The original Keynes plan had been greeted in Britain with considerable enthusiasm. Even the White plan was regarded as better than nothing. The Bretton Woods agreements had, from the outset, been subject to very critical analysis. It had been generally assumed that the document finally agreed upon would not diverge substantially from the Statement of Principles, but the financial writers noted several amendments of major importance. While in the United States the plan was considered as a return to a gold standard, British spokesmen had tried to convince Parliament and public opinion that it did not mean a return to gold. It was generally noted that the text of the plan was sufficiently obscure to lend itself to conflicting interpretations, and that there was in fact a wide discrepancy between the British and American interpretations. The Bretton Woods conference, noted a correspondent of The Times, had been true to tradition: ‘an international conference almost invariably begins with an unholy scrap and ends in cordial agreement upon an ambiguous formula’.1
KeywordsBritish Government Labour Party Financial Agreement British People Party Discipline
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