5. Letter From the Chairman of the Council on Foreign Economic Policy (Randall) to the Representative at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Perkins)1

Dear George: I have just come from presiding at my first meeting of the Council on Foreign Economic Policy.2 I suspect they left knowing that they have a new chairman who intends to kick the ball around quite vigorously.

I presented to them squarely the inquiry: What are the objectives and purposes which we seek to accomplish in the world of today by our foreign economic policy? And I shall keep pressing that question home in the weeks and months that lie ahead.

It is my ultimate hope that I can come up with some new approach to this subject suitable for a new Administration to offer to the public. To that end, it is, first of all, important that I saturate myself with the thinking of those who deal with this subject at first hand.

By this time, you will recognize a throwback to your luncheon.

I plan to fly to Paris some time late in August or early September and draw in the key people from the various countries who could make a contribution to my thinking out of their experience.

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I would plan to do this as I did with the Randall Commission3 in 1953, and I would hope to take the library in the Embassy and have the men in one at a time for fixed periods. I would send over in advance a statement of the frame of reference of my inquiry. I would then ask each man to give me a written document which he would read to me for twenty minutes, and then have give-and-take discussion for the balance of the period.

I would bring with me two or three of my associates.

Later in the fall, I would repeat this process in Tokyo for those who have special knowledge of the problems of the Pacific.

I would like to impose upon you to start thinking about this and help me to shape it up. Let me know, for example, at your convenience the names of some of the people in Paris and in other countries, like Win Brown4 in London, who have mature knowledge of and experience in the broad subject of foreign economic policy.

Very truly yours,

Clarence B. Randall5
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, CFEP Records.
  2. Clarence Randall replaced Joseph M. Dodge as Chairman of the Council on Foreign Economic Policy (CFEP) on July 10, 1956.
  3. The Commission on Foreign Economic Policy, known as the Randall Commission after its chairman, Clarence Randall, was established by President Eisenhower on August 14, 1953, to conduct a review of U.S. foreign economic policy. It was disbanded after the submission of its report in January 1954. For further information and documentation on the Commission, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. I, Part 1, pp. 45 ff.
  4. Winthrop G. Brown, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Embassy in London.
  5. Printed from a copy which bears this typed signature.