This meat ration card is dated 1943* and was owned by a former resident of Oakleigh. If lost, it was to be returned to the Deputy Director of Rationing, Melbourne. Each tiny coupon is numbered and those numbered up to 46 have been cut off as used.
Meat rationing was introduced in Australia relatively late in the war, after such food items as butter, tea and sugar. The purpose of rationing was to help manage shortages, to ensure equity in access to goods, and to encourage household savings which ideally would be directed to War Savings Bonds.
Like rationing for petrol and tobacco, meat rationing was particularly unpopular. More coupons were required for the more expensive cuts of meat, but for meat such as sausages, poultry, rabbits, ham and offal there was no rationing. The initial ration for adults (later decreased slightly) was 2.2 pounds (around one kilogram) of red meat per week. Women’s magazines published recipes for meals using a minimum of, or no, rationed foods, including meat.
• A mystery with this date is the fact that coupon rationing for meat was actually gazetted on 14 January 1944. It was abolished on 24 June 1948.
also the website of the Old Treasury Building in Melbourne: www.oldtreasurybuilding.org.au
Note: in the photograph, the owner’s name has been covered for privacy reasons.