Operation ROBOT

Operation ROBOT was an economic policy devised by HM Treasury in 1952 under Chancellor of the Exchequer R. A. Butler but which was never implemented. It was named after three of its civil servant advocates, Sir Leslie ROwan, Sir George BOlton and OTto Clarke.

During the winter of 1951–52 in Britain there was anxiety over the balance of payments and the reduction of Britain's gold reserves. R. A. Butler, the Chancellor, advocated floating the exchange rate and allowing sterling to find its own level and to be convertible. Butler acknowledged that his proposals would end the Keynesian full employment policies of the previous twelve years but claimed that the burden would fall not on Britain's precarious gold reserves but on the exchange rate. British exports would become cheaper, imports would become more expensive, food prices would rise, as would the prices of raw materials and possibly unemployment would also rise under the scheme. Clarke claimed that a free exchange rate would be 'painful' but would impose severe discipline upon British industry because of its exposure to the world markets.

The most prominent of those who urged for its rejection were a Treasury under-secretary, E. R. Coplestone, and Lord Cherwell, the Paymaster-General. Cherwell argued that unemployment would rise to one million and inflation could increase if the plan was implemented. He also argued that it would be political suicide, which would end in disaster. Both the Governor (Lord Cobbold) and the deputy governor (Sir George Bolton) of the Bank of England, as well as the Colonial Secretary Oliver Lyttelton, were in favour of implementing it.

In February 1952 the Cabinet rejected it as too risky.


  • Barnett, Correlli (2002). The Verdict of Peace. London: Pan.
  • Burnham, Peter (2003). Remaking the Postwar World Economy: Robot and British Policy in the 1950s. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-55725-5.
  • Morgan, Kenneth O. (2001). Britain since 1945: The People's Peace. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Kynaston, David (2009). Family Britain, 1951–1957. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 74–76. ISBN 978-1-4088-0083-6.


Information as of: 13.08.2021 08:17:49 CEST

Source: Wikipedia (Authors [History])    License of the text: CC-BY-SA-3.0. Creators and licenses of the individual images and media can either be found in the caption or can be displayed by clicking on the image.

Changes: Design elements were rewritten. Wikipedia specific links (like "Redlink", "Edit-Links"), maps, niavgation boxes were removed. Also some templates. Icons have been replaced by other icons or removed. External links have received an additional icon.

Please note: Because the given content is automatically taken from Wikipedia at the given point of time, a manual verification was and is not possible. Therefore does not guarantee the accuracy and actuality of the acquired content. If there is an Information which is wrong at the moment or has an inaccurate display please feel free to contact us: email.
See also: Legal Notice & Privacy policy.