Thomas Robb
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All out of money 1976–77

It is demonstrated throughout this chapter that US financial assistance, in the guise the British Prime Minister James Callaghan wanted never materialised during the IMF Crisis of 1976-77. Callaghan believed that Britain’s position with the Western alliance would ensure that the US would pressure the International Monetary Fund into providing preferential loan conditions for the United Kingdom. The Ford administration, however, did not believe Britain warranted such treatment and even efforts by the Callaghan government to link the continuation of British security efforts to a preferential loan were rebuffed. Ultimately, the years of economic and military decline meant that the United Kingdom was no longer important enough in Washington’s opinion to warrant such preferential treatment. Therefore, the efforts of Wilson and Callaghan to build a closer ‘special relationship’ failed to ultimately deliver the political capital when it was most needed.

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A strained partnership?

US–UK relations in the era of détente, 1969–77


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