Britain's Place in the World: Import Controls 1945-60 by George Brennan, Alan Milward

By George Brennan, Alan Milward

Britain's position on the planet examines the institution and effectiveness of import controls, fairly quotas. putting quotas again within the centre of British background, Milward and Brennan make a few radical claims for Britain's financial functionality in an international context. having a look right into a wide selection of industries from motorized vehicles to typewriters, uncooked chemical compounds to nutrition produce, they learn the meant and genuine obstruction to imported items represented through quotas, and the political and monetary ramifications past the statistics.This is the fourth e-book to be released within the Routledge Explorations in fiscal heritage sequence.

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Extra info for Britain's Place in the World: Import Controls 1945-60 (Routledge Explorations in Economic History, 4)

Example text

The disadvantage, that they impede exports more than inter-firm regulation probably does, of course, remains. In the immediate post-war period, in the United Kingdom at least, most of the civil servants employed in the administration of import quotas were simply carrying out routine bureaucratic procedures. Actual negotiations with the domestic producers affected by the quota regulations were few. Usually they were confined to the setting of bilateral quota levels, global quota levels being considered only a matter of the governments own balance of payments policy.

British bilateral agreements with agricultural suppliers whose exports to Britain were subject after 1933 to import quotas sometimes included clauses stipulating that in return for their quota a fixed proportion of their coal imports should come from the United Kingdom. 12 This was thought of not only as promoting exports but also as protecting employment in a threatened industry with a very large labour force. The use of quotas, however, was much more extensive in countries that avoided currency devaluation.

These latter also were internationalised, notably in the Common Agricultural Policy of the EEC. Delegating the removal of quotas to an international organisation with a programme with its own rules and its own system of supervision was a task from which international economic conferences in the inter-war period had fled. That such a programme could be undertaken so vigorously and go so far is the best demonstration that changes in the nature of the democratic state were beginning to render inappropriate the quota regime which had developed in the inter-war period.

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