Wartime and After: 1939–45

  • Alec Cairncross


In 1939, after the outbreak of war, Austin was swept into an entirely new set of duties in the Offices of the War Cabinet. After much pressure from Keynes, Beveridge and others for an Economic General Staff, the Chamberlain Government had responded in July 1939, within a few weeks of the outbreak of war, by appointing Lord Stamp, as busy a man as they could have hit on, to review the plans that departments had made for wartime. Lord Stamp found the job rather much, even for a man of his ability, and secured agreement to the appointment of two economists, Henry Clay and Hubert Henderson, as collaborators. They, too, soon felt in need of help and were allowed to recruit a staff of two more economists. One of those was Professor John Jewkes from Clay’s former University of Manchester. The other, sounded out by Keynes when he was wondering what to do, was Austin Robinson.


Economic Section Full Employment Money Wage German Industry Labour Allocation 
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  1. 1.
    Alec Cairncross and Nita Watts, The Economic Section 1939–61: A Study in Economic Advising (London: Routledge, 1989) chs 2–4.Google Scholar
  2. 12.
    Robinson, First Sight of Post-War Germany, May–June 1945 (privately printed, 1986).Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    A. Cairncross, The Price of War (London: Basil Blackwell, 1986) Chapter 4.Google Scholar
  4. 16.
    The Price of War, and more informally in A. Cairncross, A Country to Play With (Gerrards Cross, Bucks.: Colin Smythe, 1987) which also discusses the subsequent progress of the reparations plan.Google Scholar

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© Sir Alec Cairncross 1993

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  • Alec Cairncross

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