TAKING OFF THE GLOVES
ON 5 June George Marshalldelivered the best-remembered speech of his career, offering American aid to any European government willing to assist in the task of European recovery, and adding that 'any Government which manages to block the recovery of other countries cannot expect help from us'. The United States would be willing to bridge the gap between what the European countries needed and what they could afford to buy, so that the balance could be tipped against economic collapse in Europe. But any assistance was to be in the form of a cure, not a palliative. The countries of Europe had to come to some agreement as to the requirements of their continent. This was an offer which had fundamental political as well as economic implications, as its purpose was 'the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist'.1
The genesis of and motives behind this speech have been exhaustively analysed on both sides of the Atlantic.2 Much of the debate about American intentions derives from the fact that there were many strands of opinion within the United States about the economies of Britain, France, and Germany, the threat of communism, as well as the willingness of Congress to pay large sums of aid to Europe. The divisions between the State and War Departments have already been touched upon. Within the State Department itself Acheson had argued that the Greek and Turkish____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Impossible Peace:Britain, the Division of Germany and the Origins of the Cold War. Contributors: Anne Deighton - Author. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 171.
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