The Hess affair marked the last serious attempt to reach a specifically Anglo-German,détente. In July 1945 the British electorate, radicalized by total war, elected a majority Labour government for the first time. There was to be no repeat of the post-1918 experience. This time the reconstruction agenda was carried through against weak opposition from a demoralized Conservative Party. By 1950 Britain had a National Health Service. Town and country planning was established. Economic expansion had reduced unemployment to below 3% of the work-force. A shift in manufacturing production and export composition away from the old staples in favour of the new industries which had received a stimulus from the war — electrical goods, electronics, aerospace, and vehicle manufacturing — was under way. Victory in war and success in reconstruction were, however, accompanied by dependence on the United States.
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