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1945: Britain Asks for Whiskey to Ensure ‘Merry, Merry Christmas’

LONDON, Nov. 19. — Britons approaching their first peacetime Christmas in seven years want a “victory, not an austerity, Christmas” this year, including “a little of that whisky that goes to America so regularly,” according to “The Daily Express.”

The Minister of Food, Sir Ben Smith, has been able to provide a bit more sugar, sweets, fats and meats, the newspaper’s “public opinion” column said. “For that we are truly thankful, but by themselves they fall a long way short of ensuring the merry, merry Christmas that the victorious British feel they deserve.”

“A bottle of real port is a traditional Christmas treat,” the newspaper continued. “Make it easier to find and easier to pay for, and spare a little of that whisky, that goes to America so regularly, for the homes of Britain.”

In spite of victory in Europe six months ago and world victory and world peace three months ago, the article said, “the people of Britain have no encouragement that there will be luxuries and semi-luxuries enough to give a boost to their spirits.”

— The New York Herald Tribune, European Edition, November 20, 1945.

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