Another psychological blow was struck by the devaluation of the pound in 1949, which pleased economists but seemed the end of a cherished institution to nearly everyone else. Then, in the spring of 1950, just before the outbreak of the Korean War, French and German diplomats, backed by the Truman administration, proposed the Schuman plan, a European coal and steel consortium that was to lay the foundations of the Common Market. The prospect of being, as they perceived it, merely part of a European federations, was a bit much for British politicians and economic experts to swallow. American diplomat Julius Holmes described their dismay:
[The British] resent a common American attitude that they are just another European power. They see Britain as the hub of a vast and complicated political, military and economic mechanism, occupying a position in the world and a relationship with us which is quite different from the other European powers. There is a constant wonder here [in London] that we should think it in American interest for them to completely to integrate with Europe (Hennessy, 1993, p. 393).
Britain's wholehearted response to the Korean War's call to arms well represented its people's courage and determination to cont