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Profits of PeaceThe Political Economy of Anglo-German Appeasement$
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Scott Newton

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202127.001.0001

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Crisis and Restabilization, 1931–1937

Crisis and Restabilization, 1931–1937

(p.35) 2 Crisis and Restabilization, 1931–1937
Profits of Peace

Scott Newton

Oxford University Press

The struggle to keep Britain on the gold standard was abandoned in September 1931. The departure from gold facilitated a number of initiatives in economic policy which would have been unthinkable at any time between May 1925 and September 1931. Thus, sterling became a managed currency, its operations controlled by the Exchange Equalisation Account, established in 1932. Overseas lending was severely restricted, and Britain turned protectionist for the first time in peace since the repeal of the Corn Laws. The economic record of Britain under protection shows a modest recovery. Between 1932 and 1937, Gross Domestic Product rose from 102.3 to 126.1 while industrial production rose from 111.9 to 163.1. Over the same period unemployment fell from a peak of 22.1% of the insured work-force to 10.8% in 1937. The most spectacular increases in output were shown by the public utilities, but the recovery was led by a building boom.

Keywords:   British economic policy, gold standard, post-war economy, trade policy, protectionism

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