Commentators have seen the railways as experiencing net disinvestment since the late 1930s (Gourvish 1986, 68): during the 1939-45 war the network suffered extensive damage and received minimal maintenance. In 1947 the operating ratio (the ratio of costs to income) stood at 103 per cent, so there was no internal source of capital accumulation. Britain was experiencing severe austerity and the economy was weak leading to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Stafford Cripps, devaluing the pound in the crisis of 1949. Railway management, like much else in contemporary Britain, was on the basis of make-do and mend.