This book traces the story of policy-making at the highest levels of the British state in the critical decade of the 1920s. It details the readjustments made by different sections of the political, industrial and financial establishments to the declining international position of the domestic economy, and to the confused and unstable situation of post-war Europe. Throughout the 1920s. advocates of economic internationalism battled for the ear of government with those who saw a greater role for economic protectionism, state aid to industry and a cheaper pound. The author roots that disagreement in the contrasting interests of different sections of the British capitalist class, and argues persuasively -as others before him havedonethat City interestsgained the upper hand in the 1920s, at the cost of lower exports, inadequate industrial restructuring and higher unemployment. Robert Boyce’s study will be an important point of reference for those interested in the causes of economic decline, in the rise of corporatism in British political life, in the character of early Labour governments, and in the workings of international economic affairs. The study is solidly based on extensive use of primary sources and constitutes an easily accessible and reliable guide to key interwar economic debates whose long-term consequences still remain with us.
Robert W. D. Boyce, Rodney Brazier