The economic performance of the Western economies between 1950 and 1973 is now firmly inscribed in the annals as the period of the long boom. The ideological framework within which these expectations were formed varied, indicative planning in France, the Social Market Economy in Germany, neo-corporatism in Japan, Keynesian demand management in Britain, but all subscribed to the belief that high levels of economic activity and employment could and would be maintained. The formation of the National Economic Development Council in 1961 signalled this concern. As has been noted, there was considerable opposition to this new approach, especially from within the ranks of the Conservative party. Nonetheless, contrasts drawn with foreign competitors, especially in relation to the planning role of the state, were compelling. And the continued operation of this mechanism was made to depend on the continuing commitment to sterling and the preservation of the existing structure of economic management.