The Economic History of Steelmaking, 1867-1939: A Study in Competition

By Duncan Burn | Go to book overview

NOTE ON THE SECOND IMPRESSION

I have taken the opportunity afforded by reissue to eliminate some misprints and make a few minor changes (e.g. on pages 281 and 474). But substantially this is just a reprint. If I were writing the book today I would put some things differently, and incorporate a little information from books, articles and reports which have appeared since the summer of 1939. But subsequent developments in the industry and my closer contacts with it have led me to believe that my initial analysis and judgement were right, and that large changes in presentation would not justify the effort or the cost.

Among the new books the late Sir Henry Clay Lord Norman is of particular interest,1 because it fills in some of the detail of the Bank of England's activities in trying to rationalise the steel industry. The two plans which Norman had to guide him, one by an American consultant, a second more detailed by Mr (later Sir Charles) Bruce Gardner, were of the type represented by the Sankey Report.2 The Corby project was accepted into the second plan, but certainly not invented for it, and the strip mills were apparently not in either. The Bank had to intervene in both the Richard Thomas and Summers schemes however, because both ran into difficulties, but the Bank did not originally sponsor either. When the Bank was called in to help Summers it is of interest that it did not find it necessary to impose representatives of most of Summers' competitors on the company's board, as happened with Richard Thomas. Clay's comments give the

____________________
1
Others I would single out are E. Hexner, The International Steel Cartel, Daugherty, de Chazeau and Stratton, Economics of the Iron and Steel Industry W. E. Minchinton, The British Tinplate Industry, P. W. S. Andrews and E. Brunner, Capital Development in Steel, Charlotte Erickson, British Industrialists: Steel and Hosiery, 1850-1950.
2
Below, pp. 436-40.

-xi-

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