• Duncan Burn
Part of the Trade Policy Research Centre book series


Successive delays in completing and operating an AGR brought a growing awareness that something was amiss, either bad projects had been chosen or projects had been badly conducted, or both, at an enormous cost.1 This was unmistakably the failure of a government enterprise. The initial choices of the principal managers and experts were ministerial, the whole organisational structure was designed by ministers, the main agencies involved were managed by men chosen by ministers and subject to ministerial direction, and the choice of projects required ministerial approval. Some of those involved and their friends attempted to shift all the responsibility on to the private enterprise group, the consortia, who were employed in a narrow subordinate role without scope for initiative, even on to British industry in general. But the question put increasingly was why did ministers make these ill-judged decisions, and why were they not quickly reversed, but instead reinforced and repeated?


Nuclear Power Plant Civil Servant Energy Crisis Nuclear Plant Select Committee 


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Notes and References

  1. 29.
    K. E. B. Jay, Britain’s Atomic Factories (London: HMSO, 1954) with a foreword by Duncan Sandys. The book was written in 1953 as publicity.Google Scholar
  2. 33.
    Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1904) p. 45.Google Scholar
  3. 34.
    Edmund Dell, Political Responsibility and Industry (London: Allen & Unwin, 1973) p. 230.Google Scholar
  4. 58.
    Burn, The Steel Industry (1939–1959), (Cambridge: CUP, 1964) pp. 366–9.Google Scholar
  5. 85.
    Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (London 1776) vol. I, p. 117.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Duncan Burn and the Trade Policy Research Centre 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duncan Burn

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