End of the Marshall Plan

Courtesy Reuters

IN April 1950 I discussed in these pages "The Marshall Plan Halfway." At that time the United States looked forward to completion of the European recovery program by mid-1952, as provided by the Economic Coöperation Act of April 1948. But in June 1950 came Korea. Since then we have been in a process of transition to the Mutual Security Program. Instead of the Marshall Plan, we now have a three-pronged program combining economic aid, now called "defense support," administered since last January by the Mutual Security Agency as successor to E.C.A.; military aid under the Department of Defense; and Point Four (Technical Coöperation Administration) under the State Department. Averell Harriman as Director for Mutual Security has had the rôle of over-all coördinator of these activities.

In these circumstances we cannot attach the same significance as previously to the date mid-1952. Instead of providing the definitive cure for international imbalance, at least so far as Western Europe and its dollar gap are concerned, the Marshall Plan has become one more transitional experience in the increasingly complicated world situation that has been unfolding ever since the war. We can now only speculate whether, but for Korea and the rearmament program, the goal of independence from "extraordinary outside assistance" might have been reached by mid-1952. Actually, as contemplated in our budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1952, assistance to Europe will be much greater than in any year of the Marshall Plan, and foreign aid as a whole (except as modified by Congress) will be 7.9 billion dollars, as against total Marshall Plan expenditures since April 1948 of 12 billion dollars. It is, however, important for many reasons to try to appraise at this time this whole experience. How much progress has Europe really made? Has the setback in Western Europe's external balance that has occurred this past year, and which the 0. E. E. C. report of last November called "ominous," been wholly due to temporary forces brought on by the Korean war and

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