In general - trade and commerce from 1947 to 67?
There was a dramatic change in the importance of Empire as a supplier of British imports and a market for British produce.
Until the 60s, Empire and Commonwealth extremely important for Britain’s international trading position.
They provided essential imports of food and raw material at a time when Britain’s reserves of foreign exchange were too limited to source imports from many other parts of the world.
How much Br investment into Empire in 1956?
In 1956 - approx 58% of all overseas investment in the UK in shares and securities were in Empire companies and governments.
Why did the European economy recover from war much more quickly and impressively than expected?
- Marshall Aid from the US
- The climate of liberal democracy which favoured private enterprise
- Advances in science and technology as well as change in industrial relations
In the mid 1950s was there full employment throughout Europe, growth rates high and living standards in the West rising rapidly?
In what year did Britain not chose to join the EEC? What did it do instead?
1957 and instead set up its own rival trading blic of European non EEC members - EFTA.
When did exports to Europe outstrip those to the Empire?
And what happened as a result?
Britain apllied for membership in 1963 and again in 1967 only to be rejected partly because the British insisted on special concessions being allowed for British commerce with the Commonwealth.
When was the sterling devaluation? and what was it and what did it do?
It destroyed the old Sterling Area by weakening the international faith om the value of the sterling and hit at Britain’s imperial pretensions.
Harold Wilson’s Labour government announced that it was lowering the exchange rate so the pound became worth $2.4, down from $2.8 - a 14% cut.
The decision was taken reluctantly, in the face of the balance of payments crisis - Br was spending more on imports than was gaining from exports.
It was designed to cut Br’s deficit by making Br exports cheaper to flood the markets.
Post war reconstruction - what did Britain do to earn dollars (build up foreign exchange) with which to pay for imports?
Continuing rationing at home, to cut the cost of food imports and prioritising British industrial production for the export rather than for domestic market.
Also tried to develop the productive and export capacities of the colonies - particularly in Africa where the relative under development of local resources offered huge opportunities for growth.
This was to increase dollar reservd from colonial sales and to ensure a steady supply of goods to Britain from within the sterling area, thus saving precious reserves of dollars and other scarce foreign currencies.
When were the colonial development welfare and development acts?
What were they?
1940 and 1945
Used to expand agricultural production and pormote new technology in the colonies.
In 1948 the Colonial Development Corporation was set up toc coordinate major projects and develop self sustaining agriculture, industry and trade.
In 1963 renamed the Commonwealth Development Corporation.
When did Br join the EEC?
Bit on Malay?
Malay rubber proved a crucial dollar earner and as a member pf the sterling area, Malay became a major contributor to the Hard Currency Pool.
- Helps explainw hy Br would not contemplate immediate independence for Malay and responded to fiercely to the communist terrorist attacks agaonst economic targets there in 1948.
Example of a colonial development scheme that failed:
Tanganyika Groundnut scheme - abject failure.
Factors to think about in this period:
- WW2 and its impact
- Colonial Development and Welfare Acts
- Decol and its drain on resources/shrinking territory
- Suez and its economi impacts
Percentage of commonwealth imports compared to western Europe imports in 1948?
Western Europe: 20.5%
Percentage of commonwealth imports compared to western Europe imports in 1965?
Western Europe: 30.6%
Percentage of commonwealth exports compared to western Europe imports in 1948?
Western Europe: 24.8%
Percentage of commonwealth exports compared to western Europe imports in 1965?
Western Europe: 32.5%