This is a War the determination of which lies quite as much with the non-combatants as with the combatants

Civilians were urged to make sacrifices at home.

The National War Savings Committee

Dear Sir,-

The splendid work which is being done by the Members of our Committees and Associations all over the Country encourages me to send you this appeal.

There are still many people at home who do not appear to realise that having decreed that others shall fight for us, it has become our most sacred obligation to see that no single life of our fighting men shall be sacrificed by reason of failure on our part to do everything we can to shorten the conflict and make victory certain and complete.

We all know that three of the most pressing questions of the moment are supply of man power, the maintenance of our payments to Neutrals for War supplies and the checking of the continuous rise in prices of food stuffs and other commodities. Personal expenditure has an immediate influence on these problems. If we keep our private purchases within the narrowest limits compatible with health and efficiency, we release the labour of men and women which we should otherwise be using for our personal satisfaction and set it free for more urgent National work. We increase our available man power, we enable more of the necessities of life to be produced, and we can make more Munitions of War and more goods to be exported in exchange for War supplies or food stuffs from abroad. By reducing our expenditure we tend to reduce our imports and we lessen the competition for food stuffs and commodities of all kinds, and thus help to keep prices within reasonable bounds.

In the final stages of the War, Man Power, financial stability and the cost of living will be the governing factors. Every shilling we now spend unnecessarily weakens the staying power of the Allies, and will make it more difficult to bring about a satisfactory and lasting peace.

It is doubtless very difficult for many people to appreciate the extraordinary problems which this World War has provided, and to see clearly the close relationship of cause and effect that there is to-day between personal expenditure and the expenditure of life at the front. But the truth of the matter is, that this is a War the determination of which lies quite as much with the non-combatants as with the combatants.

Great efforts are being made by the National Committee and the War Savings Committees throughout the Country to bring home this truth to the whole of our people. The response in many quarters has been remarkable, but it is common knowledge that there is still a great deal of extravagance and unnecessary expenditure. It is essential that those whose position is such that this example carries great weight among their neighbours, should adopt the utmost simplicity in their mode of living, and in every way possible give an outward and visible sign of their determination to help their Country in its time of need by abstaining from every kind of indulgence.

It is not necessary to go through all the different items upon which we are accustomed in peace time to spend our money. The principle, once understood, can be applied to the whole of our personal expenditure, which can be brought into review and considered in the light of the fundamental necessity for releasing labour for National Service.

The Members of the many hundreds of War Savings Committees, and the many thousands of War Savings Associations now affiliated to the National Committee, are in a position to make known the essential facts to the people of this Country, and I make this personal appeal, trusting that you will not spare yourselves in the effort to convince all those with whom you may come into contact, of the grave responsibility which rests upon the Civilian population to-day to support with all their means those who, with supreme self-sacrifice, are risking everything in dangerous Service for their Country in every part of the world. –

Yours Faithfully,
Salisbury Square, Fleet St., E.C., 14th Dec., 1916

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, January 1917 (D/P181/28A/26)

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