Following the war, it took time for the Foundation to regain its former level of success. Many contacts had been broken; costs, including wages, had increased; the building in Doughty Street was in disrepair; the library was in a state of neglect; and travel was both difficult and costly. As frontiers began to open in the late 1940s and early 1950s the visitors returned. Later on, grants became sporadically available to support not only the provision of library facilities, but also a variety of research activities and the publication of a series of Occasional Papers and other books and documents. Gradually, the Foundation was able to receive foreign contracts, and was the recipient of an increasing number of invitations to contribute to overseas visits, lectures, and participation in conferences and reports. At the Foundation’s recommendation a co-operative adviser was appointed to the Colonial Office, through whom much overseas work was subsequently made possible.
For many years, the Foundation had been giving thought to the problem of training for UK agricultural co-operatives. In 1954, when funds become available through the Ministry of Agriculture, the Foundation was immediately able to put forward a scheme for a co-operative business correspondence course. It proved to be extremely successful and quickly aroused overseas interest. Short training courses were also organised in Africa, under the guidance of the Foundation’s newly appointed overseas education officer with the support of outside lecturers.
So, although the Foundation had been formed with very wide terms of reference in a distinctly academic context, it emerged from these formative years with a fairly well defined range of practical co-operative development services, maintaining the international outlook of the original Wembley Conference of 1924.