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By Robert Bacon, W.A. Eltis

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Public investment started to grow a year earlier, and consumption and public-sector employment also started to grow earlier. The reasons for the late expansion of industrial investment are among the most crucial in any account of the British economy since 1961. Industrialists have generally been prepared to increase investment in new plant only when new orders that they could not meet with existing plant were actually coming in. Mr Selwyn Lloyd and Mr Maudling increased investment incentives substantially long before 1964, but it was in this expansion year that industrial investment suddenly surged upwards.

Public investment started to grow a year earlier, and consumption and public-sector employment also started to grow earlier. The reasons for the late expansion of industrial investment are among the most crucial in any account of the British economy since 1961. Industrialists have generally been prepared to increase investment in new plant only when new orders that they could not meet with existing plant were actually coming in. Mr Selwyn Lloyd and Mr Maudling increased investment incentives substantially long before 1964, but it was in this expansion year that industrial investment suddenly surged upwards.

In consequence industry invests still less, more industrial workers become redundant and still more workers need to be fitted into the public sector. This ever-accelerating spiral leads nowhere except to total economic collapse and it is so deep-rooted in structural maladjustment that it is in no way amenable to tinkering. There is therefore a basic explanation of a structural kind of the underlying deterioration in Britain's economic performance and the succession of crises that have become increasingly severe until they threaten to undermine the repute of orthodox political parties and all that can follow from this.

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