WASHINGTON -- President Wilson tonight placed the country on stricter food rations.
In a proclamation he limited wholesalers, jobbers and retailers to 70 per cent of their 1917 wheat flour requirements and bakers to 80 per cent.
He called for observance of two wheatless days, Monday and Wednesday, one wheatless and one meatless meal daily, meatless Tuesday and porkless Saturday.
Simultaneously the food administration announced its new "Victory bread," to contain 20 per cent of cereals other than wheat, after February 24.
It also announced Tuesday would be a porkless day in addition to Saturday.
Despite the sweeping nature of the new food regulations, both President Wilson and the food administration expect hearty cooperation from dealers and consumers.
These drastic steps are necessary to provide wheat for Europe, the food administration stated. Thirty per cent of America's normal wheat consumption must be sent to our allies. Only radical cuts in the administration bill of fare will provide the 15,000,000 bushels monthly which the the allies require.
Only part of the new food regulations will be compulsory under the powers possessed by the food administration. Dealers can be checked through licensing, but the food administration freely admitted tonight that it would depend on the patriotism of the American housewife to force observance of the new war rations.
"Victory" war bread, the new national loaf, is expected to provide the big saving in wheat consumption and win the war.
Graham and whole wheat breads will be classed as victory breads, but the real war loaf will be that mixed by substituting 20 per cent of rice flour, cornmeal, potato flour, oatmeal, buckwheat flour and other substitutes. Retailers are ordered to sell wheat flour with an equal amount of one of these substitutes.
Housewives need not mix this in baking, though this is urged.
President Wilson, in his proclamation, ordered reduction of wheat by 30 per cent, "a reduction imperatively needed to provide the supply for overseas.
Wholesalers, jobbers and retailers, he stated must purchase and sell to their customers only 70 per cent of their last requirements.
In addition, he declared that all manufacturers of biscuits, crackers, pastry and breakfast cereals should reduce consumption of wheat flour 70 per cent also.
Bakers, including hotels and other establishments, which have their own ovens, are restricted to 80 per cent of their present requirements.
Householders are to be limited to 70 per cent of their last year's supply.
Substitution of potatoes, vegetables, corn, barley, oats and rice products is urged to make up the wheat reduction.
"In order that consumption may be restricted to this extent," the president stated. "Mondays and Wednesdays should be observed as wheatless days each week, and one meal each day should be observed as a wheatless meal."
In order to reduce consumption of beef, pork and sheep products, Tuesdays will be meatless days and one meatless meal should be observed daily.
Porkless Saturday is provided for by the president and the food administration has included pork, bacon, ham, fresh or smoked, and lard in its ban.
Economy in use of sugar was demanded by the president for the time being, and rigid cutting down of waste among other foodstuffs.
These requirements will not undermine the health of the people. Expert dietitians were consulted by the food administration before it planned its new rationing scheme and the present demands are entirely safe from a public health point of view, the food administration declared tonight.
The new regulations are effective Monday morning. Victory bread, however, will contain only 5 per cent wheat substitutes to start with, but a gradual increase is planned until February 24, when only 80 per cent of wheat flour will be allowed in victory bread.
Macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, crackers and breakfast food will not escape the new cut. Manufacturers of these products are restricted to 70 percent of their 1917 wheat consumption in corresponding months.
While the food administration has expressed the preference that the evening meal be the wheatless one, State Food Administrators will announce which is to be the wheatless meal in their state.
These regulations were based on the necessity of saving 300,000 tons of flour a month for our allies. If the 30 per cent reduction in domestic consumption can be effected, this surplus will be provided. Failure on the conservation plan will be indicated by the extent to which the 300,000 tons assigned to the allies must be cut into to relieve domestic demands. Every effort will be made to force consumption down to the limit, however.