Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

British financial and economic policy towards Germany, 1931-39

Forbes, Neil (1986) British financial and economic policy towards Germany, 1931-39. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94352) (KAR id:94352)


This thesis attempts to show the complexity and convoluted nature of Britain's financial and economic relations with Germany in the 1930s. A great variety of influences (often in competition with one another) acted upon policy formulation in Britain. This helped to create different, but seemingly equally valid, opinions as to what constituted the 'national interest'. This, in turn, tended to exacerbate the rivalry which existed between government officials. In particular, the Foreign Office showed extreme hostility to the attitude of the Governor of the Bank of England as the latter attempted to facilitate agreements between Britain and Germany. Such domestic constraints, combined with the economic pre-occupations of the period, prevented policy-makers from developing a clear picture of the nation's interests. A study of bank archives reveals that the extent of the influence of London banks in determining British official policy has been greatly exaggerated. In the face of competition from rival interests, the London banks could not secure any special consideration for their position under the Standstill Agreements from the Government. Thus while the formulation of policy, confronted with the problem of Nazi Germany, showed that political and economic considerations were linked, perhaps to a degree greater than ever before, the indiscriminate use of the term 'economic appeasement' to describe British policy tends to hinder rather than aid historical understanding.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94352
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Great Britain, British-German relations, history, economic politics
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2023 08:51 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 08:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.