Marshall Plan

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Marshall Plan

After World War II, Europe was devastated and urgently needed an organized plan for reconstruction and economic and technical aid. The Marshall Plan was initiated in 1947 to meet this need.

The originator of the plan, U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, introduced it in a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947. He pointed out two basic reasons for providing aid to Europe: the United States sought the reestablishment of the European countries as independent nations capable of conducting valuable trade with the United States; and the threat of a Communist takeover was more prevalent in countries that were suffering economic depression.

In 1947 a preliminary conference to discuss the terms of the program convened in Paris. The Soviet Union was invited to attend but subsequently withdrew from the program, as did other Soviet countries.

Sixteen European countries eventually participated, and, in July 1947, the Committee for European Economic Cooperation was established to allow representatives from member countries to draft a report that listed their requirements for food, supplies, and technical assistance for a four-year period.

The Committee for European Economic Cooperation subsequently became the Organization of European Economic Cooperation, an expanded and permanent organization that was responsible for submitting petitions for aid. In 1948, Congress passed the Economic Cooperation Act (62 Stat. 137), establishing funds for the Marshall Plan to be administered under the Economic Cooperation Administration, which was directed by Paul G. Hoffman.

Between 1948 and 1952, the sixteen-member countries received more than $13 billion dollars in aid under the Marshall Plan. The plan was generally regarded as a success that led to industrial and agricultural production, while stifling the Communist movement. The plan was not without its critics, however, and many Europeans believed the Cold War hostilities between the Soviet nations and the free world were aggravated by it.

References in periodicals archive ?
Based on extensive research into government and private documents, supplemented by interviews with some participants in Marshall Aid labor programs, it reflects much of the complexity (although little of the drama) of the times.
Indeed, the UK was by far the biggest recipient of Marshall Aid in Europe, but wasted a golden opportunity to modernise British industry and infrastructure that would have enabled British firms to compete in world markets.
The important difference between the aid that went to Europe through the Marshall Plan and the aid that has gone to Africa is that most of the Marshall Aid plan did not have to be repaid.
Bossuat's statistics show how Marshall Aid - fully 40 per cent of all U.
We also remember Aneurin Bevan who set up the NHS, and the robust foreign secretary, Ernie Bevin, who helped set up NATO and secure Marshall Aid.
The younger generation in Britain today may have forgotten the incredible generosity of the Marshall Aid scheme which helped prevent us repeating in 1945 the mistakes made at the end of World War I.
American troops disembarked there in two world wars; pleasure steamers; freighters carrying pit-props from Scandinavia for our numerous coal mines; battle scarred cargo ships unloading at its quays after braving the Atlantic during the war; liberty ships fetching the Marshall aid which sustained us and the raids suffered during the blitz.
It was the Labour Government after the war, in the person of Ernie Bevin, which did much to set up Nato and secure Marshall Aid.
1643 In the English Civil War, the Cavaliers scored an early success with victory over the Roundheads at Roundway Down 1837 Queen Victoria moved into Buckingham Palace, the first monarch to live there 1930 The first football World Cup kicked off in Uruguay 1939 Frank Sinatra made his first record, From The Bottom Of My Heart, with the Harry James Band 1947 Europe accepted Marshall Aid, the US financial package to help recovery after the World War II 1955 Nightclub hostess, Rhyl-born Ruth Ellis, became the last woman hanged in Britain for the murder of her lover David Blakely