The Labour Party, on the other hand, was looked upon as the party of the ordinary people or the underdog as it were and it gave a sense of promise and hope to the people towards change and progress. The candidates chosen were an all-class party. It had aspiring contenders from the middle class as well as the traditional candidates from the trade union. British people yearned to be treated with equality and enjoy equal opportunities. They wanted a Britain where unemployment, malnutrition, hate, fear, and ignorance was a thing of the past. Attlee set about handpicking the most suitable and very talented people and fixed them in high posts in the government.
As Harold Macmillan put it, “ These fine men constituted a body of ministers as talented as any in the history of parliament” . (Harold Macmillan, 1945)There was definitely a clear cut difference between planning during the war and planning during peace. The foremost aim of the government was to reconstruct Britain and bring about economic prosperity and freedom among its people. The progress was rather slow and as described in Correlli Barnett’ s “ Audit of War” (Alec Cairncross, “ The British Economy since 1945” ) that people leaned towards central planning due to the insufficient supply on the part of the economy. The State played a major role in industrial reconstruction.
Planning was largely based on investment programs that were mostly funded by the public. Investments were meticulously planned and obstacles to modernization were gradually removed to bring about sweeping changes in the British industry. In the years after the war, since 1945, the primary objective of the economic policy was to enable full employment to its citizens. The administration had direct control over shortages and bottlenecks.
In case of any deficit, the government did not allow the rise of foreign exchange but instead, it encouraged exports and discouraged imports. Gradually the shortages disappeared and Britain’ s economy took on a more balanced position.
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