‘August for the people and their favourite islands’ was what Auden had written,2 but in 1951 the British people did not have a wide choice of islands. Foreign currency for holidays abroad was a rationed luxury in 1951, each adult being allowed to spend in a year only £100 of his own money, with £70 for each child. That was more than in 1950, but the ration would be halved in November 1951 as Britain’s balance of payments crumbled beneath the burdens of rearmament. This was before the age of mass migration to the Mediterranean and of those package holidays by chartered aircraft which so reduced the tourist’s need to spend foreign currency. In 1951 the great majority, when they relaxed away from home, went to the British seaside.
KeywordsMiddle East Foreign Currency Current Account Deficit Expected Deficit British People
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Notes and References
- 1.W. Averell Harriman and Elie Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin (London: Hutchinson, 1976), p. 531.Google Scholar
- 2.W.H. Auden, Some Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1940), p. 70.Google Scholar
- 3.Bernard Donoughue and G.W. Jones, Herbert Morrison: Portrait of a Politician (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1973), pp. 499–500.Google Scholar
- 13.Norman Kemp, Abadan: A First-Hand Account of the Persian Oil Crisis (London: Allan Wingate, 1953), pp. 215–19.Google Scholar
- 21.Roderick Barclay, Ernest Bevin and the Foreign Office 1932–1969 (London: Barclay, 1975), p. 99.Google Scholar
- 23.Philip M. Williams, Hugh Gaitskell: A Political Biography (London: Jonathan Cape, 1979), pp. 272–83.Google Scholar