George C. Marshall George C. Marshall, Secretary of State

  • October 30, 1952 and February 18, 1953 (George C. Marshall Research Library, Harry B. Price Papers, Box 3 Folder 24) In the October interview Secretary of State Marshall states the his greatest fear to domestic acceptance of the proposal was an “adverse reaction from the Mid-West.”


Dean Acheson Dean Acheson, Undersecretary of State


Charles Bohlen Charles E. Bohlen, Counselor of State Department, Russian translator for Presidents Roosevelt and Truman and Secretary Marshall, and drafter of the Marshall Plan Speech

  • Memorandum of Conversation – Memorandum by Charles E. Bohlen of the conversation between Secretary Marshall and Generalissimo Stalin on April 15, 1947, at the Council of Foreign Ministers, Moscow. According to Bohlen, “General Marshall felt that Stalin was waiting for Europe … to collapse and fall into the Communist orbit.” The “impression made by Stalin on General Marshall was certainly one of the main causes of the Marshall Plan.” Charles E. Bohlen. The Transformation of American Foreign Policy; 87-88. The memorandum is published in the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1947. Council of Foreign Ministers, Germany and Austria (1947), 337-344.
  • Interview with Charles E. Bohlen – February 16, 1953 (George C. Marshall Research Library, Harry B. Price Papers, Box 3 Folder 32)


George Kennan George F. Kennan, Director of the Policy Planning Staff, Department of State

  • Strategic Background – Reprint of a document addressed to Charles E. Bohlen. Secretary of State Marshall directed the Policy Planning Staff to study the “question of American aid to western Europe.” Secretary Marshall’s final guidance to Mr. Kennan was, “Avoid trivia.”
  • Problems of U.S. Foreign Policy After Moscow – May 1947 lecture delivered at the National War College after the Council of Foreign Ministers, Moscow. Kennan stated that the lecture “gives a good idea of the way things looked to me on the eve of the work that laid the foundation of the Marshall Plan.”
  • The Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Kennan) to the Under Secretary of State (Acheson) – First recommendation of the Policy Planning Staff dealing with the question of aid to western Europe dated May 23, 1947. The memorandum is published in the Foreign Relations of the United States 1947. The British Commonwealth; Europe, Volume III, 223-230.
  • Interview with George F. Kennan – February 19, 1953 (George C. Marshall Research Library, Harry B. Price Papers, Box 3 Folder 33)


William Clayton William L. Clayton, Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs 

  • Memorandum on the Creation of a National Council of Defense dated March 5, 1947. Transcription of a George C. Marshall Research Library copy of the original handwritten memorandum; see also Selected Papers of Will Clayton; edited by Frederick J. Dobney, (The Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1971), 198-200. According to Greg Behrman, the memorandum “marked the first high-level call for a concerted U.S. program for European Recovery.” Clayton called for “an appropriation of $5 billion in the first year, presumably to be followed by comparable and tapering amounts for several years to follow.” Greg Behrman. The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe; (New York: Free Press, 2007), 54.
  • The European Crisis – May 1947 memorandum sent to Under Secretary of State Acheson: in the memo Clayton states, “Millions of people in the cities are slowly starving;” if the standard of living is not improved, “there will be revolution.” Portions of this memo were integrated into The Marshall Plan Speech.
  • William F. Clayton by Ellen Garwood (1947 Interview) – Garwood is the author of Will Clayton: A Short Biography.
  • The Reminiscences of William Lockart Clinton (1962 Interview) – Columbia University Oral History Project


Individuals Whose Work Related to the Marshall Plan and the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA)


Richard Bissell Richard M. Bissell Jr. – Secretary of the President’s Committee on Foreign Aid (Harriman Committee), 1947-48; assistant administrator for program, ECA, 1948-51; and acting administrator, September-December 1951.


Lucius Clay Lucius D. Clay  – Military Governor of Germany 1947-1949 


Lincoln Gordon Lincoln Gordon – Consultant in the U.S. Department of State working on the Marshall Plan, 1947, and with the ECA, 1948; director of the Program Division, Office of ECA special representative in Europe, 1949-50.


W. Averell Harriman W. Averell Harriman – U.S. representative in Europe under the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, with rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, 1948-50.


Paul G. Hoffman Paul G. Hoffman – Administrator, Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA), 1948-50.


Marshall Plan Poster Jacob J. Kaplan – Head of the economic section on Southern Europe and contributor to the beginnings of the Marshall Plan.