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The British Whaling Trade$
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Gordon Jackson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780973007398

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780973007398.001.0001

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Chapter 12 Expanding Fleets and the New Fishing Grounds, 1919-1920

Chapter 12 Expanding Fleets and the New Fishing Grounds, 1919-1920

(p.169) Chapter 12 Expanding Fleets and the New Fishing Grounds, 1919-1920
The British Whaling Trade

Gordon Jackson

Liverpool University Press

British whaling in the interwar period cannot be understood, or adequately described, in terms solely of national production or national consumption. The continuation of Anglo-Norwegian rivalry ensured the international nature of the industry, in which the desire to maximise profits under a system of very free competition led to most complicated investment decisions based on factors that were very largely beyond the control of the British firms, or indeed, of any firm. There had always been international competition in whaling, but never before had individual firms produced so much, or had so much capital at stake. The balancing of supply and demand in the producers' favour was by no means easy, and, as with other primary producers, whaler-owners were already moving dangerously close to over-production. At the same time the acceleration of technical change during the war ensured an international market for oil among soap and margarine producers, with the result that purely national needs had little effect on prices. Although British firms served their domestic market more than any other, the returns on their effort might be determined by marginal production in Norway or government purchasing policy in Germany. On the production side it will be necessary from time to time to set British whaling in the context of total whaling activity as recorded in the ...

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