GREAT BRITAIN: Dear Friend . . .

On New Year's Eve, laughing crowds in London's Piccadilly Circus, restored to its prewar dazzle only 18 months ago, gave a full-throated rendition of Auld Lang Syne. The New Year did not stay welcome for long. Last week, with housewives grousing over the latest cut in the meat ration (eight ounces to four ounces weekly), Piccadilly's neon lights were doused by a coal shortage.

The government ordered advertising signs throughout the country switched off, begged the public to save gas & electricity, suspended 3,854 passenger trains. Philip Noel-Baker, Minister of Fuel & Power, pleaded in a radio...

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