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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 403


THE MARSHALL PLAN
Fuel for Europe" or some such slogan, leaving the general program to
be dealt with expeditiously but in due course.
  My own appraisal of the urgency of Europe's plight leads me to
reject alternative No. 1 as giving us no plausible guaranty against a
catastrophic deterioration of the world situation.
  The choice is between No. 2 and No. 3, and there is much to be said
for and against each of them.
  On balance I favor No. 3. To evolve a really sound approach to
Europe's problems is going to take time. The problems are so grave,
so complex, so far-reaching, so critical for the future of our people
and the world at large, that they should be dealt with in most orderly
and considered manner. This cannot be done if we have the conscious-
ness that people are starving while we deliberate. It cannot be done
if the general atmosphere is one of panic and collapse. A short-term
aid program would buy us time in which to deal deliberately and
carefully with the long-term program. It could be publicly justified
on this basis. Put in hand spontaneously by us, without request from
Europe, it should do much to offset the vicious propaganda current in
Europe as to the motives of our policies toward Europe. It need not
constitute a violation of the principle of "no more piece-meal aid",
be-
cause it could easily be so arranged that it would eventually either be
absorbed into any general aid program which Congress might approve
or terminate at once if Congress turned such a project down completely.
                      V. THE BASIC PROBLEM
  The main consideration which inclines me to this last alternative is
the impression which I am carrying back from Europe with me of the
immense seriousness and complexity of the basic problem with which
we are dealing. I am not sure that we have come anywhere near to
finding the real answers within the scope of our present thinking. At
last Saturday's meeting of Mr. Clayton with representatives of the
Executive Committee, Sir Oliver Franks stubbornly insisted that he
and his colleagues would not be honest, in the light of the data they
had before them, if they did not show a small continued deficit at the
end of the four-year period. Some of the members of our official family
saw in this a violation of the principles on which the Europeans had
been asked to approach this matter, and thus a cause for indignation.
I could not share this feeling. What Franks was saying was simply
that he and his colleagues were not sure that the area in question could
really be made "viable" within the four-year period which they
had
selected for a program of aid. They felt that they were in honesty
bound to face this fact.
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