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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The British Commonwealth; Europe
(1947)

Europe,   pp. 196-654 PDF (168.7 MB)


Page 227


THE MARSHALL PLAN
reasons, be an internationally agreed program. The request for our
support must come as a joint request from a group of friendly na-
tions, not as a series of isolated and individual appeals.
  c. This European program must envisage bringing western Europe
to a point where it will be able to maintain a tolerable standard of
living on a financially self-supporting basis. It must give promise of
doing the whole job. The program must contain reasonable assurance
that if we support it, this will be the last such program we shall be
asked to support in the foreseeable future.
  d. The overall European program must embrace, or be linked to,
some sort of plan for dealing with the economic plight of Britain. The
plan must be formally a British one, worked out on British initiative
and British responsibility, and the role of the United States, again,
must be to give friendly support.
  e. This does not mean that the United States need stand aside or
remain aloof from the elaboration of the overall European program.
As a member of the United Nations and particularly of the Economic
Commission for Europe, and as a power occupying certain European
territories, it is entitled and obliged to participate in working out
the program. Our position as an occupying power also makes it in-
cumbent upon us to cooperate whole-heartedly in the execution of any
program that may be evolved. For this reason, and -because we must
know as soon as possible to what extent such a program is technically
feasible, we must undertake an independent and realistic study of
the entire problem of European rehabilitation. But we must insist,
for the sake of clarity, for the sake of soundness of concept, and for
the sake of the self-respect of European peoples, that the initiative be
taken in Europe and that the main burden be borne by the govern-
ments of that area. With the best of will, the American people can-
not really help those who are not willing to help themselves. And if
the requested initiative and readiness to bear public responsibility
are not forthcoming from the European governments, then that will
mean that rigor mortis has already set in on the body politic of Europe
as we have known it and that it may be already too late for us to
change decisively the course of events.
  /. While this program must necessarily center in the European area,
it will admittedly have widespread ramifications in other areas. It
will also have important connotations for the UN, and we should bear
constantly in mind the need for maximum utilization of UN
machinery.
  g. American support for such a program need not be confined to
financial assistance. It may involve considerable practical American
cooperation in the solution of specific problems.
  h. With respect to any program which this Government may even-
tually be asked to support, it will be necessary for it to insist on safe-
guards to assure
      first, that everything possible be done to whittle down the cost
    of such support in dollars;
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