The Postwar Years: 1945–8

  • Alec Cairncross


After the war ended, Austin Robinson was deeply involved in discussions in London, Moscow and Berlin on the future level of German industry. On his return from Berlin he spent a year in 1945–6 as Economic Adviser to the Board of Trade. For a short time he resumed academic life in Cambridge. But before another year had passed he was back in Whitehall with the Planning Staff under Stafford Cripps in 1947–8, chiefly engaged in preparing a four-year plan outlining the route to a self-supporting economy by 1952 when Marshall Aid was due to end. These three spells of government duty — on reparations, at the Board of Trade and with the Planning Staff — are best treated together since all were concerned with visualising the shape of the postwar world and drawing the implications for policy.


Economic Section Economic Survey Current Account Surplus German Industry Planning Staff 
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  1. 1.
    Alec Cairncross and Nita Watts, The Economic Section 1939–61: A Study in Economic Advising (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 176–9.Google Scholar
  2. 16.
    See, for example, the discussion in A. Cairncross, Years of Recovery (London: Methuen, 1985) pp. 448–55.Google Scholar

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© Sir Alec Cairncross 1993

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  • Alec Cairncross

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