Courtesy Reuters

The Long-Term Recovery Problem

Europe After 1952

LAST July in these pages I discussed the task of European recovery.[i] We were then in the initial stage. The Economic Coöperation Act had been passed at the beginning of April. The far-flung organization of E.C.A. had been set up, with its central office in Washington under Mr. Hoffman, its Paris office under Mr. Harriman, and its American delegations in the individual European countries[ii] covered by the Marshall Plan. Sir Oliver Franks' European Committee (C.E.E.C.), which at Secretary Marshall's invitation had made the original survey of the problem in Paris in the summer of 1947, had been followed in April by the permanent Organization for European Economic Coöperation, consisting of a Secretariat under Robert Marjolin, an Executive Committee under the chairmanship of Sir Edmund Hall-Patch, and a Council headed by Premier Spaak of Belgium.

It was a strenuous period, with everything needing to be done at once -- the recruiting of personnel, the finding of quarters, the setting up of administrative procedures, the determination and allotment of the amounts and kinds of aid and sources of supply, first for the spring quarter of 1948 and then for the first full year, July-June 1948-49. From the start it was recognized that means must be found to revive trade within Western Europe itself, which was seriously lagging behind the recovery both of European production and of trade with the outside world; and, as one main approach to this problem, the European and American organizations devoted about four months to the difficult task of working out the Agreement for Intra-European Payments and Compensations, which was adopted last October. By then it was time to prepare the program for the second year, 1949-50, for presentation to Congress in February.

All this, quite apart from the immense detail involved in the day-to-day administration, suggests a most busy calendar for the first year of the recovery program. Yet it leaves out the year's most significant development. The Marshall Plan had been conceived

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