Towards a Balanced Budget – post-war Nuffield publication

I have been looking for a copy of Towards a Balanced Budget for the past couple of years now. It is a 36- page booklet published by the Nuffield Organisation with the objective of highlighting the importance of Nuffield products to Britain’s post-war export drive. Given that there must have been hundreds, if not thousands of these booklets produced, they are extremely rare now and even the specialist dealers do not have them. I reluctantly decided that I wasn’t going to get hold of one, so I asked Paul Mason of the Riley RM Club if he would mind scanning some of the pages of the booklet, which I knew was in his possession. Paul kindly obliged and I am happy to give him and the Riley RM Club accreditation.

It is perhaps easy to forget that our cars (and the Riley RM models, which were assembled at Abingdon) made a major contribution, as part of the Nuffield ‘empire’, to the country’s export drive.

The front cover of the publication conveys the message that exports are needed to pay for essential imports.  A rather quaint British Pathé film (a Ministry of Information public information trailer) reinforces this message in rather stark terms. The film opens with a picture of an animated house, its door becomes a mouth which turns down at the corners to show it is unhappy. It shows the cartoon family of dad, mum and daughter inside. Dad sits in a chair reading the newspaper and smoking a pipe, he has a very small radio next to him and wants a new one. Mother sews a big sheet by hand, she wants a new sewing machine. Their daughter (Betty) sits in her bedroom and looks glumly at her dressing table, she wants new beauty products. We then see the new ‘wants’ being exported, they turn into money to buy food and raw materials such as timber.

The film narrator explains that we must make these sacrifices for the things we need. It then shows what would happen if we did have the things we want. Dad looks happy with a new wireless until his pipe and newspaper disappear and his chair goes from under him. Mother has her sewing machine but nothing to sew. Betty has her cosmetics but no roof over her head. The whole house collapses. Their luxuries fly away to be exported and the house builds itself up again and smiles.

The link is https://www.britishpathe.com/video/export-or-die

I’m not old enough to have been around at the time, (well, I was a babe in arms when I arrived in England in 1947 from what was then West Germany) but there must be members, who are in their mid-eighties onwards, who will remember how difficult it was to purchase a new car in those early post-war years.

Never to ‘hide his light under a bushel’ Lord Nuffield would no doubt have seen the sales potential of the Towards a Balanced Budget booklet with the opportunity to highlight the success of his vast ‘empire’.

Just to round off this article;

Nearly 66% of TC production was exported. Of the 10,000 TCs built, 6592 were exported leaving 3408 for the ‘Home’ market.

Over 94% of TD production was exported. 29,664 TDs were built, of which 28,008 were exported and 1656 remained for the ‘Home’ market.

Nearly 87% of TF1250 production was exported. Of the 6,200 built, 5387 were exported, leaving 813 for the ‘Home’ market.

Nearly 93% of TF1500 production was exported. Of the 3,400 built, 3156 were exported, leaving only 244 for the ‘Home’ market.

 (Numbers extracted from Anders Ditlev Clausager’s Factory-Original MG T-Series.)

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