Wartime mobilization of labor reduced export trade to a bare minimum. Many capital investments overseas were sold or destroyed by the fortunes of war, and on the high seas U-boat warfare robbed England of a large part of her merchant fleet. To Britain's prime minister, Winston Churchill, the future of his nation in the post-war period was of foremost concern. But in addition to the task of rebuilding the many shattered homes of England, a graver problem awaited the British--that of economic readjustment.
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