External Economic Policy since the War: Volume 2

Britain's external economic policy, from the end of the Second World War up to 1960, was dominated by the threefold constraints of the War's financial consequences, dependence on post-war American aid, and commitments to liberalised international trade and payments. Professor Pressnell gives detailed attention to the reconstruction of the shattered balance of payments and management of sterling crises, the eventual repayment of the massive wartime sterling debts, and the efforts to foster a Europe-wide trading community. Britain's close support of European reconstruction, notably of France, is also examined. On the much misunderstood question of closer integration with Europe, this volume examines the reasons for Britain's drawing back by 1949, and the subsequent policy reversal in 1961, with the application to join the European Economic Community.