Sterling-Dollar Diplomacy: Anglo-American Collaboration in the Reconstruction of Multilateral Trade

By Richard N. Gardner | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

THIS is a stimulating book on an important subject. The idea for it was conceived when Richard Gardner, then an American Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, came to me in search of an appropriate subject for doctoral research in his chosen field of international economics. Together we cast about for a topic which would fit Mr. Gardner's interests and skills. He was a lawyer primarily, already a member of the New York Bar, who had acquired a good grounding in economics. He was also an American in England, greatly interested in problems of Anglo-American relations. After some time we hit upon the idea that he should make a systematic examination of the interaction between public opinion in the two countries, on the one hand, and the course of their economic relations, on the other. This seemed a new field to explore. In the event, Mr. Gardner's work led him to an exhaustive study of the joint planning and drafting of certain vital institutions--the Bretton Woods organizations, the Anglo-American Loan Agreement, the International Trade Organization, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade--and the fate of these institutions in the early post-war period. Thus this book comprises an authoritative review of an important piece of history, as well as a significant analysis of the interrelation between policy and opinion in international economic affairs.

The story so well told here seemed to me badly to need telling. I had in mind my own experience. I had taken an active part in the discussions of the drafts of the late Lord Keynes's Clearing Union and other documents relating to post-war plans, and subsequently I had watched the course of events from the periphery, but with inside knowledge. There had been a considerable momentum of enthusiasm for these plans at the centre. The British were struck by the adaptability of the Americans, and their readiness to look at many problems from points of view not their own and to modify their plans accordingly. It really seemed to me, and I think to many others concerned, that, despite serious differences, sufficient common ground of philosophy and policy and purpose had been achieved to make a great new era of economic co-operation possible after the war. One watched hopefully for big developments of worldwide significance.

-vii-

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