British Policy towards France, 1945–51 by Roger Woodhouse

By Roger Woodhouse

An account according to British archival assets of the quest for a co-ordinated Anglo-French programme of monetary restoration which might outline the form of postwar Europe. The pursuit of this objective is traced opposed to the history of the chilly warfare, the availability of yank monetary reduction and the revival of German undefined. it really is validated how the emergence of those elements led France to show in its place to eu integration at the version of the Schuman Plan.

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The practical difficulties were obvious and not all of Whitehall would have welcomed such a move with unbridled enthusiasm but, in the event, the matter was not taken to a conclusion. The subject provoked no clashes in Cabinet, and no flights of oratory either condemned or defended the notion that integration was desirable or possible. There were, of course, other calls on Ministers' time. In addition, the Cabinet was depleted during the period in question by the attendance of Ernest Bevin at the Council of Foreign Ministers in Moscow and the illness of Herbert Morrison.

30 The possibility that the British public might again be expected to shoulder that burden at some future date because of a lack of steel which could perfectly well have been produced on German territory was not an attractive prospect. For their part, the French would not be shaken in their belief that, rather than a shortage of steel, the danger was of an impending glut. 31 The British remained sceptical and, to illustrate their point, mentioned that the United Kingdom was not certain of achieving its own steel programme on schedule.

Lee accordingly convened a working party gathered from the appropriate Departments supplemented by Sir John Duncanson of the British Iron and Steel Federation, Mr Wheeler of Guest, Keen and Baldwins, and Dr Colclough, adviser to the Iron and Steel Board. Meeting in February 1947, this group was in session at the time when interdepartmental activity following the Monnet Plan talks was at its peak; an overlap which sometimes deprived the work on Anglo-French economic co-ordination of expert advice.

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