Central Planning and Control in War and Peace: Three Lectures Delivered at the London School of Economics and Political Science on the Invitation of the Senate of the University of London

Central Planning and Control in War and Peace: Three Lectures Delivered at the London School of Economics and Political Science on the Invitation of the Senate of the University of London

Central Planning and Control in War and Peace: Three Lectures Delivered at the London School of Economics and Political Science on the Invitation of the Senate of the University of London

Central Planning and Control in War and Peace: Three Lectures Delivered at the London School of Economics and Political Science on the Invitation of the Senate of the University of London

Excerpt

In these three lectures I propose to confine myself to one topic within the broad field of the relations of Government to industry and trade. The topic is central planning and control. I have chosen it because of its fundamental importance in relation to the general pattern of economic activities in the United Kingdom in the coming decade. Besides being important, it is also controversial and this makes it confusing and confused, an additional reason for discussion.

Everyone is beginning to realize what profound changes the war has made in the British economy, both in itself and in relation to those of other countries. It is realized too that these changes must bring with them many major problems and difficulties the solution of which will require all the energy and resource of the country. Whatever else central planning and control may mean, the terms indicate a positive intervention by Government, in the interest of general objectives of Government policy, in the management and direction of industry and trade. The words therefore express a new idea so far as the relations of Government and business in peace time are concerned. The idea was given practical application in the war and the necessity and benefit of doing so was universally recognized, but its application in peace must alter traditional conceptions and methods so extensively as to change the whole framework of economic activity. Central planning and control in peace are likely to be as novel and disturbing to the thoughts and habits of Governments in dealing with business as to business itself. Given the uncertain and difficult economic future of the United Kingdom, it cannot be right to go in for central planning and control with all the consequent disturbance and complication unless it is inevitable.

It is not an accident that the issue has become controversial. But when phrases are used as weapons in the arena of party politics . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.