Britain and Perón
Covering the late 1940s and early 1950s, the chapter examines interactions between the British Labour government under Clement Atlee and the government of Juan Perón. Major tussles occurred over meat. The British required as much cheap meat as possible to support post-war rationing and to assist British economic recovery. The Argentines wanted to sell it at high prices to assist social programmes and industrial development. Other squabbles occurred over post-war British debts for wartime meat supplies. The two sides alone could never resolve the impasse and agreements required the assistance of US ambassadors. Railway nationalisation in 1948 became the other leading issue of the post-war. Britain sold the railways at a high price mainly because domestic pressure pushed Perón into all-out purchase. With the loss of the railways, the British community in Argentina lost its major source of employment. Tension increased following the British devaluation of 1949, as Britain again tried to force down meat prices. Argentina gained important advantages during the Korean war when a commodity boom forced the British to pay higher prices. Disputes with Perón played a part in the fall of Labour in 1951.