The Oil Board and Britain's Strategic Oil Policy in the Interwar Period
Abstract (Summary)Throughout the interwar period, Britain’s position as a global power rested largely upon its ability to acquire new sources of oil and maintain an uninterrupted flow of oil. Britain had spent the better part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries building up a secure system of coaling stations and bases in an attempt to establish strategic dominance along imperial lines of communication and trade. After World War I, new challenges and threats emerged, forcing British policymakers to reevaluate the logistics behind their nation’s world power. Creation of a coherent energy policy for the entirety of the British Empire at its zenith was a vital but daunting task. Balancing the needs of the military with the civil requirements of Britain and the Dominions would be the major function of the Cabinet’s Oil Board between the World Wars. The Oil Board was a hedge against disruption in the case of war, but it also created coherence between British and Dominion energy policies. One of the advantages to having a far-flung empire was that the British had already created much of the infrastructure and bases needed for the switch to oil. The solutions that the Oil Board came up with to answer the energy needs of the Empire were an important function of the Oil Board and remain relevant today.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:british oil policy board
Date of Publication:01/01/2008