This thesis analyzes political aspects of Britain's imperial economic policy within the framework of the sterling area between 1947 and 1958.

The thesis shows that the role of the empire for Britain's external economic policy increased in the late 1940s and early 1950s and then gradually diminished during the 1950s.

Moreover, it is suggested that there might be a link between this decreasing importance and emerging problems in imperial economic management on the one hand, and Britain's retreat from its empire on the other.