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Title: Industrial rationalisation and government policy in interwar Britain
Author: Greaves, Julian Ingham
ISNI:       0000 0001 2437 9789
Awarding Body: The University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1992
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This thesis examines state involvement in the rationalisation of British industry between the wars, offering both an overview and case studies of four major industries (coal, steel, cotton, shipbuilding). It considers the contemporary meaning of rationalisation, the reasons for Government interest, the efforts made by the state to reform industry and the results achieved. Rationalisation described forms of industrial organisation which it was claimed could improve the efficiency of British industry. But advocates offered little evidence that significant economic benefits would accrue. Despite this, Governments stressed the importance of rationalisation in the 1920s because they had no alternative suggestions for dealing with pressing problems of unemployment and export depression. However, down to 1931, the state did little directly to reorganise industry. It merely urged the private sector to act vigorously, an approach that was ineffectual. In the 1930s, official interest in rationalisation diminished. The National Government was more concerned with propping up the existing industrial structure than with seeking reforms that lowered costs. It intervened, and with some success, in the organisational affairs of certain major trades. But this was only to secure limited goals like curtailing competition to prevent instability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available