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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 402

genuine hunger by winter, and other complications of unpredictable
dimensions, with unforeseeable effects in other areas of the world.
                 IV. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
  (a) First: as to the treatment of the report of the Paris Conference.
Here we have the following alternatives:
  1. We can let things take their course, receive a report which will
not really be satisfactory, review it and reject it in due course, making
no further effort to aid.
  2. We can make efforts to have the report presented in such a way
as to avoid any impression of finality; let it come to us on the under-
standing that it will be used only as a basis of further discussion; try
to whittle it down as much as possible by negotiation; then give it final
consideration in the Executive Branch of our Government and decide
unilaterally what we finally wish to present to Congress. This would
mean that we would listen to all that the Europeans had to say, but in
the end we would not ask them, we would just tell them what they
would get.
  This last is what some of the more far-sighted of the Europeans
hope we will do. They recognize that their report will inevitably be
padded. They know that they themselves cannot pare it as it should
be pared. As one of them said to me: "You people go ahead and cut
it down. We will squawk over every cut. Never mind that. Most of
your cuts will be justified, and we will squawk anyway. If any of your
cuts are really unjustified, we will set up such a genuine and unmistak-
able howl that you will know you have made a mistake and you can
then correct it." I know of nothing that better illustrates Europe's
pathetic weakness, and Europe's consciousness of that weakness, than
this remark.
  Unquestionably, if we are prepared to recognize that Europe should
be aided in spite of herself and if we wish a general aid program put
in hand promptly this fall, then this second alternative is the one we
should adopt.-
   (b) Secondly, as to the question of timing.
   1. We can try to get an aid program through the next regular session
of Congress, leaving ourselves plenty of time to thrash it out, giving
Europe no other aid in the meantime, and hoping that it will not come
apart at the seams before the aid becomes effective.
  2. We can hold a special session of Congress before Christmas and
try to jam through it a general aid program, the final dimensions of
which would probably have to be determined unilaterally by ourselves
as discussed under IV(a)2. Here again we would have to bet on
Europe's holding out until the program could be effective.
   3. We can attempt to evolve and implement voluntarily and without
solicitation from the Europeans, an immediate or early emergency aid
program to be administered by ourselves, along the lines of "Food and

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