Programas navales y desarrollo económico: la Empresa Nacional "Elcano" de la Marina Mercante y el sueño industrializador de Suanzes (1942-1963)

Jesús María Valdaliso Gago


The Instituto Nacional de Industria created in I943 the Empresa Nacional "Elcano" de la Marina Mercante with the aim of promoting the development of shipbuilding and shipping industries in Spain. Both sectors had a substantial strategic and economic importance for the Government of Franco. The head of the INI, J. A. Suanzes, stressed the relationship between naval power and industrialization. During his term of office, Elcano became one of the five most important firms of the INI group, and appeared among the top twenty-jive Spanish big companies in 1948 and 1960. This paper examines the role played by Elcano in the development of Spanish shipbuilding industry in the years 1942-1963, whether the industrializing dream of Suanzes came true or not, and its opportunity cost for the Spanish economy.

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