Cold War Chess Match – March 12, 1947
Click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC News Of The World – March 12, 1947 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
As Europe and the rest of the world slowly rebuilt from the ravages of World War 2, another war was brewing – this one between East and West. The Cold War. Former allies, now wary and contemptuous of each other, each fearing the other had a finger poised on the nuclear button, ready to obliterate life on Earth.
Waiting for reaction from the Kremlin, Washington issued a challenge in light of U.S. support and giving aid for Greece and Turkey. Although many in the State Department felt the Kremlin had its hands full with their own set of problems and would only react to U.S. overtures with hand-wringing and gestures. Russia, it was observed, had many more problems in their rebuilding process than the U.S. did – food production and industrial capabilities had been utterly destroyed during the war. The result for Moscow has been putting out fires. The Ukraine had been in a state of chaos; the result of destruction, drought and poor organization had failed to produce the food the Russians needed in order to live. For those reasons, it was felt the best the Soviets would be doing anytime soon was posturing.
Meanwhile, the question of de-Nazification was on everyone’s minds at the latest Foreign Ministers Council meeting. Secretary of State Marshall presented a proposal on the de-nazification question by calling for more cooperation between the four Allied powers controlling Germany. France agreed, but Britain’s Bevin and Russia’s Molotov got into a verbal scuffle over the question of Germany, each accusing the other of harboring former Nazi officials for their own purposes. Secretary Marshall was expected to present three more document proposals on the future of Germany. Delegates were becoming annoyed at the on-going scuffles between Britain and Russia. Many were overheard saying if this squabbling kept up, the conference would drag on for months.
Capitol Hill was reacting to the Cold War atmosphere, abruptly canceling a $25 million shipment of oil equipment to Russia under Lend-Lease and leaving the present policy of maintaining records at local Draft Boards . . . .just in case. Another bill was introduced which would take away Civilian control over Atomic Energy and give it back to the Military. Paranoid . . . not much.
And that’s just a sample of life in the Cold War World, as presented by the NBC News Of The World for March 12, 1947.