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By Sir Alec Cairncross

A suite of Sir Alec Cairncross' most vital contributions to the commercial heritage of the post-1939 interval, fiscal rules and executive coverage demonstrates a prepared perception into the altering function of the economist and the transformation of the commercial panorama. interpreting the broader view and long term concerns thinking about post-1945 economics, the textual content features a overview of a few of the commercial principles that experience prompted the British govt because the conflict.

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Advance information might be got from the Air Ministry in exchange for the latest developments such as impending changes in programme for production reasons. In general, what had to be built up was confidence and trust in the way information was used so that its disclosure would not rebound on the person conveying it or on his department. 3 To do our job properly we had to have the latest information, to be made aware of all matters with a bearing on official programmes, and at the very least to be consulted when a change in programme was under consideration.

From 1941 onwards it was closely associated with Keynes in planning for the peace. It took an active part, in the person of Lionel Robbins, James Meade, or both, in all the international conferences on postwar policy from Hot Springs onwards—the Law Mission,27 Bretton Woods, the AngloAmerican loan negotiations in 1945. It was Meade who wrote the first draft of the White Paper on Employment Policy28 and was the brains behind the proposals for an International Trade Organization. As early as February 1941 Meade set out ‘four fundamental groups of problems needing urgent attention’, ranging from unemployment and distribution of income to industrial structure and commercial policy.

The tally of British botches can be matched by a similar list for Germany. The Heinkel 162, which is cited as a success, and certainly was produced in record time, was an unmitigated disaster from the pilot’s point of view. The Focke-Wulf which is said to have been superior to ‘later marks of Spitfire’ was no better than the Spitfire IX, to say nothing of later Marks. 7 But with a great deal of what he says about the wartime aircraft industry I am in substantial agreement. There were great variations in efficiency among the firms and, within the firms, in different aspects of their work.

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