Utility and All That: And Other Essays

By D. H. Robertson | Go to book overview

11
BRITAIN AND EUROPEAN RECOVERY1

As a professor, when I go among business men and officials, I prefer to try to find out what they are doing and thinking rather than to offer them instruction; and as an Englishman, when I go among foreigners, I prefer to learn about their problems rather than either to blow the trumpet of my own country or to blacken its face. But I recognise that it is in the bond that I should start this evening's proceedings with some connected remarks about Britain and European Recovery, and I shall try to do so with the same candour as if I were talking to my students at home. I confess, however, that I have found preparation for the task almost inconceivably difficult.

In some respects, it is true, it should have become easier to think coherently about the economic problems of Western Europe than it was in the autumn of 1947. In those days the vague general sense that Western Europe was in peril--peril greater than it was yet possible for responsible statesmen to admit --led to the investment of economic terms--vague terms like 'integration' and over-precise terms like ' Customs Union'--with a symbolic and emotional significance which was not helpful to clearness of thought. The course of events has led to some crystallising out of issues which were then confused. The reaction of Russia to the Marshall offer and her subsequent behaviour in Prague, Berlin and elsewhere have precipitated a definite military alliance between certain of the West European countries, including yours and mine. Further, it has been evident from the start that such an alliance would make no sense except as part of a wider Atlantic pact involving not only Canada but the United States; and the concept of ' Western European Union' has thus been freed from a certain misty suggestion of the emergence of a

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1
A lecture delivered in March 1949, to the Société d'Economie Politique de Belgique, and printed in Lloyds Bank Review, July 1949.

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Utility and All That: And Other Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Contents 9
  • Part I 11
  • 1 - UTILITY AND ALL THAT 13
  • 2 - THE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 42
  • 3 - ON STICKING TO ONE'S LAST 60
  • 4 - REVOLUTIONIST'S HANDBOOK 66
  • Part II 81
  • 5 - WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE RATE OF INTEREST 83
  • 6 - SOME NOTES ON THE THEORY OF INTEREST 97
  • 7 - BRITISH NATIONAL INVESTMENT POLICY 116
  • Part III 133
  • 8 - THE PROBLEM OF EXPORTS 135
  • 9 - DOES BRITAIN FACE COLLAPSE? 140
  • 10 - WESTERN EUROPEAN ECONOMIC UNION 148
  • 11 - BRITAIN AND EUROPEAN RECOVERY 157
  • 12 - BRETTON WOODS 169
  • 13 - THE TERMS OF TRADE1 174
  • Part IV 183
  • 14 - IS THERE A FUTURE FOR BANKING? 185
  • 15 - NEW LIGHT ON AN OLD STORY 192
  • 16 - STABLE MONEY 201
  • INDEX OF PERSONS 206
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