Paris Peace Conference
French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault addresses Conference. Thorny issues discussed during a sweltering Paris heatwave.

June 27, 1947 – Paris Peace Conference – The Fragile Nature Of Postwar Europe –

Paris Peace Conference

French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault addresses Conference. Thorny issues discussed during a sweltering Paris heatwave.

June 27, 1947 – ABC Radio Headline Edition – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

June 27, 1947 – a day of diplomacy and discussion. The Paris Peace Conference took center stage on this day. Despite 100 degree temperatures in Paris, the formally dressed, and miserably uncomfortable delegates filed into the Quai d’Orsay to discuss a number of issues; primarily the Marshall Plan for reconstruction; the building blocks to creating a stable postwar Europe. The first day of the Conference got off to a reasonable start as members of the Big Three (ministers of Britain, France and Russia) met to draft a common response to the United States plan for reconstruction of Europe with American assistance. After the battery of Press photographers and newsreel cameras finished their photo ops, the room went silent and a spokesman said later that there would probably be no official news until the meeting ended, but nobody knew just when. The first session lasted four hours. The big European powers took the first steps towards implementing the proposal of Secretary of State Marshall’s for American aid to an economically united Europe. Despite the blackout of news, indications were pointing that a lot of ground had been covered, but no decisions taken.

In other news – from Washington came the report from the State Department that America was selling Generalissimo Chaing-Kai Shek’s Nationalist Chinese Army some 130 million bullets in order to fight the Communists in Manchuria and northern China. UN-bashing got off to a start with former Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts told a Congressional committee that the U.S. was in grave danger at the moment; far greater than the few years before 1941. He said the United Nations was too weak to preserve peace in the foreseeable future.

At Lake Success, debate began on the lengthy report the UN commission gave on the outcome of the investigation over the Balkan situation. US representative Warren Austin voiced some strong statements regarding Greece and its surrounding countries. The Security Council took up the debate and it was considered this to be a make-or-break issue for the UN, as this was the first report issued by the UN Investigating committee. Blame was put on Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania for the troubles in Greece. The bigger issue was whether or not Communism was to be allowed to spread in the Balkan region. The Austin comments included immediate action by the UN to put an end to violations of Greece’s northern border. And if all diplomatic means proved unsuccessful, the UN must resort to force to end the situation. The council was waiting for Soviet Delegate Andre Gromyko to add his two cents, which were expected to be the opposite of Austin’s. However, when asked, the Soviet representative said “I have nothing to say for the time being”.

And that’s just a little of what went on, this June 27, 1947 as reported by ABC Radio’s Headline Edition.

Caveat: Apologies all around for the awful sound of this broadcast. As is far too often the case, news broadcasts bear the brunt of abuse in the area of these old transcription discs. Very often stored, without protective sleeves and face-down on concrete floors, they suffer the indignity of a million tiny scratches which are virtually impossible to entirely remove when comes time to preserve them for future generations. I did what I could, as best as I could, to remove as much of the offending noise as possible while trying to preserve the historic integrity of this broadcast. So I ask your indulgence and patience while suffering through 15 minutes of, what sounds like, a sandstorm – the history captured in the grooves was just too important to ignore. – Gordon


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