Trade and Payments in Western Europe: A Study in Economic Cooperation, 1947-51

By William Diebold Jr. | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

IT HAS given me great satisfaction to read the manuscript of William Diebold's book. I am confident that it will occupy a high place in the literature. I can think of few books in this field with which I would compare it, for the breadth as well as the intensiveness of the treatment, and for its objectivity and well-balanced judgment.

This book is an outgrowth of the special interest which the Council on Foreign Relations has taken over a long period in the political and economic affairs of Western Europe. Since the early days of the war, when he was connected with the Council's War and Peace Studies project, Mr. Diebold has worked with a number of study groups composed of Council members on various aspects of Western European problems. In June 1950, the work of one such group, under the chairmanship of General Eisenhower, extending over a two-year period, resulted in the publication of Howard Ellis' The Economics of Freedom. That book, the product of a research staff working in close collaboration with the study group, was a survey of the accomplishments of the Marshall Plan. The present volume is in a sense a continuation of the earlier study, and forms a bridge between it and the present situation. It detracts nothing from the earlier book, however, to say that the present book, being the work of one mind and one hand, is a better integrated study; and it would give this book much less than its due to characterize it as merely a sequel, since it presents a complete survey and analysis of the European Payments Union and the various programs for the removal of restrictions on trade within Europe from their earliest beginnings to the present day.

It is still too early for a definitive judgment of the results of American aid to Western Europe since the war. In some

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