The decision making process in British government: A case study of the decision to raise the bank rate in September, 1957.

2015-11-19T08:57:02Z (GMT) by Richard A (Richard Arnold) Chapman
In this case study an attempt is made not merely to describe a sequence of events in decision making, but to critically examine the procedure revealed and to consider it in terms of administrative theory. The decision concerned was that to raise the Bank rate by two per cent on September 19th 1957. After the decision had been announced, there were rumours and allegations that there had been an improper disclosure of information about the decision, and a Tribunal of Inquiry was later set up to investigate the allegations. This study has been based on the Minutes of Evidence given before the Tribunal. The first chapter contains an explanation of the object of the study and the method to be used. The second chapter explains how and why the Bank Rate Tribunal was set up and who had the legal responsibility for the decision to raise the Bank rate; it also explains the economic situation in 957 and how the position deteriorated during the summer of that year. Chapter three is a reconstruction of the decision-making process, showing how the people concerned consulted each other and accumulated authority to make the decision. Chapter four traces the history of communications between the bank of England and the Treasury, showing how the institutions have worked together in the past, and in particular, how closely they were working at the time of the 1957 Bank rate decision. The next three chapters are concerned with three important factors in the making of this particular decision. These are the significance of holidays in 1957, the backgrounds of the decision-makers, and the growth of consensus. The final chapter is concerned, with conclusions from the study. The conclusions include general comment about Tribunals of Inquiry, and in particular about the 1957 Bank Rate Tribunal; secondly, there are some reflections on the organization of the Bank of England and its relations with the Treasury; thirdly, there is a discussion on aspects of democratic administration in relation to the case; and finally there is a discussion Oil the administrative process revealed by the study.




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