Commodity Control in the Pacific Area: A Symposium on Recent Experience

Commodity Control in the Pacific Area: A Symposium on Recent Experience

Commodity Control in the Pacific Area: A Symposium on Recent Experience

Commodity Control in the Pacific Area: A Symposium on Recent Experience

Excerpt

This book had its origin in the discussions at the Banff Conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations held in August 1933. The greater part of those discussions had to do with types of economic control in the countries of the Pacific and with the economic or political conflict which so often arose out of the control. Following the characteristic procedure of the Institute conferences the members of the discussion groups spent relatively little time in academic or theoretical debate on the pros and cons of economic control in general. On the contrary it was quickly realized that, in spite of all the arguments for or against control, examples of deliberate interferences with economic tendencies abound in nearly all the countries of the Pacific. It was thus seen that the whole problem could be intelligently appreciated only by careful examination of the principal control schemes already in existence. The record of these discussions has been published in the proceedings of the conference. Readers who consult that record will observe that the term "economic control" was interpreted broadly and not limited to the schemes for the control of staple commodities which form the subject of a greater part of the present book; instead, the discussions ranged over such related problems as the control which is exerted through shipping conferences, tariffs, currency manipulation, cartels and the like. Many of the documents prepared for the conference, however, dealt with specific schemes of commodity control, and many of them either made available for the first time in English a good deal of new information, or else advanced new interpretations of control schemes already described. It was believed that these documents taken together made up a sufficiently valuable and homogeneous collection to warrant separate publication, and the publication committee which considered them recommended that the Institute Secretariat should make the necessary arrangements. The Secretariat has interpreted this mandate broadly, and has arranged not only for extensive revision and enlargement of the conference documents in question, but has also secured seven entirely new essays by competent authorities on other important control schemes in Pacific countries. About half of the present volume is accordingly new material, and the whole constitutes a fairly comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the major commodity controls in the Pacific area.

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