Emergency Action and the Route to Floating Rate Convertibility

  • Peter Burnham


By the end of August 1951, with a General Elecion imminent, it seemed likely to many government officials that the Conservative Party would form the next government. Edwin Plowden, the Chief Planning Officer, announced his decision to resign on 3 August, fearing that a Conservative government would ‘organise his job out of existence and him out of the Civil Service’. Leslie Rowan succeeded Henry Wilson Smith as head of Overseas Finance, and it was expected that Edward Bridges would soon retire as Permanent Secretary, to be replaced by Norman Brook, the Cabinet Secretary. In the event both Plowden and Bridges were persuaded to stay on and it seems that Bridges in particular saw the advent of a Conservative government as a long-awaited opportunity to put a stop to the policy drift since 1945 and convince Ministers of the need to ‘take painful decisions’.


Exchange Rate Fixed Rate Capital Movement Exchange Rate Policy Bank Rate 
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Copyright information

© Peter Burnham 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Burnham
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickEngland

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