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

Europe,   pp. 196-654 PDF (168.7 MB)

Page 232

  7. It will 'be necessary for the President and the Secretary of State
to make a strong spiritual appeal to the American people to sacrifice
a little themselves, to draw in their own belts just a little in order
to save Europe from starvation and chaos (not from the Russians)
and, at the same time, to preserve for ourselves and our children the
glorious heritage of a free America.
  8. Europe must have from us, as a grant, 6 or 7 billion dollars worth
of goods a year for three years. With this help, the operations of the
International Bank and Fund should enable European reconstruction
to get under way at a rapid pace. Our grant could take the form prin-
cipally of coal, food, cotton, tobacco, shipping services and similar
things-all now produced in the United States in surplus, except cot-
ton. The probabilities are that cotton will be surplus in another one or
two years. Food shipments should be stepped up, despite the enormous
total (15 million tons) of bread grains exported from the United States
during the present crop year. We are wasting and over-consuming food
in the United States to such an extent that a reasonable measure of
conservation would make at least another million tons available for
export with no harm whatsoever to the health and efficiency of the
American people.
  9. This three-year grant to Europe should be based on a European
plan which the principal European nations, headed by the UK, France
and Italy, should work out. Such a plan should be based on a European
economic federation on the order of the Belgium-Netherlands-Luxem-
bourg Customs Union. Europe cannot recover from this war and again
become independent if her economy continues to be divided into many
small watertight compartments as it is today.
  10. Obviously, the above is only the broad outline of a problem which
will require much study and preparation before any move can be made.
  Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Australiia, New Zealand, Union of South
Africa could all help with their surplus food and raw materials, but
we must avoid getting into another UNRRA. The United States must
run this show.
  [WASHINGTON,] May 27, 1947.                    W. L. CLAYTON
840.50 Recovery/5-2847
Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Acheson) to the
                      Secretary of State 1
SECRET                              [WASHINGTON,] May 28, 1947.
  In further reference to your question this morning as to how we
should present the economic problems of Europe which we discussed
1 Marginal notation: "GCM".

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