Editorial Note

Draft legislation was sent to the Congress by the Secretary of State on July 1 and was introduced in the Congress in two parts: an expanded technical assistance program and a loan guaranty program. A bill to provide for international technical cooperation (H.R. 5615) and an amendment to the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 to provide legislative authority for government guarantees of United States private investments abroad against certain non-business risks (H.R. 5594 and S. 2197) were introduced in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate, but no action was taken in the Senate to introduce legislation on the former. The loan guaranty legislation moved fairly rapidly through the hearings stage in both Houses and was reported out favorably by the Banking and Currency Committees before the end of September. The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee held hearings on the technical cooperation act in September; in a circular to the field later in the year the Department described Senate inaction in regard to technical assistance as “owing to prior commitments in the legislative program” (Circular Instruction, October 4, 1949, 800.50 TA/10–449). Regarding the relevant Congressional documentation, the President’s message and the draft legislation presented by the Executive and the initial House of Representatives draft legislation are printed in 81st Congress, 1st Session, House Document No. 240. For the House hearings on the technical cooperation legislation, see 81st Cong., 1st sess., Hearings on H.R. 5615, Sept. 27–Oct. 7, 1949; no bill was reported out in 1949. Regarding loan authority legislation in the House of Representatives, see 81st Cong., 1st sess., Hearings on H.R. 5594, Aug. 17–Aug. 24, 1949; and 81st Cong., 1st sess., House Report 1384, Oct 6, 1949 (to accompany H.R. 5594). On the Senate side, see 81st Cong., 1st sess., Hearings on S. 2197, Foreign Investment Guaranties, Aug. 9 and 10; and 81st Cong., 1st sess., Senate Report 1101. Foreign Investment Guaranties. Report from [Banking and Currency] Committee to Accompany S. 2197, Sept. 22, 1949.

From the time President Truman enunciated the Point IV concept in his Inaugural Address of January 20, 1949, the Department of State had mounted an unflagging effort of large proportions to translate the concept into action; this is attested by the copious documentation on Point IV found in the Department of State Committee Files (Lot 122) and the lot file containing the files of the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration, 1949–1952 (Lot 54D291). The Department’s effort to evolve a Point IV program did not lessen with the delay occasioned by vicissitudes of the Congressional calendar, and its attitude [Page 788]may be illustrated by the following passage, which occurred in the October 4 instruction mentioned above:

“It is possible that legislation may be passed at this session of Congress authorizing the Export-Import Bank to initiate a program of guarantees. It should be realized, however, that passage of basic technical cooperation legislation is not likely to be accomplished in the current session owing to prior commitments on the legislative program. This consideration should be made clear in your conversations with local officials and other interested persons who may be working under a misconception in this regard. At the same time, you should also point out that uncertainty as to the timing of such legislation need not delay local governments in performing the necessary preliminary steps of drawing up and submitting concrete proposals for technical assistance and development and that appropriate agencies of the United States Government are themselves making extensive studies of economic development problems pending the passage of enabling and appropriation legislation.”