By William A. Allen (auth.)
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Additional resources for Monetary Policy and Financial Repression in Britain, 1951–59
The main component of the November package was tighter import controls. However, the Treasury foresaw additional benefits from the monetary component to the external position, as well as to the domestic economy, including the rather nebulous but oft-invoked ‘confidence’ (‘the dawn of a new era of “hard money”’), the imposition of deflationary action on the rest of the sterling area, a favourable shift in shortterm capital flows, a reduction in imports for stock, since stock-holding would become more expensive, and a consequent reduction in import prices.
Robbins, ‘The control of inflation: the three alternatives’, 3rd May 1945, NA T233/158. 27. Ross (1992, p. 200). 28. HC Deb 31st May 1945 vol. 411 cc367–371. 29. Cmnd 6645. 30. HC Deb 26th October 1949 vol. 468 cc1329–1474. 31. Quoted by Ross (1992). 32. The word ‘funding’ was generally used to mean the replacement of shorterterm debt with longer-term debt. 33. Peppiatt, ‘Short-term interest rates/Bank rate’, 5th January 1950, BOE C42/1. 34. Note (untitled) by Niemeyer, 12th January 1950, BOE C42/1; Beale, ‘Impact of short-term interest rates on debt charges’, 7th February 1950, BOE C42/1.
It was not thought that interest rate policy should alone be responsible for containing inflation; fiscal policy and direct controls played parts as well. As noted in Chapter 2, Labour had maintained tight fiscal policies from 1948/49 to 1950/51 explicitly in the interests of containing inflation; it did not regard inflation as a target for monetary policy. The Conservatives had eased fiscal policy; they had increased interest rates moderately but they also relied on controls, especially credit controls, as weapons of macro-economic policy.