F. L. McDougall: Éminence grise of Australian economic diplomacy

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Abstract

This paper examines the principal economic ideas of F. L. McDougall, a largely forgotten, sometime government official and 'amateur' economist who exercised an enigmatic influence upon Australia's economic diplomacy in the interwar years. Beginning with his conception of 'sheltered markets', the international manifestation of the Bruce Government's vision for Australia of 'men, money, and markets', the paper explores McDougall's later advocacy of a 'nutrition approach' to world agriculture and its extension into 'economic appeasement'. McDougall's ideas were theoretically unsophisticated, and realized little in the way of immediate achievements. In the longer run they could be viewed more favourably. Naive perhaps and idealistic certainly, McDougall's ideas were part of a broader movement that, after the Second World War, redefined the role of international economic institutions. If nothing else, McDougall's active proselytizing of his ideas lent Australia an unusual 'voice' in international forums at a time when it was scarcely heard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-70
Number of pages20
JournalAustralian Economic History Review
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000

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