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But mostly I had potatoes and bread and toast for myself.' As well as her two daughters, this mother had five baby boys, all of them dead at birth.
'I'm certain it was because of the malnutrition,' she said. During the Thirties, infant mortality - which had been in decline with medical advances since the end of World War I - was on the increase again, most strikingly in poor areas. Poor nutrition during pregnancy meant it was four times more dangerous to bear a child than to work down a coalmine.
So it was that the Chief Medical Officer of Health chose to put a rapid increase in tuberculosis in the industrial areas of South Wales down to the lack of sunlight in the deep Welsh valleys. 'Poverty is a prime factor in the causation of TB,' wrote Cardiff's own medical officer.
'Principally through its effect on nutrition.' In the North-East unemployment black spot of Jarrow, the TB death rate was higher in 1930 than it had been before the turn of the century. 'There is no medical evidence of any general increase in physical impairment, sickness or mortality as a result of the economic depression or unemployment,' insisted the Minister of Health in the House of Commons.
Instead, she 'sacrificed her life' for the sake of her children, and he was blunt in his condemnation.
'I should call it starvation to have to feed nine people on £2.8s a week and pay the rent.' Yet, with unemployment at around three million, countless families were living on a pittance that could barely keep body and soul alive.
She managed only by going without food herself, and though the immediate cause of her death was recorded as pneumonia, the coroner concluded that this would not have proved fatal if she'd had enough to eat.'We are told we ought to eat fruit,' said a Sunderland housewife, Mrs Pallas, whose husband had not worked for 13 years.'But it is very seldom that I can afford it.' The union defied the Minister of Health to say how he would buy three healthy meals a day for seven days a week for less than a shilling.The series was entitled Time To Spare and its stated intention was to inform people with no personal experience of unemployment what it was actually like, 'since, if you have never been out of work, you can no more realise its horror than you can realise the horror of leprosy.'If you've never moved outside Sussex, you can no more visualise the destitution on the banks of the Tyne than you can visualise a tornado in Japan.' Time To Spare was broadcast with an appeal to listeners to rally round in this time of national crisis and 'make yourself known to the manager of your local Labour Exchange' to initiate schemes to occupy those without work.
Instead, unsympathetic politicians and the officials who did their bidding were quick to blame inadequate diets on a lack of education or the fecklessness of the much-maligned working-class housewife.