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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 400


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1947, VOLUME III
England be prepared to take all the measures which she ought to take
if she were to make a full contribution to European recovery. But by
then, unless we have extended some further aid in the meantime, the
deterioration may well have been so great that the cost of the problem
will be greatly increased.
  This deterioration is already progressing by leaps and bounds. It is
exerting a cruel pressure on the government. This is probably desirable
and necessary; and sensible Englishmen recognize this regretfully.
But the usefulness of pressure has definite limits. It is incumbent on us
to calculate those limits with the greatest of precision.
  Meanwhile, we may hope that the British Government will come a
certain distance toward a more realistic program and thus come
closer to meeting our "essentials". But it is too much to hope
that it
can come all the way within the time allowed. A gap will remain-a
gap in which British governmental behavior will be unrealistic,
erratic, slap-happy.
  It is our problem how to handle that gap. If we choose to hold the
British Government fully responsible, as a rational body, and to treat
it accordingly, we may have to despair of it-and of European recov-
ery. If we choose to treat it as a sick man, then perhaps, by a judicious
admixture of patience and pressure, we can string things out to a
better state of affairs.
(2) Germany.
  The bizonal administration in Germany answered the questionnaires
submitted by the Conference in much the same way, I think, as did the
other governments: honestly, against the background of present pol-
icies, and conceding to the Conference no authority whatsoever to
change those policies. On the contrary, while the Conference was in
progress, events continued to occur (failure to agree on the use of
Benelux ports; failure to agree on purchase of European fish catch;
level of industry talks) which made it evident that the chances of the
Conference to influence the degree of integration of German economy
into that of western Europe in general would remain meager indeed.
It had no choice but to accept unquestioning the figures of the bizonal
administration, as it accepted the figures of the other countries.
  This is not to say that had things been otherwise-had the bizonal
authorities participated in the Conference and shown a readiness to
adjust their plans to the requirements of a European recovery pro-
gram-the Conference would have tackled in a constructive and busi-
ness-like way the working-out of an integrated program, making full
and effective use of German economy. French inhibitions and fear of
communist criticism would alone have prevented that. But the isolation
of Germany from the effective scope of Conference action created an
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