Image of Dr Roy Edwards.

Dr Roy Edwards

Dr Roy Edwards teaches accounting and business history in Southampton Business School. His research interests are in the history of decision making, industrial policy and the development of freight transportation.

The Industrial Reorganisation Corporation and the 1968 reorganisation of British manufacturing

This is an English Electric advertisement (or poster) from 1951. The text reads: 'The wealth of nearly 50 years' experience is built into every 'English Electric' product. The 'English Electric Organization and its Research Laboratories are constantly engaged in the development of new designs, new processes, new equipment. The aim is perfection - and better living for people all over the world. 'English Electric ' products are the first, the middle and the last links in the chain of electricity's service to mankind. The poster largely consists of a printed painting showing a cloudy sky with touches of blue and a dam in the background (which is presumably producing hydro-electric power) and an electric locomotive emerging from a tunnel. At the bottom of the poster a banner containing text reads: 'The English Electric Company Limited, Queens House, Kingsway, London WC2. Also it states: Works: Stafford, Preston, Rugby, Bradford, Liverpool.

On winning the 1964 election the new Labour government adopted an interventionist industrial policy. By the late 1960s a policy of amalgamation through merging firms was intended to deliver companies which could compete on a global basis, but the outcomes did not always match expectations.