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The Treasury and British Public Policy, 1906–1959$
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G. C. Peden

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207078

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207078.001.0001

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Reorganization and Retrenchment, 1919–1924

Reorganization and Retrenchment, 1919–1924

(p.128) Chapter Four Reorganization and Retrenchment, 1919–1924
The Treasury and British Public Policy, 1906–1959

G. C. Peden

Oxford University Press

In the aftermath of the First World War, the Treasury collaborated, to a greater or lesser degree, with the Bank of England on monetary policy, and with the Foreign Office on reparations and war debts. Inflation in 1919–1920 generated political pressure, not only for a restoration of Treasury control over public expenditure but also for greater Treasury control over the Civil Service than had existed in 1914. The quest for major economies in public expenditure led the Treasury to play an active part in policy making, both with regard to defence and social services. The Treasury and the Bank of England conducted a conscious policy of deflation to restore control over the monetary system and to move towards restoration of the supposedly automatic gold standard. The Treasury was determined that the public sector should not crowd out productive private investment, and propounded the view that loan-financed public works would not reduce unemployment. Over the period 1919–1923, budgets were brought into balance largely by reducing public expenditure.

Keywords:   Treasury, Bank of England, First World War, public expenditure, monetary policy, Civil Service, social services, inflation, public works, budgets

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