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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 101 (July 1947)

German reactions,   pp. 13-14 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 13

CONTINUING heavy American
press and radio discussion of the
Marshall proposal for an integrated
European reconstruction program has
placed considerable importance on
the need for greater coal output for
the continent's industries.
Newspapers generally have agreed
that' the impetus and blueprint for
a "self-help"  program, buttressed
by US financial assistance must come
from the European countries jointly.
In discussion, of Europe's present
difficulties, however, several editor-
ials have pointed to the necessity
of rehabilitating the Ruhr industrial
areas-particularly from the stand-
point of more coal production.
A Washington Post editorial, in
full, stated: "The World Bank's ex-
pression of interest in a development
scheme in the Ruhr is an event of
considerable significance. President
McCloy is reported as saying that
the Ruhr is the key to European
reconstruction.  Such  a statement
from the World Bank head indicates
that if the nations concerned could
get together in the establishment of
a Ruhr coal authority, finance would
be forthcoming.
"A feature of the new suggestion
is that the authority should give
ample operating powers to one man.
It is evidently the feeling that the
coal czar should be an American
who could introduce modern methods
of mining operation.
"The suggestion should spur action
in Europe. There are several hurdles
to overcome, and they are not all
"Our occupation authorities in Ber-
lin think of the Ruhr as within their
jurisdiction and Ruhr development
as within their competence. As to
jurisdiction, they are correct, but the
governments could and should re-
move it. As to competence, the Ruhr
is still staggering along at 40 per-
cent of capacity. Enough opportunity
has been given to the present men
on the spot to revive the Ruhr, and
they must now step down. Develop-
ment of the Ruhr is the condition
precedent of success for any con-
tinental scheme of 'reconstruction in
response to the Marshall initiative.
What is the good of modernizing
'European industries if the coal is
lacking to sustain them?"
IN a previous editorial, the Post said
in part: "Coal is the king of
recovery. And the Ruhr is the heart
of the coal problem. If a plan could
be suggested for putting the Ruhr on
its economic feet again, the first
step on the way to real recovery
in Europe would have been taken.
All the western countries now have
to draw on American coal, and this
dependence   entails  one  of  the
greatest dollar drains' on their supply
of dollars... Such a plan should go
hand in hand with an agreement on
the principles of economic integration
in Europe."                 I
Columnist Barnet Nover wrote:
"Just as the essential corollary to
the Truman Doctrine is the Marshall
Plan, so the indispensable supple-
ment to the Marshall Plan is the
proposal  for  the  immediate  ex-
pansion of the Ruhr's coal -pro-
duction ...
"It is essential, first of all, that
something be done right away to
take care of Europe's immediate and
pressing needs. Among the greatest
and most urgent of these is coal. If
France had all the coal needed by
her factories, her power plants, her
railroads, her homes, she would be
much further along the road to
recovery than she is. The same is
true of Great Britain, of Italy, of
The Netherlands and other countries.
"In 1946 the United States shipped
around 18 million tons of coal to
Europe. Our coal exports this year
may reach the incredible total of
36 million tons as against prewar
exports of only a million tons a
year. American coal has been in-
cost to tfhe purchasers has been
tremendous. For Europe as a whole
it has meant a vast drain on wholly
inadequate dollar balances. For this
and other reasons, the rehabilitation
of Europe's coal production and the
-restoration, is one of the first es-
sentials of European. recovery."
After discussing the importance of
Secretary of State Marshall's recent,
Harvard University speech, Columnist
Walter Lippman said: "The needs of
Europe are urgent. Nevertheless, now
that we have made the right start,
we shall do well to make haste
slowly, to let seeds planted in the
speech germinate and bear their
fruits in Europe. For we can help
effectively only as fast in Europe as
a whole, or in any part of it, for
example the Ruhr, as the nations
most concerned are able and willing
to act together."
SOME comment has emphasized the
S need for speed in devising a pro-
gram to rebuild Europe's lagging econ-
omy. The New York Times Foreign
Affairs Writer Anne McCormick said:
"Europe is sick of conferences thet
get lost in. technicalities and pro-
cedures and seem to meet only to
postpone decisions. There is no time
for delay in starting the work of
reconstruction, and everybody in
Europe knows it."
A Times editorial, after noting the
"gratifying change in the whole
political and moral climate of at
least western Europe"-evident from
early reaction to the Marshall Plan
"...The second   (result) is the
complete shift in all discussions
from the political to the economic
field, in which talk of territorial
barters  and  borders,  reparations,
destruction of industry and deport-
ation of people, which still domi-
nated Potsdam, has been subordinated
to talk of reconstruction and pro-'
duction, irrespective of territorial or
ideological frontiers, as the -only
road to the survival of all."
14 JULY 1947
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