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

By William Diebold Jr. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

MY DEBTS in writing this book are many and great. I cannot hope to acknowledge them all, but a few call for special mention.

This book has its origin in some questions I asked in Holland, France, Italy and the United Kingdom in the fall of 1947 to find out if the optimistic language about economic cooperation in the report of the Committee of European Economic Cooperation rested on concrete plans and firm intentions. After the Marshall Plan got under way, I followed the cooperative measures actually undertaken in Western Europe with the aim of summarizing them for an American public in a pamphlet. The job snowballed, and apart from working drafts the first substantial piece of writing based on this study was a memorandum for the Council's Study Group on Aid to Europe under the chairmanship of General Eisenhower. The Group's discussion was of great value to me and I am particularly indebted to Stacy May, Jacob Viner and John Williams. In revised form the memorandum appeared as a chapter in The Economics of Freedom by Howard S. Ellis ( Council on Foreign Relations, 1950) to whom I am grateful for much advice and help. Other members of the staff of the Aid to Europe Group, especially Emile Despres and Ragnar Nurkse, helped me with comments and suggestions.

In 1950 the Council sent me to London and Paris for six weeks to discuss my tentative conclusions with people engaged in the practice of international economic cooperation. Deferring to the tradition of anonymity in the civil service, I will thank without naming the many officials of the British and French governments, the members of several national delegations to the Organization for European Economic Co

-ix-

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