186] There was debate as to whether humour, as in figure 158, was appropriate for such a serious subject. Shaw felt that it was ‘a useful approach to an unpleasant subject’, but that ‘grim and gruesome’ subjects, such as figure 157, ‘arrests the attention while the frivolous cartoon dispels it’.[187] Keely (figure 157) and Rapier’s (figure 159) designs were modern, graphic and abstract, and may not have been appreciated by those who looked for realistic images. Any controversy, however, ensured that such images would be noticed, important to achieve the function of the message.

ROSPA was particularly concerned about accidents caused by women who failed to cover their hair. Sir Wilfred Garrett, Chief Inspector of Factories, reported in 1941 that 179 accidents had been caused by women’s hair getting entangled in moving machinery. He noted that: ‘the modern style of hairdressing does not lend itself to the hair being carefully covered, and the fluffy curl still protrudes’, as evident in figure 164, which deliberately echoed the style of Fougasse. Even after a minor ‘scalping’ accident, the same girl would be found again without a cap as she ‘preferred to have an accident rather than look a fright’. Many were putting ‘pride before safety’, and thus stressing a fashionable angle for wearing a cap, rather than how many accidents it would prevent, as attempted in figure 165, seemed key.[188] Publicity was therefore ‘directed especially to this aspect of industrial safety’.[189] The only solution to the problem appeared to lie in ‘persuading the fair sex that they are in the fashion if they cover their hair’, as evident in figures 166 to 169, using a combination of stylistic techniques including photomontage, depicting ordinary, but glamourous, women.[190] As with other aspects of industry, Russian women were ‘continually held up as examples for their British sisters to emulate’, as in figure 170,[191] which ‘Russian visitors to the “Britain at War” exhibition at the House of Scientists in Moscow were greatly pleased’ to see on display.[192] Figure 171 was a locally produced design in the series, using photographs of the ‘girls in our own works wearing the caps as they should be worn’, accompanied by the music from an old nursery rhyme. The designer wanted to satisfy the ‘girls’ at the works that the caps could still look ‘quite attractive’ when worn by ‘some of their own number’.[193]

In the early years of the war ‘Britain relied, as usual, upon the protection of the seas and her naval power’, with early losses a shock to public opinion.[194] Heavy industry had been hit badly by the Depression years. For example, the Tyne launched 238,000 tons of shipping in 1913, but less than 7,000 in 1933.[195] Output from shipbuilding yards needed to be increased, and modern montage posters such as figure 172 were produced in response.[196] In May 1941, the Production Executive of the Industrial Committee was shown designs of posters under consideration by the Admiralty to stimulate shipyard workers. Commander Cross suggested that ‘the earliest posters should stress the Sailor’s appreciation of the high quality of British shipbuilding’. Discussing figure 173, the Chairman and Mr Henderson

were of the opinion that Shipyard workers already possessed sufficient confidence in their own skilled craftsmanship, and ought rather to be reminded of the urgency of the present situation in any poster that might be issued.[197]

The Committee also considered designs by the Mines Department, to stimulate coal production. Campaigns, such as figure 174, stressed the importance of careful use of fuel, using statements of facts, fuel was equated with wartime products. Production, however, was the key, and a similar comparison was made in figure 175, aimed at coal-miners. National campaigns for coal production were impossible, as the psychology of the men in different pits and areas varied so widely.[198] The government appeared to try, with a variety of styles in figures 176 to 178, including a cartoon illustrating the miners digging coal so frantically it hits Hitler as a bomb, with local campaigns also significant. The unsophisticated style of figures 119 and 120 was appropriate for local mining area campaigns. Although largely realistic, the posters incorporated modern techniques, including simplified images, the use of central figures, and montage. As with industrial campaigns, in a combination of the style in figures 135 and 172, figure 179 was produced by the Communist Party, showing a clear link between the miners and the soldiers. Despite complaints that the mining population was ageing, a cross-section of ages is shown in the mining posters, although this was potentially to tempt younger men to be recruited, rather than being representative.

Local campaigns were important, as those in industry did not want to be ‘preached’ to by those who did not understand their situation. The use of individually designed posters promoted awareness, and a feeling of pride in involvement. Figure 180 was produced by full time poster artist employed by a firm of scientific instrument manufacturers.[199] The symbolic figure ‘ME’, ‘represents a typical worker’, consistently used in the ‘It all depends on ME’ campaign. All posters utilising the symbol attracted particular attention in the factory ‘because every worker knows that the figure is personal to his own factory; the poster therefore embodies a more personal message’.[200] Some factories could not afford a full-time poster designer, but poster competitions were an effective means of producing potent messages, even if the design quality was not there.[201] One Midlands firm had operated a ‘suggestion scheme’ for over forty years, using approximately 30% of the suggestions. They found that in a time of war the quality of suggestions improved and in 1941 they used over 50% of suggestions made.[202] Figure 181 is a poster demonstrating such ‘hidden talent’, ‘drawn by a worker on his own initiative and afterwards shown to the management’, using a cartoon style typical of Punch.[203] In a competition run by the Standard Telephone Company, figure 182 illustrates the winning entry, using a gothic Germanic typeface, with figure 183, with the characters depicted reminiscent of British political cartoons, the second prize design. Stylistically, the range of posters produced both by the government, and within factories, was widely varied. Traditional paintings, cartoons, and Soviet-inspired designs, mostly espousing modern, scientific discourses, and unafraid to use political comment, were all used, although the British concentrated more on pragmatic, instructional messages. Soviet posters were issued directly by the government, unthinkable even a year before the war.

The Reception of Industrial Posters

On August 11 1941, there were still 22,234 vacancies for men, and 26,405 for women in the munitions industry.[204] There were complaints that propaganda campaigns, including figures 150 to 152, had failed to recruit women. Advertiser’s Weekly took issue with this and claimed that the campaigns had achieved what they were meant to do, get women to attend Labour Exchanges. The failure lay with the labour exchanges which did not capitalise on this, and ‘sell the final product’.[205] The demand for unskilled labour was still increasing, although a Treasury Sanction for a joint campaign to obtain workers had expired. The MOLNS wished the campaign to continue, although short term results were only ‘modest’, as such propaganda could not ‘be judged purely on short term results’. The MOLNS looked to increase the effectiveness of local drives, to be launched with maximum ‘punch’, containing as much ‘concrete’ and ‘informative matter’ as possible.[206] The first job of any recruiting drive in 1942 was to clear up some of the psychological muddle engendered by the ‘contradictory propaganda with which Government and commercial advertisements between them’ had bombarded the public for the previous two years.[207] Pelling noted that by 1942 the country’s economy was fully mobilised, with little slack that could be taken up.[208] In June 1944, out of every nine members of the potential labour force, two were in the armed forces, three in war production, maintained for three years, more than any other country.[209] Women were heavily influenced by feminine concerns, such as fashion. When asked why women did not respond more readily to appeals to join the A.T.S. appeal, one was: “It’s the horrible skirts!”. ‘Contact’ was horrified, with Russian women fighting on the front line, and the enemy approaching fast, that a skirt was preventing women from taking their part in the war effort: ‘Fashion at the front and glamour in the glory’.[210]

The USSR was a ‘powerful stimulus’ to industry in 1942,[211] and ‘Aid to Russia’ weeks were carried out in various regions in 1943, supported by posters, photographs and flags.[212] Exhibitions such as ‘The USSR at War’ were popular, with visitors commenting how the images brought home to them how much the ‘Russians’ were enduring. Women were most interested in pictures of hospitals. Cartoons attracted the most attention, but were studied seriously – they did not seem to be causing any sudden grins.[213] There was intense interest in the USSR involvement in the war, a ‘desire to assist’, and more demand for information about the ‘Russians’ than all the other Allies together. Copies of posters were demanded,[214] with ‘Russian’ cartoons much admired in the UK and America ‘for their drive and appeal’.[215] Posters were one of the brightest features in the streets of the Russian capital, and were deemed the most effective method of bringing the issues of war home to the people. USSR posters were more brutal than the British, depicting the Germans as ‘thick’ Nazi thugs, as they did not have any illusions about treatment they would receive in German hands. The British featured in only one poster, shaking hands over Berlin with USSR pilots as bombs rain down, translated for use in the UK (figure 184).[216]

A positive reaction was given to USSR posters reproduced for display in the UK. Soviet style posters appeared to be popular and to ‘achieve the best results’. Advertiser’s Weekly was amazed that ‘the forceful and elemental proletarian technique of the Soviet should bring such an astonishing response from factory workers’, and found it ‘an interesting guide to the wage-earners’ psychology.[217] Milner described them as ‘brilliantly clever’, and called for them to be widely circulated in the country. He believed that British artists could learn from them, and it was not too late to ‘start training our puerile propagandists in the real art of poster propaganda’.[218] The British efforts in industry contrasted unfavourably with the Soviet 100% effort, and the American organisational drives. American examples of propaganda do not appear to have made the impact that Soviet propaganda did, and a ‘considerable body of the public’ regarded ‘Russian propaganda as a model which this country should follow more closely’. Managers and men alike were said to emphasise that appeals to workers for greater productivity were frequently ineffectual because of perceived ‘all round mismanagement’. It was suggested that a more positive kind of propaganda might counter stories of muddle and inefficiency. As the USSR did, the British planned to give wide publicity to particularly good pieces of work, as much as security would allow.[219] Figures 127 and 170 illustrate how ‘Russian soldiers and citizens were constantly held up as embodiments of various wartime virtues’. Even ‘in posters in which no reference was made to the Soviet Union there was injected more than a dash of heroic soviet realism’.[220] This is evident in figures 123, 124 and 151, which all show signs of the Soviet influence. Shaw spoke positively of figure 124, where ‘the impressive absence of wording’ and lack of ‘verbose exhortations’, combined with a sky full for aeroplanes, gave the poster most of its appeal. The poster stood out from other cluttered designs, and was ‘widely circulated in the early stages of the war, when it was realised that the end of the war would depend ultimately upon air power’.[221] Figure 170 was regarded as a ‘masterpiece of achievement’, as it ‘was brought out at a time when it was fashionable to do everything that they did in Russia’. Once it was ‘realised that the Russian girl in the factory tied up her hair, there was then no need for any further argument, or for stricter factory rules bearing on the matter’.[222]

Both figures 129 and 131, produced by the Communist Party, called for the lifting of the ban on the Daily Worker, suppressed, along with other communist publications, between January 1941 and August 1943.[223] The MOI protested, as it deemed that communist publications were ‘entitled to as much freedom as other sections of the press’ with regard to expressed opinion.[224] The government recognised that in appealing to a diverse audience, there was a need to use propaganda that supported the Soviets. They believed that the ‘Russians are realists and they know that any assistance they get from Great Britain is due to the existence of the Capitalistic system’.[225] The MOI refused to issue posters to Communist Party influenced groups, for fear that they would be seen to have government sanction. By 1944, the anonymous author of this memorandum is calling against such discrimination as he believed that however government propaganda was disseminated, it was achieving the government purpose, and the government could otherwise justly be accused of unfair discrimination.[226]

Despite posters aimed at the miners, production of coal declined from 231 million tons in 1939 to 183 million tons in 1945, and absenteeism showed a ‘marked increase’, with average output per manshift falling by about 10%.[227] Fuel was never rationed in the Second World War, but propaganda was successful in reducing consumption by voluntary economy,[228] although miners’ strikes had an adverse effect on fuel economy campaigns, with a peak of 2.5 million working days lost in 1944.[229] The public wanted to know why they should bother conserving fuel, when miners were continually on strike. They believed that if the ‘fuel economy really mattered, something would be done about the stoppage at the mines’.[230] Complaints came not only from those affected by fuel shortages, but especially from those with relatives in the forces. There was a feeling that whilst their grievances might be genuine, timing was not good with the second front imminent.[231] The Times criticised excessive concerns about the future in industrial concerns, they felt that ‘the war and production for the war are surely all that matters for the present’.[232] The miner may have been isolated by the circumstances of his industry, but there was no reason to think that he was any less patriotic than the rest of the nation,[233] and production increased considerably in the two weeks following the production of figure 119.[234]

When it was recognised that difficulties in production could be resolved by propaganda the Production Executive of the Industrial Publicity Committee swung into action. Published figures of production were believed to have led to complacency in the factories, leading to apathy with no fear of crisis. There was recognised to be a need for a ‘consistent set of statistics which both congratulates people and makes them realise the need for continued work’.[235] The chief function of the MOI was expected to be information, not exhortations, which were ‘generally resented’, although a back-patting campaign, ‘free from patronage’ was desirable. Exhortations to hard work and sacrifice, such as the ‘Go to It’ campaign (figure 49) had produced as much as they could, and needed to be relaxed, so that if needed later in the war, they would still be effective.[236] ‘Skilful advertising’ had made the ‘Go to it’ phrase famous, and impressed it ‘upon the nation’s consciousness’ through such large posters.[237] Advertisers showed their approval by parodying the phrase within commercial advertisements.[238] Surrey Brook, however, questioned what the ‘cryptic words’ ‘Go to it’ meant, deeming them ‘futile, meaningless, and costly’, a ‘mystery’, and uninformative,[239] whilst ‘What is it?’ was scrawled on posters.[240] Prior to the campaign being released, John Rodgers, a propagandist, complained that the campaign would be futile, a waste of taxpayers money, as taken from the original context of the speech, the slogan would be meaningless.[241] Other advertising men criticised the slogan as ‘weak’, ‘uninspiring and uninspired’, ‘lacking in force and salesmanship’, but the Americans, considered the masters in the art of the slogan, approved, as they believed that if the British put their minds to something they really go for it.[242] The Ministry of Supply, releasing a similar poster ‘Keep At It’ (figure 185), praised ‘managements and workers alike’ for having ‘Gone to it’ without sparing themselves. Workers had shown themselves ‘fully worthy of our armed forces and of the cause for which we fight’, with ‘resolution and staying power’ which had ‘daunted our enemies and encouraged our friends’.[243] Mass-Observation (M-O) were worried that continual calls for effort were problematic in the long run, as the normal human mind was not ‘attuned to peak-to-peak effort’. A ‘steady optimum’ was preferable, as otherwise each ‘peak of furious endeavour’ was followed by a ‘plateau’,[244] leading to increased absenteeism.[245] Repeated propaganda campaigns stressing the importance of time-keeping and individual effort, such as figure 186, which focused ‘attention immediately upon the ten black minutes that are sometimes wasted every day in factories of every denomination and size’.[246] Figure 121 became one of the most famous posters of the war, earning ‘widespread application as the symbol of the importance of the individual unit to the combined effort of the whole’. Writing in 1944, Shaw felt that the importance and function of each individual work in relation to the whole, ‘could not be better expressed than by the now familiar link in the chain analogy which applies without exception to every form of industrial activity’. The concept expressed in the poster was so successful, that it was applied to other posters, replacing the female with a male worker, illustrating John Bull linking up the USA and the USSR, and equating management with male and female workers and a symbolic ‘ME’.[247]

The technical diagram in figure 149 was held to be an ‘excellent example of the type of poster which gives technical information in a simple and direct manner’. Aimed specifically at the worker who ‘may be engaged upon a comparatively small part of the engine or air frame’, but is anxious to know more about the completed aircraft. Shaw noted that such posters were a ‘delight to anyone who ha[d] a thirst for knowledge’, giving concise details of a modern aeroplane. Such drawings could only ‘be prepared only by experts of the highest skill, and the most profitable method of producing such a poster is to get permission to use one of the many drawings available through the technical press’.[248] After seeing the collection of images in figure 146 Shaw felt there could be ‘no doubt in any worker’s mind about the importance of his own job’.[249] In figure 145, widely used in factories making ropes and cables, Shaw shows that there was still room for the ‘beautiful’ and ‘aesthetic’ in industrial posters, despite the ‘apparently lifeless and uninteresting article’ that was featured in the poster. Hempen rope needed to be ‘charged with romantic vigour in the minds of the workers’, which Shaw believed had been achieved. In such trades, where the atmosphere allows little space for beauty or refinement, beautiful posters would be particularly successful, by virtue of the contrast to their surroundings.[250]

The use of ROSPA by the government ensured that leaflets and other publicity material about accidents were no longer out of date, but M-O considered that ‘the actual propaganda material is still largely amateur and old-fashioned’.[251] On the general question of effective publicity the Production Committee was unanimous in believing that publicity should be conducted as far as possible on a local basis.[252] Some local posters were so successful that they became national. The factory employing the worker who designed the safety poster in figure 181 were so pleased with the design that they not only printed the poster, they issued copies to other firms and government departments for wider distribution.[253] The Minister of Labour was asked in the House of Commons whether industrial propaganda was being checked for effectiveness, whether it was stimulating production, or checking absenteeism. Bevin responded that he was aware of the ‘regard’ paid to such propaganda, and that the effectiveness of such methods, and the possibility of further extension throughout the war industries, was ‘under constant review by a committee set up for that purpose’.[254] M-O considered that whatever was being done with propaganda inside industry, it had to be set against the ‘total propaganda of events’, which would ‘relate each and every individual to the total effort’.[255]

Industrial relations in wartime were heavily influenced by the interwar years. Bevin’s position of power was significant, his interwar experiences allowed him to claim to be ‘one of the people’, and thus more in tune with industrial workers than others may have been. The miners were key figures in interwar industrial discourses, but within the Second World War, the propaganda focus was largely on the factory effort, clean, modern factories, rather than dirty smokestacks. Within a campaign dealing with the industrial effort, the propagandists were unafraid to use modern stylistic techniques, including photography, appropriate for a modern campaign, although other styles, including cartoons and realistic drawings, were also used. Several propaganda techniques were clearly at play: testimonials were provided by those who would benefit from the parts provided; ‘card-stacking’ was evident as the worst case-scenario for lack of parts was presented (figure 144); ‘name-calling’ was applied to poor effort; and all were called to jump on the ‘band-wagon’, as everyone else was doing their bit, and so should they. Most evident was the transfer of authority from the Soviet effort to the British effort, as the British were called to emulate their Soviet comrades. Anglo-Soviet relations were key, played on in style and subject, often to great effect, although the emphasis was always on ‘Russians’ rather than on Soviets or Communism. The Soviet style is evident is figure 187, for a nation that needed a fit, productive workforce, working to full capacity, whatever the gender. Throughout this chapter we have seen the significance of the civilian effort, within the ‘People’s War’, both the individual and the team effort were key, specifically within the mechanised mass industry. In the next chapter this theme continues, with every individual needing to ensure the future of the nation by being aware of the ‘enemy within’.

[1] Davies, R., Women and Work 1975, p.95

[2] Tiratsoo, N., and Tomlinson, J., Industrial Efficiency and State Intervention: Labour 1939-51, 1993, p.21, quoting Douglas Jay, Listener, May 15 1941.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Briggs, S., Keep Smiling Through, 1975. p.172, quoting Middleton, writer and broadcaster.

[5] Donnelly, M., Britain in the Second World War, 1999, p.70.

[6] Pelling, H., Modern Britain 1885-1955, 1960, p.158.

[7] Wiener, M.J., English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit 1850-1980, 1981, p.63.

[8] Ibid., p.77.

[9] Ibid., pp.158-159. For more information there are large numbers of economic histories of work and industry, for example: Joyce, P., ‘Work’, in Thompson, F.M.L. (ed.), The Cambridge Social History of Britain 1950-1950: People and Their Environment, Volume 2, 1990, pp.131-194; Stevenson, J., and Cook, C., Britain in the Depression: Society and Politics, 1994 (Second Edition)

[10] Harris, J., Private Lives, Public Spirit: Britain 1870-1914, 1993, p.129. On p.145, Harris notes that a coherent ‘working class’, with common experiences, institutions and culture, had emerged in Britain in the Victorian and industrial era. Benson, J., The Working Class in Britain, 2003, p.9 explains how work determined ‘most other aspects of working people’s lives’.

[11] Wiener, M.J., op.cit., 1981, p.145. On p.19, Wiener describes how schools disapproved of teaching technical skills which carried the ‘stigma of utility’.

[12] Ibid., p.127; Orwell, G., The Road to Wigan Pier, 1937 (1962 edition), p.97.

[13] Priestley, J.B., English Journey, 1934, p.4. He again compares the difference between the two ‘England’s’ on p.404.

[14] Bruley, S., Women in Britain Since 1900, 1999, p.66.

[15] Priestley, J.B., op.cit., 1934, p.216.

[16] Ibid., p.125.

[17] Benson, J., op.cit., 2003, pp.16-17; Branson, N., and Heinemann, M., Britain in the Nineteen Thirties, 1971, p.75.

[18] Young, R.M., ‘Darwinism and the Division of Labour’,, accessed October 12 2003 (Originally broadcast on the BBC Radio 3 series, ‘Are Hierarchies Necessary?’, and subsequently published in The Listener, August 17 1972, pp. 202-5 and in Science as Culture no. 9: 110-24, 1990). Frederick Winslow Taylor was an American mechanical engineer, influenced by Darwinism, who was influential between 1890 and the 1920s. See also Chapter 10: ‘The Philadelphia Catechism’, in Donkin, R. Blood, Sweat & Tears: The Evolution of Work, 2001, pp.134-146 for a fuller explanation of how this system worked.

[19] Wiener, M.J., op.cit., 1981, p.89.

[20] Harris, J., op.cit., 1993, p.131.

[21] Young, R.M., ‘Darwinism and the Division of Labour’, op.cit., 2003.

[22] Orwell, G., op.cit., 1937 (1962 Edition), p.164.

[23] Klugmann, J., ‘Introduction: The Crisis in the Thirties: A View from the Left’, in Clark, J., Heinemann, M., Margolies, D., and Snee, C. (eds), Culture and Crisis in Britain in the 30s, 1979, p.20; Chapter 7: ‘Grand Illusions: British Socialists and Stalin in the 1930s’, in Davies, A.J., To Build a New Jerusalem: The Labour Movement from the 1880s to the1990s, 1992, pp.138-150.

[24] Citrine, W., I Search for Truth in Russia, 1936.

[25] Webb, S., and Webb, B., Soviet Communism: A New Civilisation, 1935. This was reprinted in various editions, the last of which was The Truth About Soviet Russia, 1944.

[26] Jarman, T.L., Socialism in Britain: From the Industrial Revolution to the Present Day, 1972, pp.153-162.

[27] Ibid., pp.152. See also Benson, J., op.cit., 2003, for an assessment of the working classes in the years leading up to the Second World War, particularly pp.141-173 which includes patriotism amongst the working classes. Wrigley, C., ‘1919: The Critical Year’, in Wrigley, C. (ed.) The British Labour Movement in the Decade After the First World War, 1979, p.6 notes that Communism was less of a problem for the UK as such propaganda tended to be more effective when there was a lack of food. Orwell, G., op.cit., 1937 (1962 Edition) p.195 noted that an acceptance of socialism did not necessary mean ‘acceptance of the philosophic side of Marxism’, nor ‘adulation of Russia’.

[28] Davis, M., Comrade or Brother? The History of the British Labour Movement 1789-1951, 1993, p.177. See also Paris, M., Warrior Nation: Images of War in British Popular Culture, 1850-2000, 2000, pp.175-180 for examples of Soviet Russia attacked in contemporary popular fiction. Davies, A.J., Where Did the Forties Go? A Popular History: The Rise and Fall of the Hopes of a Decade, 1984, p.11 notes that by 1934, Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (BUF) had over 20,000 members, supported by the Daily Mail and Sunday Dispatch.

[29] Davies, A.J., op.cit., 1992, p.104.

[30] Cole, G.D.H., and Postgate, R., The Common People: 1946-1946, 1946 (Second Edition), p.660.

[31] Ibid., p.662.

[32] Davies, A.J., op.cit., 1984, p.31.

[33] Havinghurst, A.F., Britain in Transition: The Twentieth Century, 1985 (Fourth Edition), p.318. Note that the full American entry into the war, after Pearl Harbor on December 7 1942, did not make the same impact.

[34] Duffy, M., England: The Making of Myth from Stonehenge to Albert Square, 2001, p.233.

[35] INF 1/676, ‘To Mr Grubb from Mr H.P. Smollett. Problems re: Anglo-Soviet propaganda’, September 25 1941, p.3.

[36] PRO INF 1/677, ‘Ango-Soviet Publicity’, February 8 1942.

[37] McLaine, I., Ministry of Morale: Home Front Morale and the Ministry of Information in World War Two, 1979, pp.197-198. Acceptance of the USSR is demonstrated through the production of films such as The Demi-Paradise (1943), or Love on the Dole (1941), films showing Communists in a positive light.

[38] PRO INF 1/676, ‘Letter to Director General, MOI from Mr Ryan, BBC’, September 4 1941.

[39] H.C. DEB, 5s, December 3 1941, Cols 1151-2. This would include news, background information, films and photographs.

[40] Nicholas, J.B., ‘Is British Art Fighting’, Art and Industry, Vol. 32, No. 191, May 1942, p.124; Anonymous, ‘Posters (Russian Style) Will Win the War – in the Factories’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 114, No. 1,481, October 9 1941, p.27.

[41] PRO INF 1/292, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, March 2-9’, 1942.

[42] Branson, N., and Heinemann, M., op.cit., 1971, p.83. 85 million work days were lost in 1921, almost twice as many as in the worst pre-war year. Strike activity was heavily regionalised, strongest in the old industrial areas.

[43] Morris, M. The British General Strike 1926, 1973, p.3, referring to Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister, May 6 1926. A T.U.C. Statement, May 7 1926, is also referred to: The Trade Unions viewed it as merely an industrial strike. Many historians have considered the General Strike: Davis, M., op.cit., 1993; Kirby, M.W., The British Coalmining Industry 1870-1946 1977, pp.92-107; Laybourn, K., A History of British Trade Unionism 1997, pp.133-143; Morris, M., op.cit., 1973; Pearce, R., Britain: Industrial Relations and the Economy 1900-1939, 1993, pp.75-93; Renshaw, P., The General Strike, 1975; Seaman, L.C.B., Post-Victorian Britain 1902-1951, 1966, pp.187-213; Sheldrake, J., Industrial Relations & Politics in Britain 1880-1989, 1991, pp.46-52.

[44] Pearce, R., op.cit., 1993, p.71. Klugmann, J., ‘Introduction’, op.cit., 1979, p.21, and Richards, A.J., Miners on Strike: Class Solidarity and Division in Britain, 1996, p.6 both argue that the interwar period was actually one of less industrial conflict than popularly perceived.

[45] Morris, M., op.cit., 1973, pp.14-15. See also Wrigley, C., op.cit., 1979, p.2.

[46] Davis, M. (London Metropolitan University), ‘TUC | History Online’,, accessed December 30 2003, notes that trade union membership expanded from 4.5 million members in 1938, to 7.5 million members by 1946.

[47] Sheldrake, J., op.cit., 1991, p.52.

[48] Longmate, N., How We Lived Then: A history of everyday life during the Second World War, 1971, p.340.

[49] Laybourn, K., op.cit., 1997, p.159. See Bullock, A., The Life and Times of Ernest Bevin, Volume 2: Minister of Labour 1940-1945, 1967.

[50] Pearce, R., op.cit., 1993, p.72.

[51] Briggs, A., Go To It! Working for Victory on the Home Front 1939-1945, 2000, p.26.

[52] BBC, ‘The Tonypandy Massacre’,, accessed December 30 2003. The miners of the Rhondda Valley struck in November 1910 over pay. The actions of Winston Churchill, as the Home Secretary, assumed mythical proportions. Belief is that Churchill sent the troops in to quell the unrest, and many died. The reality was that the police, accompanied by troops, were called in, although not in the quantities believed, and one miner died.

[53] Sheldrake, J., op.cit., p1991, .57.

[54] Briggs, A., op.cit., 2000, p.16.

[55] Longmate, N., op.cit., 1971, p.340.

[56] Laybourn, K., op.cit., 1997, pp.159-161.

[57] PRO INF 1/292D, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 156’, September 21-28 1943, p.473. This was not new, as Priestley, J.B. op.cit., 1934, p.339, noted that miners were deemed ‘unpatriotic scoundrels’ if they went on strike because coal was an ‘urgent national necessity’, but if they suggested that being such an ‘urgent national necessity’ it should be managed by the state rather than by private industry they were believed to be the ‘spokemen of Red Russia’.

[58] Ibid., ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 170’, December 29 1943 –January 4 1944, p.370.

[59] Ibid., ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 156’, September 21-28 1943, p.473.

[60] Noakes, L., War and the British: Gender and National Identity, 1939-91, 1998, p.6.

[61] Calder, A., The People’s War 1969, p.395. See also Davis, M., op.cit., 1993, pp.186-188, and Fielding, S., Thompson, P., and Tiratsoo, N. (eds), “England Arise!” The Labour Party and Popular Politics in 1940s Britain, 1995, pp.30-32.

[62] See Beynon, H., and Austrin, T., Masters and Servants: Class and Patronage in the Making of a Labour Organisation, 1994, p.2; Campbell, A., Fishman, N., and Howell, D., Miners, Unions and Politics 1910-47, 1996; Church, R., and Outram, Q., Strikes and Solidarity: Coalfield Conflict in Britain 1889-1966, 1998; and Richards, A.J., op.cit., 1996.

[63] Samuel, R., Island Stories: Unravelling Britain: Vol. 2: Theatres of Memory, 1998, pp.153-154.

[64] Court, W.H.B., History of the Second World War: Coal, 1951, pp.4-5, note that coal fields produced different types of coal and the richness of their seams varied.

[65] Beynon, H. and Austrin, T., op.cit., 1994, pp.122-130; Morris, M., op.cit., 1973, p.5; Orwell, G., op.cit., 1937 (1962 Edition), p.39; and Pearce, R., op.cit., 1993, pp.73-74.

[66] Orwell, G., op.cit., 1937 (1962 Edition), pp.19-31; Priestley, J.B., op.cit., 1934, pp.324; 329.

[67] Branson, N., and Heinemann, M., op.cit., 1971, p.99.

[68] Court, W.H.B., op.cit., p1951, p.15.

[69] Ibid., pp.24-25.

[70] Harris, J., op.cit., 1993, p.129.

[71] Orwell, G. op.cit., 1937 (1962 Edition), pp.76-78, notes the shock of the middle classes that those who were unemployed were still marrying and having children, but viewed it as a positive sign that the unemployed had not lost their humanity.

[72] Priestley, J.B., op.cit., 1934, pp.327-328.

[73] Orwell, G., op.cit., 1937 (1962 Edition), p.149.

[74] Weinbren, D., Generating Socialism: Recollections of Life in the Labour Party, 1997, p.74, (Image).

[75] Black, J.A., A History of the British Isles, 1997, p.258.

[76] Anonymous, ‘National Publicity Programme Fighting Big Drop in Coal Output’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 121, No. 1,579, June 17 1943, p.325

[77] Anonymous, Image Caption, Advertiser’s Weekly, August 26 1943, Vol. 121, No. 1,579, p.281. Beynon, H., and Austrin, T., op.cit., 1994: Significantly, Durham and Derbyshire were both notable areas in the interwar strikes.

[78] Kirby, M.W., op.cit., 1977, pp.167-171.

[79] Court, W.H.B., op.cit., 1951, p.27.

[80] Kirby, M.W., op.cit., 1977, p.171. The last ‘Bevin Boys’ were sent down in 1948.

[81] Pelling, H., op.cit., 1960, p.158.

[82] Kirby, M.W., op.cit., 1977, p.173.

[83] Orwell, G., op.cit., 1937 (1962 Edition), p.181.

[84] Cole, G.D.H., and Postgate, R., op.cit., 1946, p.663.

[85] Brown, J.A.C., The Social Psychology of Industry, 1954, p.39.

[86] PRO CAB 21/156, ‘Production Executive, Industrial Propaganda. 7th Meeting’, April 23 1941.

[87] PRO CAB 21/156, ‘Note by Mr J.L. Henderson (Ministry of Supply), Production Executive, Industrial Propaganda’, March 27 1941.

[88] PRO INF 1/284, ‘Letter to Bracken from Jack Jones, Cardiff. October 3 1943’, p.126. See also Shaw, C.K., Industrial Publicity, 1944, p.48.

[89] Wiener, M.J., op.cit., 1981, p.119.

[90] Priestley, J.B., op.cit., 1934. Priestley’s examples included, on pp.33-4, Wills of Bristol (tobacco), and, on pp.89-95, Cadbury’s of Bourneville (chocolate). See also Donkin, R., op.cit., 2001, p.188.

[91] Wiener, M.J., op.cit., 1981, p.144.

[92] McIvor, A.J., A History of Work in Britain, 1880-1950, 2001, p.132. Orwell, G. op.cit., 1937 (1962 Edition), p.171, also noted how machinery evolved to become more and more foolproof, and thus more and more safe.

[93] Benson, J., op.cit., 2003, p.15.

[94] Beynon, H., and Austrin, T., op.cit., 1994, pp.160-161, describes how girls in domestic service experienced the moral supervision of the ruling classes, although there was little concern for their physical welfare, so long as the work was completed.

[95] RosPA, ‘The History of ROSPA’,, written September 9 2002, accessed October 12 2003.

[96] RosPA, ‘The History of ROSPA’,, written September 9 2002, accessed October 12 2003.

[97] M-O, People in Production, 1942, p.209.

[98] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, pp.389-390

[99] Branson, N., and Heinemann, M., op.cit., 1971, p.76.

[100] McIvor, A.J., op.cit., 2001, p.133.

[101] Pelling, H., op.cit., 1960, p.158. Briggs, A., A Social History of England, 1983, p.272 notes that by May 1943, ‘four million workers in nearly 7,000 factories were listening to ‘Music While You Work’ and to ‘Workers’ Playtime’.

[102] McIvor, A.J., op.cit., 2001, p.167.

[103] Harris, J., ‘Labour’s Political and Social Thought’, in Tanner, D., Thane, P., and Tiratsoo, N. (eds), Labour’s First Century, 2000, p.27.

[104] Morris, M., op.cit., 1994, pp.20-21, quoting Stanley Baldwin, 1926.

[105] Wiener, M.J., op.cit., 1981, p.109.

[106] Davies, R., op.cit., 1975, p.93.

[107] Havinghurst, A.F., op.cit., 1985, p.316 notes that The Emergency Powers Act, May 22 1940, gave the Minister of Labour and National Service ‘the control and use of all labour’; the Man Power Requirements Committee was formed in June 1940; The Essential Works Order for passed in March 1941. Kirby, M.W. op.cit., 1977, p.178, notes that the Ministry of Fuel and Power was formed in 1942. Branson, N. and Heinemann, M. op.cit., 1971, p.325 notes that Joint Production Committees (JPD) were formed to secure co-operation between managers and workers to increase output. These were set up by ‘innumerable workers’, who with improved self-confidence in the inter-war years, set them up, believing that they could not do any worse than the management structure that had developed since the First World War.

[108] Havinghurst, A.F., op.cit., 1985, p.316.

[109] Laybourn, K., op.cit., 1997, p.160.

[110] Kirby, M.W., op.cit., 1977, p.174.

[111] PRO INF 1/292A, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 31’, April 30-May 7 1941, p.102.

[112] Calder, A., op.cit., 1969, pp.388-389. See also Harris, C., Women at War 1939-1945: The Home Front, 2000, p.62.

[113] PRO INF 1/292A, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 33’, May 14-21 1941, p.88. M-O, op.cit., 1942, pp.196-197 identified factors leading to absenteeism, including: domestic responsibilities, including time for children and to see husbands and boyfriends on leave. Other factors accounting for absenteeism included illness, sickness, long hours and fatigue, lack of official weekends, high earnings, income tax, oversleeping, transport difficulties, the weather and a slackness in following up absenteeism.

[114] McIvor, A.J., op.cit., 2001, pp.114-115. In the 1890s, nominal working hours ranged from 43 to 96 hours per week, until William Mather had demonstrated the efficiency of an average 48 hour week, which had become common in 1919.

[115] PRO INF 1/292A, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 33’, May 14-21 1941, p.88. See also M-O, op.cit., 1942, p.188.

[116] M-O, op.cit., 1942, p.x (emphasis in original).

[117] Tiratsoo, N., and Tomlinson, J., op.cit., 1993, p.21.

[118] Ibid., p.23. See Chapter 2 ‘The production crisis, productivity and the rise of the management question, 1941-4’, pp.21-43.

[119] PRO INF 292/B, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 45’, August 6-13 1941, pp. 335-340.

[120] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, pp.105-106.

[121] PRO CAB 21/156, ‘Note by Mr J.L. Henderson (Ministry of Supply), Production Executive, Industrial Propaganda’, March 27 1941.

[122] McIvor, A.J., op.cit., 2001, p.190. See also Harris, J., op.cit., 1993, p.124; Bruley, S., op.cit., 1999, p.59 explains how the government looked to reassert traditional gender differences.

[123] Myrdal, A., and Klein, V., Women’s Two Roles: Home and Work 1956, p.5. See Beddoe, D., Back to the Home and Duty: Women Between the Wars 1918-1939, 1989, p.8, where the consistent inter-war image in the media was that of the woman as housewife and mother; and Giles, J., Women, Identity and private life in Britain, 1900-50, 1995.

[124] Longmate, N., op.cit., 1971, p.335.

[125] Bruley, S., op.cit., 1999, p.68.

[126] Longmate, N., op.cit., 1971, p.335.

[127] Davies, R., op.cit., 1975, p.9. Hall, L.A., Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain Since 1800, 2000, p.15, discusses the idea of ‘separate spheres’ originating in the Victorian era. Bruley, S., op.cit., 1999, p.9, notes that the nanny did most of the actual ‘parenting’ work, and on pp.12-13 that women were ‘mothers of the race’, with a national duty to produce enough children of a suitable quality.

[128] Davies, R. op.cit., 1975, pp.29-30, notes that after the Industrial Revolution working class women had worked in the mill, at the pit, on the farm, including heavy work, and not until 1844 were their working hours limited in any way. See Bruley, S., op.cit., 1999, pp.18-19 for descriptions of some of the work roles undertaken by women in the early years of the twentieth century.

[129] Myrdal, A., and Klein, V., op.cit., 1956, p.1, (emphasis in original).

[130] Marwick, A., Britain in the Century of Total War: War, Peace & Social Change 1900-1967, 1968, p.292. Hall, L.A., op.cit., 2000, p.16 noted that whatever work women took on, it needed to be a ‘respectable’ trade.

[131] Marwick, A., op.cit., 1968, p.292.

[132] Davies, R., op.cit., 1975, p.93.

[133] Noakes, L., op.cit., 1998, p.48. Summerfield, P., Women Workers in the Second World War, 1984; Braybon, G., and Summerfield, P., Out of the Cage: Women’s Experiences in the Two World Wars, 1987; and Summerfield, P., Reconstructing Women’s Wartime Lives: Discourses and Subjectivity in Oral History, 1998 are seminal histories of women’s wartime work. See also Gledhill, C., and Swanson, G. (eds.), Nationalising Femininity: Culture, Sexuality and British Cinema in the Second World War, 1996.

[134] Bruley, S. (ed.), Working for Victory: A Diary of Life in a Second World War Factory, 2001, p.xxii notes in the introduction that munitions work was a ‘visible expression’ of patriotism. This patriotic impulse was demonstrated in Priestley, J.B., British Women Go to War, 1942.

[135] Myrdal, A., and Klein, V., op.cit., 1956, p.7. Bruley, S., op.cit., 1999, p.93, notes that the dependants allowance was ‘woefully inadequate’ and needed to be supplmented.

[136] Glucksmann, M., Women Assemble: Women Workers and the New Industries in Inter-war Britain 1990, p.5. See also Bruley, S., op.cit., 1999, pp.66-68. Priestley, J.B., op.cit., 1934, pp.129-131 described visiting a hosiery factory in 1933, watching the ‘girls’ keeping up with ‘relentless’ machines, which he believed to be a truly monotonous job. Yet the manager insisted that having learnt the routine, the women were free to think about other things whilst working.

[137] Noakes, L., op.cit., 1998, p.50. See also Goodman, P., ‘Patriotic Femininity: Women’s Morals and Men’s Morale During the Second World War’, Gender and History, Vol. 10, No. 2, August 1998, pp.278-293, which makes a similar argument. Hall, L.A., op.cit., 2000, pp.142-143, explains how the gendered roles were carefully demarcated. The government looked to women to release men for combat, although the women did not become combatants themselves.

[138] Davies, R., op.cit., 1975, p.95. See Priestley, J.B., op.cit., 1934, depicting factory women unencumbered by childcare and shopping responsibilities.

[139] Myrdal, A., and Klein, V., op.cit., 1956, p.39.

[140] Davies, R., op.cit., 1975, p.93. In June 1940, working hours for women were limited to sixty a week.

[141] Ibid., p.94.

[142] PRO INF 1/284, ‘Draft: Secret: Report on the State of Home Morale’, April 1942, p.11, and PRO INF 1/292C, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 119’, January 5-12 1943, p.254.

[143] PRO INF 1/250, ‘Planning Committee – Minutes of Occasional Meetings, and reports’, February 10 1941, p.73.

[144] PRO INF 1/249, ‘Planning Committee – Agenda & Minutes’, March 13 1941, p.223.

[145] M-O FR 615, ‘Why appeal to women?: Criticism of Bevin’s appeal to women to contribute to the war effort’, March 20 1941, p.4.

[146] PRO INF 1/249, ‘Planning Committee – Agenda & Minutes’, March 27 1941, p.231.

[147] PRO INF 1/251, ‘Home Planning Committee – Notes on the Government proposals for the conscription of women’, November 1941, p.629-30.

[148] Davies, R., op.cit., 1975, p.94.

[149] Calder, A., op.cit., 1969, p.331. Plenty has been written on the role of women in Nazi Germany, including Evans, D., and Jenkins, J., Years of Weimar and the Third Reich, 1999, pp.285-288; Haste, C., Nazi Women: Hitler’s Seduction of a Nation, 2001; Koonz, C., Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family and Nazi Politics, 1987; Kruml, E., ‘Feminism Under the Third Reich’,, accessed March 25 2004; Layton, G., German: The Third Reich 1933-45, 1992, pp.102-105; and Stephenson, J., Women in Nazi Society, 2001 (Second Edition). Briggs, A., op.cit., 2000, p.29 notes that the number of women in the ‘German workforce remained higher than that of Britain throughout the war’, but such a statement is true concerning their depiction in the media.

[150] Priestley, J.B., op.cit., 1934, pp.244-245.

[151] Bishop, P., An Archetypal Constable: National Identity and the Geography of Nostalgia, 1995, p.125. See also Waite, C., and Nicolson, A., Landscape in Britain, 1984, p.29.

[152] Kirby, M.W., op.cit., 1977, p.192. Although this applied specifically to the mining industry, there is no reason to think that this did not apply elsewhere.

[153] Havinghurst, A.F., op.cit., 1985, pp.344-345.

[154] Pelling, H., op.cit., 1960, pp.157-8.

[155] Williams, C., Capitalism, Community and Conflict: The South Wales Coalfield 1898-1947, 1998, p.24.

[156] Churchill Archives Centre, CHAR 20/147B/197, ‘Statistics Relating to the War Effort of the United Kingdom’, 1944, p.1.

[157] Pelling, H., op.cit., 1960, p.158.

[158] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, p.78.

[159] Anonymous, ‘Posters (Russian Style) Will Win the War – in the Factories’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 114, No. 1,481, October 9 1941, p.27.

[160] Written on Figures 116 to 118: ‘This is one of a series of posters produced in Britain for use in the USSR in return for the posters the British used’.

[161] Anonymous, Image and caption, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 126, No. 1,638, October 12 1944, p.43.

[162] Anonymous, ‘You Can Help Campaign on the Hoardings’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 112, No. 1,460, May 15 1941, p.118.

[163] Anonymous, ‘Big New M. of Labour Appeals to Workers, Employers, Billeters’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 111, No. 1,451, March 13 1941, p.198.

[164] Anonymous, ‘We Hear’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 113, No. 1,469, July 17 1941, p.60.

[165] Anonymous, ‘Slogan that Spurred on Workers to Win the War’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 126, No. 1,639, October 19 1944, p.83.

[166] Anonymous, ‘M. of I. Launch Big Scheme through Bensons’, Advertiser’ s Weekly, Vol. 108, No. 1,411, June 6 1940, p.248. This campaign coincided with a government announcement for restrictions in the use of paper for government advertisements.

[167] Press, Advertising and the Trade, September 1939-September 1940, p.42.

[168] PRO INF 1/5, ‘General Division: Progress Report for May 1940’, p.17. About 10,000 16-sheet and 48-sheet commercial sites were to be taken, and in addition some 200,000 smaller posters were to be distributed through factories and Voluntary Societies.

[169] Press, Advertising and the Trade, op.cit., September 1939-September 1940, p.47.

[170] Anonymous, ‘Poster Tells Workers: Hand Tool Making is Vital’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 116, No. 1,510, April 30 1942, p.90.

[171] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, p.29 and p.142.

[172] Ibid., p.52. Bartlett, F.C., Political Propaganda 1940, p.18 noted that more technical advertisements required ‘a higher standard of specialised knowledge’.

[173] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, p.67.

[174] Shaw, C.K., ‘Industrial Publicity’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 122, No. 1,589, November 4 1943, p.94.

[175] PRO CAB 21/156, ‘Note by Mr J.L. Henderson (Ministry of Supply), Production Executive, Industrial Propaganda’, March 27 1941

[176] LAB 8/107, ‘Women’s organisations: recruitment of women for war work, planning campaign to commence October 13 1941’. Undated, but pre-October 1941.

[177] PRO CAB 117/151, ‘From Wm. A Jowitt, Office of the Paymaster General to Sir Stafford Cripps, Lord Privy Seal’ October 9 1942.

[178] PRO INF 1/289, ‘Wartime Social Survey Reports: Regional Surveys’, pp.10-16, noted that a minimum of 55%, a maximum 80%, wanted to continue working.

[179] PRO INF 1/292C, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No, 129’, March 16-23 1943, p.182.

[180] Calder, A., op.cit., 1969, pp.334-335.

[181] McDowell, C., Forties Fashion and the New Look, 1997, particularly pp.42-77 for more information on fashion and war.

[182] Shaw, C.K. op.cit., 1944, pp.372-394, devoted an entire chapter to ‘Accidents: Safety’.

[183] Briggs., A., op.cit., 2000, p.93

[184] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, pp.389-390

[185] Ibid., p.381.

[186] Ibid., p.387.

[187] Ibid., p.376.

[188] Anonymous, ‘Thousands of Posters Help to Win War on Accidents’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 118, No. 1,534, October 15 1942, p.56 and p.62. Bruley, S., op.cit., 1999, p.70 notes that after the First World War, new hairstyles were simpler and had more freedom of movement, indicative of a new, freer, mood.

[189] Anonymous, Image Caption, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 122, No. 1,588, October 28 1943, p.75.

[190] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, p.381.

[191] Darracott, J., and Loftus, B., Second World War Posters, 1972 (1981 edition), p.65.

[192] Anonymous, ‘How Government Uses Posters to Ease Strain on Transport’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 119, No. 1,547, January 14 1943, p.42.

[193] Shaw, C.K., ‘Industrial Publicity’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 124, No. 1,618, May 25 1944, p.259.

[194] Havinghurst, A.F., op.cit., 1985, p.293.

[195] Black, J.A., A History of the British Isles, 1997, p.258.

[196] Anonymous, ‘“Gingering Up” the Men in the Shipyards’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 121, No. 1,579, August 26 1943, p.270.

[197] PRO CAB 21/156, ‘Production Executive, Industrial Propaganda. 8th Meeting’, May 7 1941.

[198] Anonymous, ‘National Publicity Programme Fighting Big Drop in Coal Output’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 121, No. 1,579, June 17 1943, p.325.

[199] Anonymous, ‘Posters’ Part in Factory Propaganda’, Advertiser’s Weekly¸ Vol. 119, No. 1,551, February 11 1943, p.133.

[200] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, p.350.

[201] Wainwright, W., ‘Posters in Wartime’, Our Time, June 1943, p.16 notes: ‘Material produced by Tom Jones may not be of value for national distribution; but it certainly packs a punch in the place where Tom Jones works, because it is produced by a man the other workers know, and it is about something they are all discussing.’

[202] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, pp.322-323.

[203] Ibid., p.99.

[204] PRO INF 1/86, ‘From Min of Lab & Nat Ser to Vaughan’, September 3 1941, p.202.

[205] Anonymous, ‘Advertising has NOT failed’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 113, No. 1,476, September 4 1941, p.180.

[206] PRO INF 1/86, op.cit., September 3 1941, p.202.

[207] M-O Industry Box 3/B, ‘C.F., Note’, January 19 1942.

[208] Pelling, H., op.cit., 1960, p.158.

[209] Ibid., p.159.

[210] ‘Mainly Personal, By Contact’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 114, No. 1,485, November 6 1941, p.135.

[211] PRO INF 1/284, ‘Draft: Secret: Report on the State of Home Morale’, April 1942, p.11.

[212] PRO INF 1/678, ‘Anglo-Soviet Publicity for May 1943’, p.35.

[213] Ibid., ‘Extract from Report on “The U.S.S.R. at War” Exhibition in Bristol’, mid-1943, p.59.

[214] PRO INF 1/677, Untitled, 1941. For more on British reactions to the Soviets, see Bell, P.M.H. John Bull and the Bear: British Public Opinion, Foreign Politics and the Soviet Union, 1941-1945 1990; Howling, I.R.C., ‘Our Soviet Friends’: the presentation of Soviet Union in the British Media 1941-45’, Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Leeds, 1988.

[215] Darracott, J., and Loftus, B., op.cit., 1972 (1981 edition), p.67.

[216] Anonymous, ‘Vernon Bartlett Says Soviet Posters are Best Propaganda: Moscow Hoarding’s Part in War’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 114, No. 1,480, October 2 1941, p.4.

[217] Anonymous, ‘Posters (Russian Style) Will Win War in the Factories’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 114, No. 1,481, October 9 1941, p.27.

[218] Reader’s Letter from John Milner, Liverpool, Picture Post, February 21 1942, p.3.

[219] PRO INF 1/292B, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 58’, November 3-10 1941.

[220] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, p.203.

[221] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, p.43.

[222] Ibid., p.106.

[223] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, pp.188-189.

[224] Ibid., p.186.

[225] PRO INF 1/676, ‘Very Secret Letter from RHP’, October 15 1941.

[226] Ibid., ‘Letter to Mr Dowden: Co-operation with Communist Organisations’, 1944.

[227] Howlett, P. (ed.), Fighting with Figures: A Statistical Digest of the Second World War, 1995, p.85.

[228] Pelling, H., op.cit., 1960, p.158.

[229] Howlett, P. (ed.), op.cit., 1995, p.85.

[230] PRO INF 1/292D, ‘Home Intelligence Weekly Report, No. 180’, March 7-14 1944, p.296.

[231] Ibid., p.295.

[232] The Times, January 2 1942, quoted in M-O, op.cit., 1942, p.229.

[233] Court, W.H.B., op.cit., 1951, p.27.

[234] Anonymous, ‘National Publicity Programme Fighting Drop in Coal Output’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 120, No. 1,569, June 17 1943, p.325.

[235] PRO CAB 21/1562, ‘Production Executive: Industrial Publicity’, [unknown date].

[236] PRO INF 1/252, ‘Planning Committee: Miscellaneous Papers’, August 1940, p.77.

[237] Press, Advertising and the Trade, op.cit., September 1939-September 1940, p.42.

[238] Advertisement, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 110, No. 1,436, November 28 1940, p.164.

[239] Brook, R., ‘He Doesn’t Like “Go To It!”, Letter to Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 108, No. 1,412, June 13 1940, p.273.

[240] PRO INF 1/857, ‘Parliamentary Debates. Mr White, MP (Birkenhead East)’, July 3 1941, p.1561.

[241] PRO INF 1/533, ‘Home Front Morale signed by John Rodgers’, May 27 1940.

[242] Anonymous, ‘If you don’t like “Go to it!”’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 109, No. 1,416, July 11 1940, p.22. M-O FR 306, ‘Testing the Slogan “Go To It”’, June 1940, p.2, tested reactions to the slogan ‘Go To It’, and found that 45% approved of the slogan, with a large proportion of those questioned comparing it with another government slogan, ‘Stay Put’, ‘essentially sedentary, passive, defensive, undynamic even lethargic… in direct contradiction to the slogan “Go to it”… ‘essentially dynamic, offensive and the very antithesis of “Stay Put”.’

[243] PRO AVIA 22/747,Ministry of Supply ‘Keep at It’: Issue of Poster’, August 1940.

[244] M-O, op.cit., 1942, p.55.

[245] Ibid., 1942, pp.196-197.

[246] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., p.85

[247] Ibid., p.340.

[248] Ibid., p.70.

[249] Ibid., p.29 and p.142.

[250] Ibid., p.29.

[251] M-O, op.cit., 1942, p.209. They did not specify why they deemed the material ‘amateur and old-fashioned’.

[252] PRO CAB 21/156, ‘Production Executive, Industrial Propaganda. 7th Meeting’, April 23 1941.

[253] Shaw, C.K., op.cit., 1944, p.99.

[254] 378 H.C. DEB. 5s, March 24 1942, Col 1825.

[255] M-O, op.cit., 1942, p.270.

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