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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 241


THE MARSHALL PLAN
  [Here follow several pages detailing the progress of events and the
thinking in the Department of State regarding the Marshall Plan
from June 5 to July 28.]
  Sincerely,                                     Ben [T. Moore]
840.50 Recovery/7-2248
         Merrorandum by Mr. Charles P. Kindleberger'
                                     [WASHINGTON,] July 22,1948.
                  MEMORANDUM FOR THE FiLEs
                  ORIGINS OF THE MARSHALL PLAN
  The collection of gossip and rumors presented below is not vouched
for in any way. It is set forth only because time is fleeting, memories
fade, and the stuff of history is fragile. Even at this date, thirteen
months later, I am unable to sort out what I know of my direct knowl-
edge and what I have been told.
  It is well known that the topic of European reconstruction was
widely discussed during the winter of 1946-47. The Council on For-
eign Relations had its entire winter program devoted to this topic. I
talked twice on it: once in January on coal; and a second time in May
on Germany.
  Walter Lippmann,2 without claiming credit for the origin of the
Marshall plan, has told me that he wrote a series of columns (not the
one on the cold war) setting forth the necessity for a plan for European
reconstruction. This I do not recall and didn't when he told me.
  In early 1946, Walt Rostow 3 had a revelation that the unity of Ger-
many could not be achieved without the unity of Europe, and that the
unity of Europe could best be approached crabwise through technical
cooperation in economic matters, rather than bluntly in diplomatic ne-
gotiation. This suggestion was given to Secretary Byrnes for free
examination through the kindly offices of Mr. Acheson. Joe and Stewart
Alsop 4 wrote a column on the subject in April 1946, referring to what
was in the Secretary's briefcase. In any event, the Secretary didn't buy.
That summer, however, the US representation on the Devastated Areas
Subcommission of the Commission on Employment of the Economic
and Social Council of the United Nations bought the idea from Rostow
and Kindleberger (who was by that time a member of the firm) and
1Mr. Kindleberger, Chief of the Division of German and Austrian Economic
Affairs, Department of State, participated in the work of various departmental
and interdepartmental committees on the Marshall Plan.
'Walter Lippmann, newspaper columnist.
" Walt W. Rostow, Assistant Chief, Division of German and Austrian Economic
Affairs.
' Joseph and Stewart Alsop, newspaper columnists.
241


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