LONDON (AFP) — Never mind the radiation: British contingency planners worried there would be a dramatic shortage of tea in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, recently declassified documents showed Monday.
The shortfall of the staple British beverage would be "very serious" if the country were to come under attack with atomic and hydrogen bombs, said according to a memo drafted between 1954 and 1956.
"The tea position would be very serious with a loss of 75 percent of stocks and substantial delays in imports and with no system of rationing it would be wrong to consider that even one ounce (28 grams) per head per week could be ensured," it said.
"No satisfactory solution has yet been found."
Another memo, written in April 1955, warned: "The advent of thermo-nuclear weapons ... has presented us with a new and much more difficult set of food defence problems."
The contingency planning documents listed a number of issues for discussion including arrangements to ensure stockpiles of food and the availability of bread, milk, meat, oils and fats, and tea and sugar.
The memos were among a number of documents released by the National Archives.
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