Archives: The Journal of the British Records Association

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND THE PRICE COMMISSION, 1973–74

Archives: The Journal of the British Records Association (2017), 52, (134), 12–25.

Abstract

In the early 1970s, rising prices were a particularly sensitive issue, as pay rises were being limited. This article focuses on the work of the government body established to implement and maintain price controls. Drawing on governmental files held by The National Archives, and the British Library newspaper archive, it evaluates the public relations work of the price commission: judging its performance with regard to the business community and the general public. The role of the chairman, Sir Arthur Cockfield, is also explored in some depth. This study shows how a detailed investigation of the public records can enable the historian to understand how Britain was governed in the early 1970s; the extent to which inflation dominated national discourse at that time; and more specifically, how the strictest price controls since war time operated in a free, western society in peacetime, and the effect of these measures on public opinion.

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Author details

Dunton, Mark