chapter  27
12 Pages


WithAlan Peacock

This contribution draws heavily on two earlier articles by the author (Peacock 1987, 1988).


Although economists have been active as government advisers since the time of the Cameralists,1 it is within living memory that they have formed a recognizable cadre within the public service. Thus, while in the late 1920s Winston Churchill could jest about the Treasury’s tame economist, R.G.Hawtrey, being ‘released from the dungeon in which we were said to have immured him, have his chains struck off and the straw brushed from his hair and clothes to be admitted to the light and warmth of the Treasury Boardroom’ (Roseveare 1969), sixty years later government economic advisers have become public figures with the popular attribution of great influence if not power. Nor is this an exclusively British phenomenon (for evidence, see Coats 1981).