Understanding the Anglo-American Council on Productivity: Labour and the politics of productivity

Vickers, Rhiannon
June 2001
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Summer2001, Vol. 66 Issue 2, p207
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the Anglo-American Council on Productivity (AACP). The council was made up of a British and an American section, consisting of employers' and trade union representatives. The British section was to be independent of the British government, while the U.S. section was run by the Economic Co-operation Administration. As far as the British government was concerned, the most public purpose was that of trying to increase production and productivity in order to produce more goods for export and so ease Great Britain's balance of payments problem. Part of the rationale for setting up the AACP was due to the economic situation after the World War II. The AACP was a way of showing the Americans that Great Britain was taking the issue of productivity seriously. From the American point of view, the establishment of the AACP served one main, but somewhat complex, purpose. Primarily, it was part of the economic fight against communism. Raising productivity in Great Britain would help stabilise its economic situation, especially vis-à-vis the dollar deficit and politically would pull Great Britain more firmly into a liberal world order based on mass production, consumption and free trade. Thus, the Council was seen as a way of not just raising productivity but of selling the "American Way" to Great Britain.


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