British Foreign Policy in the Atlantic Area: The Techniques by Arthur Cyr

By Arthur Cyr

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Extra info for British Foreign Policy in the Atlantic Area: The Techniques of Accommodation

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In one sense, British decision-makers have a good deal of independence. The political culture is stable, with strong traditions of legitimacy for duly elected authority. The unitary character of government does not put formal, obvious barriers in the path of those at the top. To choose one example among many, treaties in the US must be ratified by the Senate. There is no such constitutional obligation on British governments. Technically, the Monarch approves such agreements and by so doing brings them into effect.

British Foreign Policy and the Atlantic Area The Second World War brought enormous problems. It actually led to much greater production, but also to an economy organised for the manufacture of goods needed for the war effort. In consequence, there was need for considerable industrial adjustment after the war. Vast amounts of wealth were lost through destruction of housing, plants and equipment, ships and cargoes. The export industries, vital to economic wellbeing, were starved for manpower. There was a great deal of demand built up for consumer goods, leading to some tension with the goal of focusing on those industries most appropriate to the export market.

The burden resulted principally from costs of maintaining troops and military installations in various parts of the globe. Only some of the expense had been met through Lend-Lease or overseas earnings and sales. In consequence, this foreign debt expanded from £476 million in August 1939 to £3355 million in June 1945. Funding and attempting to reduce this very large total liability was to be a major preoccupation of British policy-makers after the war. 33 The British received a particularly severe and offensive economic shock with the abrupt American termination of Lend-Lease in August 1945.

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