B. Development of programs for interim and long-term aid

Editorial Note

The need for an emergency aid program to cover short-term needs was pointed out in various documents beginning in August, and on September 9, at the first meeting of the Advisory Steering Committee, Acting Secretary of State Lovett said that it would be “necessary in any event to provide Europe with food and fuel this winter if the major European countries are to remain sufficiently strong that the basis will survive upon which to erect the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program) in its long-term sense. Therefore, the current thinking in the Department of State is that a European recovery plan should be in two stages: (a) an interim emergency program to meet the irreducible minimum subsistence requirements for certain countries, and (b) the larger continuing program of rehabilitation and reconstruction. It is believed that these two factors can be integrated under the program.” (Lot 122)

The Committee decided at its meeting of September 25 that the “Departments of State and Treasury in consultation with the Army on bizonal items would prepare a paper on measures of Executive Action to meet the emergency aspect of an interim aid program for transmittal to the President for use in connection with his meeting on September 29 with certain Congressional leaders.”

At a news conference following this meeting President Truman announced that he was writing to the chairmen of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and the House Committee on Appropriations, “requesting that they call their committees together [Page 471] to consider the urgent need for aid to Western Europe.” (For texts of this statement and the letters, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1947, pages 445, 451.)

On October 18 the Advisory Steering Committee was told by its acting chairman, Colonel Bonesteel, that the existing machinery of government needed to be pulled together to prepare the recovery program for presentation to the Congress. It had not yet been decided whether to present the full program or just an interim aid program.

President Truman announced at a news conference on October 23 that he was calling the Congress to a special session beginning on November 17 to consider, among other things, the need for emergency foreign aid. For texts of this statement and of the President’s radio address to the American people on October 24, see ibid., pages 475 ff.

Reports were received in this period from the three committees whose formation was announced by the President on June 22, page 264. For texts, see National Resources and Foreign Aid (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1947); The Impact of the Foreign Aid Program Upon the Domestic Economy (Washington, Council of Economic Advisers, processed, 1947); European Recovery and American Aid (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1947). For comments by President Truman, on October 18, November 1, and November 8, respectively, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1947, pages 474, 481, and 485. Summaries of the second and third of these reports are printed in Department of State Bulletin, November 16, 1947, pages 932, 937.

In November the Correlation Committee on European Recovery Program, which was the executive group of the Advisory Steering Committee, reviewed draft legislation that had been prepared by the Department of State. The three basic proposals were for an interim aid bill, a model agreement to be used for bilateral arrangements, and an overall bill for a European recovery program.

For documentation on the presentation of the interim aid program to the Congress, see Emergency Foreign Aid: Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives (80th Cong., 1st sess.), and Interim Aid for Europe: Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate (80th Cong., 1st sess.). Hearings were held by the House committee from November 10 to 25, and by the Senate committee from November 10 to 14.

For text of a statement by Secretary of State Marshall on November 10 before a joint session of the two committees, see A Decade of American Foreign Policy, Basic Documents, 1941–49 (Senate Document No. 123, 81st Cong., 1st sess.), page 1270.

[Page 472]

[268] Memorandum

Lot 122, Box 13107

[270] Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State to President Truman

FW 840.50 Recovery/10–1347

[271] The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Italy

840.50 Recovery/11–1847: Telegram

[272] The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State

840.50 Recovery/12–447