Distribution vouchers are used if measures for a fair distribution of goods among the population through rationing are necessary. During a war or other crisis situation, shortages of raw materials and/or food can occur, which means that a distribution system must be introduced, otherwise some of the users of food and goods will be deprived of this. The aim is also to prevent hoarding and speculation.
In order to ensure that everyone can still have access to raw materials and food in times of shortage, a government can proceed to issue distribution vouchers.
When a product such as coffee is rationed to one pack per person, a store may only sell one pack per person. But this person can visit multiple stores, or send his entire family out to buy a pack of coffee each. To make rationing effective, a means of control is therefore necessary: the distribution voucher.
During the First World War and the Second World War, distribution existed in the Netherlands, whereby all kinds of foodstuffs and goods were "on the receipt". Even after the Second World War, distribution of scarce items was necessary for a number of years. In order to obtain distribution vouchers, one had to be in possession of a so-called distribution master card issued by the government. Once the coupons had been obtained, one could visit the store at times advertised in the newspapers to buy rationed products. Because everyone had to hand in their receipts at the same time, there were long lines in front of the shops. They needed money and coupons; if they had money but no receipts, they could not sell.
In the First World War, meat and bread were rationed with the standard sausage and government bread, among other things.
On October 11, 1939, in the Netherlands, sugar was the first product in the Second World War to be only available with coupons. From January 1940 this also applied to peas. Until the 1950s, many goods were only available "on the receipt", coffee was the last product that was finally freely available again in 1952.
A limited form of distribution briefly reappeared during the 1973 oil crisis, with only petroleum products, especially gasoline, being rationed.
Tribe Maps (World War II)
The following distribution documents were in force in the Netherlands during the occupation.
First Distribution Master Card
Second Distribution Master Card
New voucher card
Current receipt card
Insert sheet The First Distribution Stamp Card was introduced in the Netherlands just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Exchanging the card with others (relatives and others) was prohibited. The Second Distribution Stamp Card was introduced by the German occupier to cut off food for the thousands of people in hiding. (These people were often in hiding, because they did not want to work for the German occupier in Germany). Those who did not have a pedigree could not collect receipts and therefore could not buy food and other goods. In order to obtain the Second Distribution Stamp Card, one first had to report to the government with the identity card. If this was in order (there were forgeries in circulation), a control seal was affixed to the identity card and the family card. People in hiding often had a forged identity card, could therefore not report legally, and did not obtain a pedigree and therefore no distribution vouchers. This measure was carefully sabotaged by the Civil Service Resistance. To the irritation of the German government, it turned out that more pedigree cards were issued than it believed the population was large, without it being clear where the fraud had taken place. During the war, resistance groups also raided the offices where the receipts were kept, the distribution offices. . The vouchers thus obtained were distributed among persons