Courtesy Reuters

Foreign Aid

What Sort? How Much? How Long?

SINCE VJ day the United States has given or loaned about 40 billion dollars to foreign governments. In Europe alone this process of extending foreign aid has been marked by overlapping phases--from relief to recovery to rearmament, from UNRRA to E.C.A. to NATO. Each has been described as temporary and as the next to the last, if not the last, venture of its kind. Yet each has involved larger outlays than its predecessor. By the end of 1952, the United States will be spending more money for foreign aid, at an annual rate, than at any other time during the postwar period.

In January, the new administration will fall heir to the two operations now in progress: Point IV and the Mutual Security Program. They involve appropriations for the current fiscal year of six billion dollars, of which more than 90 percent is going, as it has since World War II, to the European partners of the United States. Although the problems of the underdeveloped areas are on a smaller financial scale, they are no less difficult and pressing than those of more highly industrialized Western Europe, and they may turn out to be of even greater importance to the United States. Hence a fully-rounded treatment of foreign aid would perhaps give equal attention to both these programs. However, the discussion that follows will be concerned exclusively with aid to Europe, in part because Point IV and military aid to other areas are less significant for the American budget, but mainly to make the subject matter manageable.

Against the background of seven years of recent history, two quite divergent attitudes toward foreign aid are developing on both sides of the Atlantic. On the one hand, people are getting used to it and are coming to accept it, perhaps fatalistically, as a normal feature of the landscape. Many Europeans increasingly take it for granted that the United States, by far the wealthiest member of the Western coalition, should contribute military and economic aid

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