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European Recovery Plan (ERP)

But Marshall's proposals rapidly changed many people's views of the situation. Indeed Bevin himself immediately saw the implications of the deliberately vague Harvard speech and within two weeks had rushed off to Paris to consult with the French foreign minister Georges Bidault. Although the French were well prepared for the idea, which had been diplomatically hinted at prior to the public speech, his public posture quickly put Bevin, and England, at the head of the effort. The French, who were the first to submit official plans to the American government, insisted, however, that the meetings be held in Paris and that the Soviet Union be invited to participate.

The great strength of the Communist Party in France meant that Bidault had to consider its feelings and this stricture resolved the difficult question, for the Americans, of inviting the USSR and the eastern European nations under its control to join in the plan. Early advice from George Kennan had convinced Marshall and President Truman that the Soviets would participate in international organizations "only to gain advantage or to inhibit the work of such groups" and Marshall's subsequent trip to Russia strengthened his belief that the USSR would never provide substantive cooperation in any effort that worked against their imperialist aims in Europe (Pogue 155). Yet confrontation was carefully avoided and in the Harvard speech Marshall said that any nation willing to help in recovery would receive full American cooperation but added that "governments, political parties, or groups which seek to perpetuate human misery in order to profit therefrom" would be opposed by the United States (quoted in Pogue 527). In 1946 President Truman had already acted on the perception of the growing threat of Communist subversion in Greece and Turkey and granted them loans in the amount of $250 million and $150 million respectively. His "Truman Doctrine," which called for "helping free...

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European Recovery Plan (ERP). (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:52, August 19, 2017, from
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