I am indebted to Christopher M. Quigley my good friend and colleague for this excellent article:
One cannot understand what is going on in Europe today without comprehending what the Marshall Plan was. Her are some salient excerpts from Greg Behrman’s excellent book published in 2008.
“The Marshall Plan”
On Saturday, July 12 1947, at 11 A.M. the Paris Conference was called to order. Of the twenty-two countries that had been invited to attend, eight had declined (communist sphere countries) and fourteen had accepted: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey (along with the main operating forces Great Britain and France. At this time Germany was an occupied nation).
In the course of the three-hour meeting, Clayton (American State Department) laid out the terms, in unalloyed form, he felt essential in getting the conference back on track. The preliminary estimate of $28 billion would be viewed as “much too large” in the United States. The Plan’s prospects would be “enhanced,” Clayton said, if Europe adhered to seven guidelines. Clayton described them “essentials.” First, Europe should achieve economic independence, or self-sustainability, within four years. Second, aid requirements should taper each successive year. Third, Europe should emphasize production, especially coal and food. Fourth, in a thinly veiled allusion to the restoration of German production, Clayton said that long-run plans should not interfere with the near-term reactivation of existing production facilities. Fifth, the Europeans should work towards financial and monetary stabilization. The sixth point pressed the Europeans to liberalize trade. It was clear that a customs union and any institutional arrangements facilitating integration were desirable. But, meeting Lovett’s concern, this point wasn’t an “essential.” And finally, as Clayton had been saying for weeks, the Europeans should form an ongoing multilateral organization to promote cooperation. ( CQ’s note: this was clearly the gestation plan for the formation of the EEC/EU. )As the testimony (before Congress continued) , The Plan’s backers stressed another key objective. For aid to be effective, Europe would have to emerge from “the old atomized European economy into a coordinated, efficient, self-sustaining production and trading economy.” In short, Congress wanted Western European to integrate. (CQ’s Note: in other words America refused to deal with European nations individually and refused to accept their individual sovereignty; thus that wanted to deal with Europe as a federal whole).
The model of state sovereignty had led France and Germany down the path of a century of interstate rivalry….. Inside his thatched-roof cottage in Houjarray, Monnet, along with three trusted technical experts, drafted the first version of the French declaration (for the institute to merge European coal and steel interests) on Sunday, April 16. The draft called for the member countries to pool their coal and steel, to ensure that both were sold on identical terms, to equalize competitive conditions and to design a supranational institutional framework to govern the enterprise. … The proposal had an essential political objective: to make a breach in the national sovereignty which will be narrow enough to secure consent.
Bevin (the British Prime minister, who had not been consulted by Monnet) spoke with great force, out-raged that the Americans, French and Germans had failed to inform him or consider the British in the wake of such a seismic development. (CQ’s note: England had been doubled crossed by America, first by keeping it in the dark regarding the fledgling common market in coal and steel and second in supporting a German fast-track redevelopment).
In 1947 the political climate changed (with the Korean War). … since Marshall’s last confirmation hearings. In the wake of Mao’s victory, Republicans had begun to point back to Marshall’s doomed 1946 presidential mission to mediate the Chinese civil war. They criticized Marshall for not doing enough to support Chiang (CQ’s note: thus creating the modern communist Chinese state). They attacked the State Department that he had run for two years. They attacked the Marshall Plan: “a waste and misallocation of resources, and a boon for European Socialists.”
Richard Bissell’s indispensible contribution as the technical and policy genius behind the Marshall Plan
has been less noted. The most notable of these was counter-party funds. ….. he viewed aid as a component of, and lever for, larger policies and reforms. Bissell’s thinking helped drive ECA (European Cooperation Administration) to promote fiscal and monetary stability and productivity; currency devaluation and a European Payments Union; far-reaching structural economic reform – nothing short of Western European economic integration.
On the twentieth anniversary of the Marshall Plan, the Belgian ambassador to the OECD (the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, an off-shoot from the Marshall Plan)
Roger Ockrent, said that “the Marshall Plan did not only save us from evil, but laid the cornerstone upon which has been built the whole apparatus of modern international economic co-operation.” ” I am convinced,” he said, “that the refusal of the United States government to deal bilaterally with each European country was the decisive fact that translated the Marshall idea into facts by forcing the national interests to merge in a wider common interest.”
(C) Christopher M. Quigley 1st. November 2012.
today by my good friend and colleague
- Unique Marshall Plan Speech Presentation Online (prweb.com)
- Just Say No: Syrian Rebel Leader Calls for “Marshall Plan” (wemeantwell.com)
- Tsipras: Help Greece like postwar Germany (upi.com)
- Why the European Union does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize (newstatesman.com)
- Spitzer: Mitt Romney can’t praise the Marshall Plan, attack stimulus (newsday.com)
- The Marshall Plan Should Inspire Romney’s “New Course in the Middle East” (thejerusalemreview.com)
- Eliot Spitzer: Mitt Romney supports a stimulus plan from the past, but won’t support one now (current.com)