Courtesy Reuters

Economic Lessons of Two World Wars

THERE has been this year a growing sense of crisis in world affairs. In April the Moscow Conference ended in stalemate. In May, with the Truman Doctrine and the grants to Greece and Turkey, we took a stand against further Russian penetration in Europe, and presumably in Asia. On June 5, Secretary Marshall's Cambridge speech, a month after Dean Acheson's Mississippi speech, revealed our Government's recognition of the increasing gravity of the European situation and the need for prompt coördinated action. The Secretary's speech was seized upon on both sides of the Atlantic and overnight became the Marshall Plan.

Since then events have moved swiftly. Sixteen European nations, on the invitation of England and France, have accepted Secretary Marshall's suggestion that Europe must study its own needs and present a program of self-help which would provide a basis for planning further American aid. Russia has further revealed her hand by rejecting the invitation and forcing her satellites to do likewise, though some of them clearly wanted to accept, and she has threatened the rest of Europe with dire though vague consequences for their acceptance.

The European Committee is to report in September. Congress will not reconvene until January. But in the meantime, as I write, three committees (one a nonpartisan, nongovernmental group under the chairmanship of Secretary Harriman) are analyzing the American aspects of the problem, our available resources, the impact of further foreign aid upon our economy, and what our policies and actions should be.

With this time-schedule, American aid under the Marshall Plan cannot begin until next year, but since June it has become increasingly clear that the situation in some countries cannot wait. England and France have been rapidly running out of dollars. Our loan to Britain of July 15, 1946 ($3.75 billion) and the Canadian loan ($1.25 billion) had been designed to cover a five-year breathing spell in which Britain's trade position might be restored. According to the tentative time-schedule submitted by the British, it had been expected that the loans

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