For many decades the United Kingdom had been dependent on the outside world for a large proportion of its food. This dependence developed according to economic laws along with its national policies. The undreamed of magnitude of the world war made this dependence for food critical in the life of the nation. It is in the reaction to the food situation, which reached its climax in the spring of 1918, that we are chiefly interested.
First of all arises the question, How did Great Britain drift into such a critical situation? The statement of the problem is logically followed by a statement of the ways in which the situation was met. These ways, in addition to continuation of imports of food were, (1) by increase in domestic production, and (2) by control over consumption.