This day, 70 years ago, the discussion was what to do about the situation in Europe. The war had been over for two years, but those countries ravaged by the War were still struggling to meet meager subsistence. The rebuilding efforts took time and efforts to send Foreign Aid were tiny in comparison to what was needed. There was a trend by many to fall in line with the Communist Party, and many joined their ranks throughout Europe. The move gave many in Washington pause, and a fear that the delicate balance of peace could be tipped at any time.
The Marshall Plan was being implemented, but the overwhelming needs forced Congress to consider more funding and more aid in the wake of reports that violence was breaking out, that strikes were being called – that the Communist influence from Moscow was becoming more attractive to people by the day. It was being made felt in hotspots which sprang up all around the various Capitols in Europe; from Rome to Athens, riots were becoming a daily occurrence and Communist candidates for various offices were running in hotly contested elections. It was a question of not only what was needed, but what was going to be the cost; physically and emotionlly.
It was a time of rebuilding and renewal, but it was also a time of winning hearts and minds along with conflicting ideologies. This discussion; part of the weekly program from NBC Radio, Our Foreign Policy, features Senator Tom Connolly (D-Texas) and Senator Carl A. Hatch (D-New Mexico). Both are members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and were actively involved in developing aid packages to Europe. But the question of whether or not Americans wanted to aid Europe or not was up for discussion – was all of this our duty? Were we obliged to help? Didn’t we already do and give enough?
Those and many other questions were part of this half-hour program, which ran on July 19, 1947 – interesting issues and opinions and no snap or easy answers.
Here is that episode of Our Foreign Policy, as it originally aired, on July 19, 1947 over NBC Radio.