Examples of Marshall Plan Aid

The Marshall Plan was a complex undertaking that is not easily described. The following are a few examples of specific program operations:

  • Pays freight subsidies for 16.8 million private voluntary relief packages from Americans to Europe.
  • Funds building of a new wharf in North Borneo to help that British colony export vitally needed rubber.
  • Assists in building railroads and water systems in French North Africa
  • $50 million for medicine to combat tuberculosis.
  • Technical assistance program: over 3,000 Europeans make six-month visits to various U.S. industries to learn new techniques; there was a similar program in agriculture.
  • The Ford Motor Co. in Britain receives funds to replace machine tools needed to produce cars, trucks, and tractors for export, thereby earning valuable foreign exchange credits.
  • The Otis Elevator Company (U.S.) helps to modernize British factories, and the value of its investment is guaranteed by ECA insurance.
  • ECA money enables Portugal to purchase key equipment and materials to build a new hospital-tender ship for its cod-fishing fleet.
  • The French aircraft industry in able to purchase propellers for the aircraft it is producing.
  • An alcohol production plant in Scotland is granted $6.5 million, thereby reducing Britain’s need to import alcohol and facilitating plastic, pharmaceutical, and rayon production.

Marshall and the "Plan" by Larry I. Bland

This essay by Larry I. Bland explores the political context surrounding the conception of the Marshall Plan.

  • Marshall's Worldview in Early 1947arrow

    Richard Neustadt and Ernest May observed in their book, Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-Makers (1986), that Marshall had developed the habit of “seeing time as a stream”: that is, of applying a consciousness of past problems, ideas, and solutions to the present rather than seeing every current problem in isolation and thus as new and unique (pp. 247-28). Marshall was not a scholar of military or political history, but he read widely and was excellent at extracting accurate lessons from his reading and from his own experience. In many respects, Marshall sought during World War II to avoid the mistakes he had witnessed in World War I and its immediate aftermath.

    Consequently, Marshall was increasingly disturbed after the autumn of 1945 at what he considered the disintegration of American military power rather than the careful demobilization and reorganization for which he had planned since 1943. As he said publicly several times in the latter half of 1945, the United States courted disaster for itself and the world if it again fell “into a state of disinterested weakness” and failed to fulfill its international responsibilities for aid and assistance in postwar economic and political reconstruction. (See his October 29, 1945, speech to the New York Herald Tribute Forum and his November 18, 1945, speech to the Salvation Army National Convention in Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens, eds., The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004], pp. 336-43, 357-63.)

    These could have remained the departing sentiments of a fading-away old soldier. Indeed, in late November 1945, Marshall longed to retire after forty-four years of active duty, but President Truman needed Marshall’s prestige and skills to attempt to mediate the Chinese civil war and (as Marshall knew by early 1946) thereafter to take over from James F. Byrnes as Secretary of State.

    Marshall’s failure in China was not a result of his lack of negotiating skills but of the determination of both sides to seek a military solution to China’s problems. Marshall considered the Chinese Communist Party ruthless, dedicated Marxists who seemed to count on and encourage China’s economic collapse as a way of furthering their objectives. What particularly pained him, however, was that Chiang Kai-shek’s government was such a poor ally for the United States. Reactionaries within the Nationalist party presumed that U.S. national interests required it to support the Nationalists, and they thus rejected the domestic reforms that Marshall and other Truman administration leaders considered essential to undermining Communist growth.

    Marshall left China on January 7, 1947. He arrived in Washington, D.C., January 20, 1947, the day his nomination to become Secretary of State passed unanimously in the Senate, thanks to the efforts of Arthur Vandenberg (R-Michigan), the Majority Leader and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

  • The Truman Doctrinearrow

    By the time Marshall arrived in the capital, Washington leaders were aware of Britain’s growing economic weaknesses, the likely effects that would have in the eastern Mediterranean, and the possibility that the Soviet Union or its surrogates would fill the power vacuum there. Even before the disastrous blizzard of December 1946 to January 1947 had pushed Britain to the edge economically, the U.S. was moving toward helping the Greek government against the Communists. The suddenness of the British notification that it had to relinquish its traditional role in Greece put Washington under the gun to act quickly. (See Howard Jones, “A New Kind of War”: America’s Global Strategy and the Truman Doctrine in Greece [1989].) When the advance version of the British notes were presented on February 21, 1947, Marshall was on his way to Columbia University to receive an honorary degree and then to Princeton on the twenty-second for his first speech as Secretary of State. At Princeton, in the face of the recent elections returning Republican party majorities in both houses that were infused with the rhetoric of tax-cutting, economic nationalism, and government downsizing, Marshall reiterated his 1945 calls for Americans to learn from the lessons of past and assume their world responsibilities as citizens of a great power.

    On Monday February 24 Marshall returned to his office and Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson presented the British memos, reports from Athens, and the staff’s recommendations. The situation probably reminded Marshall of the situation in China fifteen months earlier. The staff recommended the unification of all Greek parties (this time excluding the Communists and the extreme right), domestic reforms in government and tax programs, and economic and military aid from the U.S.

    By February 27, Marshall’s advisers had written a plan of action, which Marshall read to a White House meeting of congressional leaders and the president. Marshall was well acquainted with all the senators and congressmen and adopted his usual low-key but earnest approach to defending the policy of aid to Greece and Turkey. Using a version of what would later be called the domino thesis, Marshall asserted that a communist victory in Greece would be a disaster. “It is not alarmist,” he said, “to say that we are faced with the first crisis of a series which might extend Soviet domination to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.” Marshall made no call for the defense of democracy everywhere or for an anticommunist crusade, but for containment of Soviet opportunism in the face of British weakness. American assistance would be aimed at boosting Greek public morale through financial and military equipment aid.

    Acheson thought that Marshall had failed to put the Administration’s case across and repainted the picture for the politicians with more vigorous strokes and in starker contrasts, an approach encouraged by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Arthur Vandenberg. Acheson asserts in his memoir, Present at the Creation (1969), that only in this way were the congressmen sufficiently impressed to take action (p. 219). This approach cleared the way for more vigorous public rhetoric by the Truman administration. (Congress ultimately appropriated $250 million for Greece and $150 million for Turkey, which was also being subjected to Soviet diplomatic pressure.)

    Marshall was reluctant to put too militant a public face on the U.S. response to the Greek situation lest all hope of agreement on the treatment of Germany and Austria at the up-coming Moscow Foreign Ministers’ Conference be lost. Moreover, should the Soviet Union be provoked into aggressive action, the United States was not prepared to offer effective military resistance in Europe. Truman and certain of his advisers, however, believed that strong anticommunist rhetoric was essential to the aid bill’s passage, and despite a March 7 note from Marshall in Paris urging some cooling of the rhetoric, Marshal had almost no influence on the final form of the March 12 Truman Doctrine speech. His real influence to this point had been in reorganizing and revitalizing the State Department itself.

  • Moscow Foreign Minister's Conferencearrow

    As it turned out, the President’s pronouncement appeared to have no impact on the Soviet attitude at the Moscow Foreign Ministers’ Conference. Nevertheless, the conferees meet forty-three times between March 10 and April 24 but found few areas of agreement. More important were Marshall’s frequent discussions with the British and French, smoothing out disagreements and displaying American concern; Marshall also received a dire picture of Anglo-French economic and political problems.

    As for the Soviets, Marshall concluded that they had decided to stall in the expectation that the spreading social disintegration would work to their benefit. Their attitude reminded Marshall of the 1944 proposal by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau to break up and pastoralize Germany, and when he returned to Washington he reread then Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s vehement critique of the plan. It probably also reminded him of the Communist’s attitude during his 1946 mission to China.

    Marshall’s second public address as Secretary of State came in an April 28 national radio speech on the Moscow Conference. Marshall still desired to avoid a rupture with the Soviet Union, but his optimism was rapidly waning. Europe, he asserted, needed American help for reconstruction and economic relief, and there must not be further delay on a German settlement. “Disintegrating forces are becoming evident. The patient is sinking while the doctors deliberate.” He called for bipartisan unity on the reconstruction of Europe.

  • Decision to Propose a New U.S. Aid Policyarrow

    By late April, dozens of public figures and commentators in addition to Marshall were calling for aid to Europe. Studies were already underway in the State Department that would help to lay the groundwork for a new American initiative to restore the balance of power in Europe. But Marshall and his advisers faced countervailing pressures. On the one hand, increasing misery and Communist voting strength in western Europe demanded speed and decisiveness from the Truman administration. On the other hand, domestic politics encouraged the administration to caution. While the reaction to the Truman Doctrine had generally been positive, there was a worrisome undercurrent of opposition to increased foreign aid, and not just from Republican party isolationists. Many Democratic congressmen warned that they would not stand for the presentation of another administration policy fait accompli like the Greece-Turkey aid package. State Department officials went out of their way to avoid any further hints that the United States would seek everywhere to resist communism or the Soviet menace. Marshall himself went to considerable lengths to stroke Senator Vandenberg’s ego and to reassure him that no budget-busting programs were under consideration.

    By early May 1947, Marshall had decided upon a low-key approach to proposing American political-economic efforts in Europe. He suggested that he announce a new initiative at one of the graduation ceremonies that he was scheduled to attend. Acheson assured him that nobody paid any attention to what was said at those events, but Marshall knew that European leaders could be tipped off in advance to the importance of what he would say.

    Marshall first thought of announcing something at the University of Wisconsin on May 24; that venue had the advantage of bearding the very conservative and hostile Robert McCormick and his Chicago Tribune tiger in their Midwestern den. But key adviser William L. Clayton (Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs) was out of the country, the Policy Planning Staff was just getting started, and Marshall’s advisers could not have drafted a policy statement in time. The next important venue Marshall considered was Amherst College on June 15, but it was quickly evident that the United States could not wait that long. Consequently, Marshall decided upon Harvard University on June 5, as the best time, and hurriedly arranged to receive a long-delayed honorary degree from that institution.

    By the end of May, State Department planning was beginning to jell; all Marshall’s advisers were by now agreed that the United States had to launch a massive aid program. They were all too aware of the U.S.’s too-little-too-late response to West Europe’s economic crisis of 1929-31 and that it had contributed to the rise of Adolph Hitler. On May 30, Marshall directed his staff to prepare a draft for a ten-minute talk. To avoid comparisons of the new approach with the controversial Truman Doctrine, Marshall agreed with Acheson’s suggestion that he present the aid issue as a material or technological rather than an ideological problem, and to propose no American-inspired solution.

    Marshall’s advisers were generally agreed on two other points: first, European nations had to take the initiative and to coordinate policies; second, the offer was made to all European states in order to avoid the implication that the United States sought to divide Europe into American and Soviet blocs. Nevertheless, it was assumed that the Soviets would never accept economic conditions such as openness, free trade, and American supervision.

    The Marshall Plan speech was deliberately low-key and no master plan was enunciated; the speech had just the right degree of vagueness to require European action, yet the right degree of specificity to excite it. In time, the Marshall Plan program that evolved from the planning of the first half of 1947 would be adjudged one of the greatest of America’s foreign policy successes. Harry Truman considered the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan “two halves of the same walnut,” although Marshall did not.

    Charles Bohlen wrote a draft of the talk for Marshall based upon a study by George F. Kennan and his Policy Planning Staff and Will Clayton’s memorandum on the seriousness of Europe’s economic plight. Marshall then modified the draft, contributing the insistence that the program come from Europe and be open to all European states willing to abide by the rules. To prevent leaks, neither President Truman nor Marshall’s State Department advisers knew the content of the final version of the speech until after it was delivered, although the text was available to newsmen at the State Department on June 4. Acheson, Kennan, and others dropped pointed hints to various influential British opinion-makers in Washington that Marshall was going to make a statement on foreign aid.

The Economic Cooperation Authority

The Economic Cooperation Administration, an agency of the United States Government tasked to administer the European recovery program, was created by the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, approved April 3, 1948, as Public Law 472, 80th Congress, 2d session. Sources of the information in this section: U.S. Government Organization Manual, 1949 (Washington, D.C.:GPO, 1949), pp. 66–71, 591 (org. chart). Missions list as of February 15, 1949, in Official Congressional Directory, 81st Cong., 1st sess. (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1949), p. 413.

  • Officials as of July 1, 1949arrow

    Administrator Paul G. Hoffman
    –Special Assistant Samuel D. Richards
    –Special Assistant (Congressional Liaison) J. J. Wadsworth
    Deputy Administrator William C. Foster
    U.S. Special Representative in Europe W. Averell Harriman
    Deputy U.S. Special Representative to Europe Milton Katz
    General Counsel James Cooley, acting
    Executive Secretary, Central Secretariat John Gange
    Director of Administration Donald C. Stone
    Assistant to the Administrator Wayne C. Taylor
    Labor Adviser Clinton S. Golden
    Labor Adviser Bert M. Jewell
    Assistant Deputy Administrator for Program Richard M. Bissell, Jr.
    –Executive Assistant Harlan Cleveland
    –Director, Program Methods Control Staff Edward E. Kunze
    –Director, Fiscal and Trade Policy Division James A. McCullougn
    –Director, Food and Agriculture Division D. A. Fitzgerald
    –Director, Industry Division Samuel W. Anderson
    –Director, Program Coordination Division E. T. Dickinson, Jr.
    Assistant Deputy Administrator for Operations C. Tyler Wood
    –Deputy Director of Operations Enos J. Curtin
    –Director, Strategic Materials Division Evan Just
    –Director, Transportation Division Arthur G. Syran
    –Director, Technical Assistance Division Edgar A. J. Johnson
    Controller Eric L. Kohler
    Director, Division of Statistics and Reports Nathaniel Knowles
    Director of Information Neil Dalton
    Director, Organization and Management Division Norman S. Taber
    Director, Security and Investigations Division J. Walter Yeagley
    Director, Personnel Division Virgil L. Couch
    Director, Administrative Services Division Orbun V. Powell

  • Overseas ECA Missionsarrow

    (as of February 15, 1949)

    Vienna, Austria – Mission Chief: Westmore Willcox
    Brussels, Belgium & Luxembourg – Mission Chief:James G. Blaine
    Frankfurt, Bizonia [U.S. & U.K. Zones of Germany] – Mission Chief: N. H. Collisson
    Copenhage, Denmark – Mission Chief: Charles A. Marshall
    Paris, France – Mission Chief: David K. E. Bruce
    Athens, Greece – Mission Chief: John Nuveen, Jr.
    Reykjavik, Iceland – Mission Chief: Richard P. Buttrick (ECA while serving as Minister)
    Dublin, Ireland – Mission Chief: Joseph E. Carrigan
    Rome, Italy – Mission Chief: James D. Zellerbach
    The Hague, Netherlands – Mission Chief: Alan Valentine
    Oslo, Norway – Mission Chief: A. E. Staley, Jr.
    Lisbon, Portugal – Mission Chief: David L. Patten
    Stockholm, Sweden – Mission Chief: John H. F. Haskell, Trieste R. E. Galloway
    Ankara, Turkey – Mission Chief: Russell H. Dorr
    London, United Kingdom – Mission Chief: Thomas K. Finletter
    Shanghai, China – Mission Chief: Roger D. Lapham
    Seoul, Korea – Mission Chief: Arthur C. Bunce

  • Creation and Authorityarrow

    The Economic Cooperation Administration was created by the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, approved April 3, 1948 (Public Law 472, 80th Cong., 2d sess.), as an agency of the United States Government to administer the European recovery program. This act was amended by the act approved April 19, 1949 (Public Law 47, 81st Cong., 1st sess.).

    The purpose of the Administration is to furnish material and financial assistance to nations participating in a plan of European recovery, in such a manner as to aid them, through their own individual and concerted efforts, to become independent of extraordinary outside economic assistance within the period of operations under the act by: (1) promoting industrial and agricultural production in said countries; (2) furthering the restoration or maintenance of the soundness of European currencies, budgets, and finances; and (3) facilitating and stimulating the growth of international trade of said countries with one another, and with other countries, by appropriate measures, including the reduction of barriers which may hamper such trade.

    The term “participating country: includes: (1) any country, together with dependent areas under its administration which signed the Report of the Committee of European Economic Cooperation at Paris on September 22, 1947, and (2) any other country (including any of the zones of occupation of Germany, any areas under international administration or control, and the Free Territory of Trieste or either of its zones) wholly or partly in Europe, together with dependent areas under its administration; provided such country adheres to, and for so long as it remains an adherent to, a joint program for European recovery designed to accomplish the purposes of the act.

    China, although not a “participating country” within the definition above, is furnished assistance in a similar manner. Since January 1, 1949, ECA has taken over from the Army under authority of the President the administration of the program for relief and economic rehabilitation of Korea.

  • The Administrator for Economic Cooperationarrow

    The Administration is headed by the Administrator for Economic Cooperation, assisted by a deputy Administrator, both of whom are appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Administrator is responsible to the President and has a status in the executive branch of the Government comparable to that of the head of an executive department. During the period of operations of the Administration, he also serves as a member of the national Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Problems

    The general functions of the Administrator are to: (1) review and appraise the requirements of participating countries for assistance; (2) formulate programs of United States assistance under the act, including approval of specific projects which have been submitted to him by the participating countries; (3) provide for the efficient execution of any such program as may be placed in operation; and (4) terminate provision of assistance or take other remedial action as he deems necessary in the circumstances.

    The Administrator may from time to time furnish assistance to any participating country by providing for (1) procurement from any source of any commodity which he determines to be required for the furtherance of the purposes of the act; (2) processing, storing, transporting, and repairing any commodities, or performing any other services which he determines to be required for accomplishing the purpose of the act; (3) procurement of and furnishing technical information and assistance; (4) transferring or otherwise making available any commodity or service to a participating country; and (5) allocating commodities or services to specific projects which have been submitted to him by participating countries and have been approved by him.

    The Administrator shall provide for the procurement in the United States of commodities in such a way as to minimize the drain upon the resources of the United States and the impact of such procurement upon the domestic economy, and to avoid impairing the fulfillment of vital needs of the people of the United States. he shall also take appropriate steps to facilitate and maximize the use of private channels of trade in furnishing assistance to participating countries.

    The Administrator is required to take the necessary steps to assure, as far as it is practicable, that at least 50 percent of the gross tonnage of commodities procured out of ECA funds and transported to or from the United States on ocean vessels is so transported on United States Flag vessels to the extent that such vessels are available at market rates for United States Flag vessels.

    The Administrator provides assistance for any participating country through grants or upon payment in cash, or on credit terms, or on such other terms of payment as is appropriate, including payment by the transfer by a participating country to the United States of materials which are required by the United States as a result of deficiencies or potential deficiencies in its own resources. In determining whether such assistance shall be through grants or upon terms of payment, and in determining the terms of payment, the Administrator acts in consultation with the National Advisory Council on International and Financial Problems. Where assistance is furnished on credit terms, the Administrator allocates funds for the purpose to the Export-Import Bank of Washington, which makes and administers the credit on terms specified by the Administrator in consultation with the National Advisory Council.

    In accordance with the act, the Administrator utilizes the services and facilities of several departments and agencies of the Government, and reimburses them for the services. Likewise, the services of international agencies are utilized in providing assistance under the act.

    The Administrator is further authorized to make guarantees to any person of the convertibility into United States dollars of the proceeds of investments in connection with projects, including expansion, modernization, or development of existing enterprises, approved by the Administrator and the participating country concerned as furthering the purposes of the act (including guaranties of investments in enterprises producing or distributing information media consistent with the national interests of the United States).

  • Bilateral and Multilateral Undertakingsarrow

    In order to become eligible for assistance under the act, each participating country must conclude an agreement with the United States Government, which provides for the adherence of such country to the purposes of the act and makes other appropriate provision, where applicable, for taking financial measures towards stabilizing currency, promoting production, cooperating with other participating countries in the interchange of goods, furnishing the United States with needed materials, rendering reports on the progress of the assistance program and taking other measures calculated to expedite a return to economic self-sufficiency. In countries where assistance is to be furnished on a grant basis, a local currency deposit is to be set up in commensurate amounts and under such terms as may be agreed to between such country and the Government of the United States. The Secretary of State negotiates and concludes the above agreements on behalf of the Government of the United States.

    In addition to negotiating any bilateral or multilateral agreements with participating countries, the Secretary of State is authorized, on the recommendation of the Administrator, to employ members of the Foreign Service Reserve and staff for service in ECA activities overseas. ECA has provided for its overseas staff through this arrangement and has also arranged for administrative and technical services to be rendered to ECA missions by the Embassies, ECA reimburses the Department of State for such work.

  • U.S. Special Representative Abroadarrow

    The act creates the office of the United States Special Representative in Europe, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and has the rank of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary. He is the direct representative of the Administrator in Europe and also the chief representative of the United States Government to the Organization of European Economic Cooperation. He coordinates the activities of the chiefs of the various ECA missions in Europe; creates the position of Deputy United States Special Representative in Europe who is appointed by the President, by and with the consent of the Senate, and has the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He performs such functions as the United States Special Representative designates, and is Acting United States Special Representative during the absence or disability of that Official, or in the event of a vacancy in the office of the United States Special Representative.

  • Special ECA Missions Abroadarrow

    In each participating country a special mission for Economic Cooperation, under the direction of a chief, is responsible for assuring the performance within the country of operations under the act. The chief, who ranks immediately after the chief of the United States diplomatic mission in his country, is appointed by the Administrator, receives his instructions from the Administrator, and reports to the Administrator on the performance of the duties assigned to him. He works closely with government officials and private agencies responsible for preparation and execution of the recovery program in the country to which he is assigned.

  • Public Advisory Boardarrow

    The act creates a bipartisan Public Advisory Board to advise and consult with the Administrator on basic policy matters arising in connection with the Administrator’s discharge of his responsibilities. The Board consists of the Administrator, who acts as Chairman, and not more than 12 additional members, appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

  • Joint Congressional Committeearrow

    The act establishes a joint congressional committee, known as the joint Committee on Foreign Economic Cooperation, which consists of 10 members, 3 of whom are members of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate (2 from the Majority and 1 from the Minority Party), 2 members of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate (1 from the Majority and 1 from the Minority Party), 3 members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House (2 from the Majority and 1 from the Minority Party), and 2 members of the Committee on Appropriations of the House (1 from the Majority and 1 from the Minority Party). It is the function of the Committee to make a continuous study of the programs of United States economic assistance to foreign countries, and to review the progress achieved in the execution and administration of such programs.

  • Termination of Programarrow

    Operations under the act are to be terminated on June 30, 1952, or prior thereto if the two Houses of Congress shall pass a resolution declaring that such operations should be terminated. If, however, the Administrator has authorized the procurement of commodities prior to such date, an additional 12-month period is allowed, during which shipment or delivery of such commodities may be effected to the extent necessary to carry out the commitment. Funds appropriated under the act may be obligated during the 12-month period for necessary expenses of procurement, shipment, delivery, and other essential activities, and shall remain available during such period for the necessary expenses of liquidating operations.

    Liquidating activities, after the termination date, may be transferred by the President to such departments, agencies, or establishments of the Government as he finds appropriate.

  • China Aidarrow

    Under provisions of title IV of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948, the Economic Cooperation Administration is authorized to furnish aid to China under the applicable provisions of title I which are consistent with the purposes of title IV. It is specified that it is not the purpose of title IV that China, in order to receive aid, shall adhere to a joint program for European recovery.

  • Sourcesarrow

    Sources of the information in this section: U.S. Government Organization Manual, 1949 (Washington, D.C.:GPO, 1949), pp. 66–71, 591 (org. chart). Missions list as of February 15, 1949, in Official Congressional Directory, 81st Cong., 1st sess. (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1949), p. 413.

The Plan's Relevance Today

Resources relating to the ongoing impact of The Marshall Plan.

Selected Bibliography of The Marshall Plan

  • Documentary and Official Sourcesarrow

    U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. Emergency Foreign Aid: Hearings. 80th Cong., 1st sess. [November 1947]. Washington: GPO, 1947.
    United States Foreign Policy for a Post-War Recovery Program: Hearings. 80th Cong., 1st and 2d sess. [December 1947-March 1948]. Washington: GPO, 1948.
    U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Interim Aid for Europe: Hearings. 80th Cong., 1st sess. [November 1947]. Washington: GPO, 1947.
    European Recovery Program: Hearings. 80th Cong., 2d sess.[January 1948]. Washington: GPO, 1948. U.S. Department of Commerce. Foreign Aid by the United States Government, 1940-51. Washington: GPO, 1952.
    U.S. Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1947. 8 vols. Washington: GPO, 1971-73.The key published American documents for any study of the Marshall Plan. See especially volumes 2 and 3 for this year.
    U.S. Economic Cooperation Administration. Country Data Book: [country]. Washington: GPO, 1950. The ECA issued one of these extremely useful books for each of the sixteen countries participating in the Marshall Plan.
    Report to Congress. Washington: GPO, 1948-51. These thirteen quarterly reports (June 30, 1948-June 30, 1951) are valuable for their statistics and descriptions of Marshall Plan activities.

  • Memoirs and Biographiesarrow

    Acheson, Dean G. Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department. New York: Norton, 1969.
    A magisterial account of the postwar years by the former Secretary of State who was one of the principal architects of U.S. foreign policy in the postwar period.
    Adenauer, Konrad. Memoirs, 1945- 1953. Translated by Beate Ruhm von Oppen. Chicago: Regnery, 1966.
    The foremost German statesman of the postwar period, Chancellor between 1949 and 1963. The book was generally poorly reviewed, but has some valuable material.
    Attlee, Clement R. As It Happened. New York: Viking, 1954.
    The British Prime Minister who replaced Churchill in 1945 and was the head of government during the Marshall Plan years. A dry, but occasionally useful account.
    Bidault, Georges. Resistance: The Political Autobiography of Georges Bidault. Translated by Marianne Sinclair. New York: Praeger, 1967.
    The French Foreign Minister during the Marshall Plan years and a subsequent Premier. A highly tendentious account of Bidault’s career, markedly anti-Gaullist.
    Bohlen, Charles E. Witness to History, 1929-1969. New York: Norton, 1973.
    One of America’s premier diplomats who drafted much General Marshall’s Harvard Speech. In the words of a contemporary reviewer, “[his memoirs] read like silk.”
    Bullock, Alan. Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary, 1945-1951. New York: Norton, 1984.
    A biography of the British Foreign Minister who was the first European to take up Marshall’s call for Europeans to develop their own plan. Not for the casual reader, but a superb study by one of Britain’s great biographers.
    Clay, Lucius D. Decision in Germany. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1950.
    The military governor of the American sector of Germany after the war; regrettably a dull book for the general reader, but necessary for a student of the period.
    Fossedal, Gregory. Our Finest Hour, Will Clayton, The Marshall Plan, and the Triumph of Democracy. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1993.
    Clayton was an Under Secretary of State who played a key role in developing the Marshall Plan. He deserves greater recognition for his contributions to postwar U.S. foreign policy.
    Hoffman, Paul G. Peace Can be Won. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1951.
    Hoffman was head of the Economic Cooperation Administration which administered the Marshall Plan. Not a memoir, but a plea for a level-headed foreign policy which reveals why Hoffman was a master salesman.
    Isaacson, Walter and Thomas. The Wise Men, Six Friends and the World They Made. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986.
    A gripping account of six friends who shaped the postwar world: Acheson, Bohlen, Harriman, Kennan, Lovett, and McCloy. Probably the best single biographical work of the period for a general reader.
    Jones, Joseph M. The Fifteen Weeks (February 21-June 5, 1947). New York: Viking, 1955.
    A lively account by a State Department insider of how the Marshall Plan came into existence. It is warped in its assessment of George Kennan’s contribution.
    Kennan, George F. Memoirs, 1925- 1950. Boston: Atlantic, Little Brown, 1967.
    An expert in Soviet-American relations, he was head of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, 1947-49. An unconventional memoir which deals more with ideas than with personalities. A gifted urbane writer and deep thinker, Kennan’s memoir is an elegant tour de force.
    Kindleberger, Charles P. Marshall Plan Days. Boston: Allen and Unwin, 1987.
    The reflections of a noted academic economist and State Department official about the Marshall Plan and its implementation.
    Pogue, Forrest C. George C. Marshall, Statesman, 1945-1959. New York: Viking, 1987.
    Volume 4 in the four-volume definitive biography of the man who was Secretary of State (1947-49) during the development of the Marshall Plan and for whom it was named.
    Monnet, Jean. Memoirs. Translated by Richard Mayne. Gerden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1978.
    The autobiography of a founder of postwar European unification, and the instigator and first president of the Coal and Steel Community.
    Raucher, Alan R. Paul G. Hoffman: Architect of Foreign Aid. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1985.
    A brief but useful study of business and politics in the postwar world, when Hoffman was head of the Marshall Plan program (1948-50) and the UN’s economic development program (1958-71).
    Spaak, Paul Henri. The Continuing Battle; Memoirs of a European. Boston: Little Brown, 1971.
    Spaak was the Belgium Foreign Minister who sought unsuccessfully to head the OEEC. His book reflects the concerns and aspirations of the smaller nations of Europe whose viewpoints are often lost in the battles of larger states.
    Truman, Harry S. Memoirs: Years of Trial and Hope. New York: Doubleday,1955.
    President Truman’s account reflects the man-candid, direct, self-confident and with little perspective.
    Vandenberg, Arthur, Jr., ed. The Private Papers of Senator Vandenberg. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1952.
    Vandenberg was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who did more than any other legislator to assure passage of the Marshall Plan. Acheson considered him pompous, but James Reston considered him a complex and fascinating human being.
    Walton, Richard J. Henry Wallace, Harry Truman and The Cold War. New York: Viking, 1976.
    Vice President Wallace opposed the Marshall Plan and virtually every U.S. postwar foreign policy initiative. This is a sympathetic account of a passionate, but misguided American.

  • Secondary Sources on The Marshall Planarrow

    Arkes, Hadley. Bureaucracy, the Marshall Plan, and the National Interest. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1972.
    Seeks to show how the foreign policy interests of the United States, the character of America’s political regime, and the makeup of the national bureaucracy came together in the Marshall Plan.
    Brown, William Adams, Jr., and Redvers Opie. American Foreign Assistance. Washington: Bookings Institution, 1953.
    A good general survey covering the period 1940 to 1952.
    Carew, Anthony. Labour under the Marshall Plan: The Politics of Productivity and the Marketing of Management Science. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987.
    This volume seeks a middle ground between those who viewed the Marshall Plan as pure philanthropy and those who saw it as a massive project aimed at insuring world domination by American capitalism through the export of its economic and social values. A major theme is the Marshall Plan’s role in developing a new labor-capital relationship in participating nations.
    Donovan, Robert J. The Second Victory: The Marshall Plan and the Postwar Revival of Europe. Foreword by Clark M. Clifford. New York: Madison Books, 1987.
    A large-format book dominated by illustrations, it was issued to commemorate the Marshall Plan’s fortieth anniversary. The author manages to synthesize succinctly the scholarly materials available.
    Dulles, Allen W. The Marshall Plan. Edited and with an introduction by Michael Wala. Providence, R.I.: Berg, 1993.
    Originally written in 1948 as a part of the campaign to convince skeptical or hostile Americans that the European Recovery was a necessary and proper commitment of U.S. resources and prestige to foreign–and in some cases recent enemy–nations.
    Esposito, Chiarella. America’s Feeble Weapon: Funding the Marshall Plan in France and Italy, 1948- 1950. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.
    An in-depth study of the Marshall Plan’s implementation in the second and third largest beneficiary countries. The author concludes that America achieved little through the Marshall Plan that the French and Italians did not already wish to achieve themselves, although their leaders were happy to use Marshall Plan funds to achieve these goals. Both governments shared U.S. strategic-ideological goals, and American corporatist ideology was not decisive in reshaping policy.
    Gimbel, John. The Origins of the Marshall Plan. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1976.
    The author believes that the Marshall Plan flowed from U.S. efforts to circumvent French, not Soviet, obstruction of Germany’s economic revival. He is especially good at presenting the contemporary bureaucratic antagonisms inside the Truman administration.
    Hoffmann, Stanley, and Charles Maier, The Marshall Plan; A Retrospective. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1984.
    Contains papers and remarks by scholars and former policy makers at a 1982 conference commemorating the thirty-fifty anniversary of Marshall’s Harvard address in 1947.
    Hogan, Michael J. The Marshall Plan: America, Britain, and the Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1947- 1952. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
    Perhaps the best single book on the Marshall Plan, its historical antecedents, and its role in the early Cold War. The book’s themes include European resistance to Americanization and U.S. acceptance of British views of their world responsibilities.
    Maier, Charles S., ed. The Marshall Plan and Germany: West German Development within the Framework of the European Recovery Program. With the assistance of Günter Bischof. New York: Berg, 1991.
    A collection of eleven essays by some of the best-known scholars of the Marshall Plan. Some authors see the plan as crucial to West European recovery in the face of Soviet hostility and others cast doubts on the plan’s necessity.
    Mee, Charles L., Jr. The Marshall Plan: The Launching of the Pax Americana. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.
    A book for the general reader, it is fulsome in its praise of the Marshall Plan. It is also good on the personalities of the European and American actors.
    Milward, Alan S. The Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945-51.Berkeley and Los Angeles; University of California Press, 1984.
    The author, a British economic historian, is one of the chief critics of the idea that the Marshall Plan was necessary or essential to European recovery.
    Organisation for European Cooperation and Development. The European Reconstruction, 1948-1961: Bibliography on the Marshall Plan and the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC). Paris: OECD, 1996. In French and English.
    Pelling, Henry. Britain and the Marshall Plan. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988.
    The British author finds that although lip-service was paid to American generosity and British gratitude at the time, there was serious friction between the U.S. and U.K. and also within the respective governments about the Marshall Plan’s methods and goals. The book is a case-study of the problems of foreign aid, the American political system, and Anglo-American relations.
    Pisani, Sallie. The CIA and the Marshall Plan. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991.
    A pioneering study of the Office of Policy Coordination, a covert organization run by a group of “determined interventionists” who sought to counter what they saw as Soviet-inspired subversion of the Marshall Plan.
    Price, Harry Bayard. The Marshall Plan and Its Meaning. Ithaca, N.Y.:Cornell University Press, 1955.
    The first substantial evaluation of the Marshall Plan and its impact. The book was a part of the debate over the efficacy and level of U.S. foreign aid in the 1950s.
    Wexler, Imanuel. The Marshall Plan Revisited: The European Recovery Program in Economic Perspective. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1983.
    A useful book, heavy on economic statistics. The author concludes that the Marshall Plan was modestly successful when measured against its own ambitious goals, but it helped to lay a firm foundation for the boom of the 1950s and 1960s and was thus “one of the great economic success stories of modern time.”
    Whelan, Bernadette. Ireland and the Marshall Plan, 1947-57. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts Press, 2000.