Planning for Cotton, 1945-51
Economic History Review, Vol. 43, pp. 62-78, 1990
Posted: 18 Dec 2009
Date Written: 1990
This paper examines the relationship between the government and the cotton industry in Britain during the 1940s. It argues that governmental attempts to change the structure of the industry and stimulate investment failed because Lancashire had no confidence in its ability to face low wage competition under any circumstances. This did not imply that the industry's leaders were incompetent - on the contrary they had formed the correct interpretation of long-term market trends. The paper also examines cotton's role in the balance of payments crises of 1946-9. The industry's response to the attempt to secure higher production was hampered by the reluctance of female labour to return to the mills after enjoying better conditions in the wartime munitions industry.
Keywords: Cotton, Government, Britain, Invesment, Low-wage competition, Balance of Payments crises, Female labour
JEL Classification: N64, N54, J08
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation