Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/101

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LEGISLATION CAUSED BY THE WAR

the Secretary of the Home Office to take over all the rye and wheat of the uncommonly poor harvest of that year, as well as a portion of the barley and oat crop. It further authorized him to command every municipality to purchase potatoes for its inhabitants, even if it were necessary to compel the farmers to sell. The quantity of grain to be surrendered was calculated according to the value of land as tillable soil. The arrangement had its drawbacks, as, for instance, it might follow that farmers could scarcely get the necessary fodder for their horses. But here, as wherever regulations were made, a series of committees was appointed; one Permanent Agricultural Committee, the members of which were for the most part elected by the organizations; a general Food Council and local Food Councils for each separate district.

In the following year another Corn Act was passed. It authorized the Secretary of the Home Office, after agreement with the farmers, to cause potatoes to be raised, and it permitted the state to take over all sugar beyond what was necessary for the population. Further, it made provision for supplying pork to the people. As stated above, the number of hogs had very greatly diminished during the war, and the most sparing consumption of pork was enjoined. By an act of December 10, 1917, the Secretary of the Home Office was authorized to take measures for rationing pork, and the ensuing measures interfered greatly with the independence of farmers. In August 1918 it was decided that slaughtering at the farm could be allowed only on certain conditions and exclusively for household consumption.

The supplies of butter and milk were no less guarded. At the close of 1917 butter had to be rationed. A note of October 20 fixed a maximum price considerably below the export price; and later on there was a further reduction. An act of December 10 of the same year provided that the state should pay the expense of the rationing system arising from the sale of butter at the reduced prices. The milk