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October 22, 1947 Addresses from opening session of N.Y. Herald Tribune Forum – CBS Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
While the slow process of reconstruction took place throughout a world racked by war, the issue of where society was headed was of prime interest and concert. This opening session of the 1947 New York Herald Tribune Forum on Current Problems tackled the subject: Modern Man: Slave or Sovereign? The issue was addressed by several notables, but this broadcast focused on the addresses of Marshall and Hector McNeil, leader of the British Delegation to the Economic Commission for Europe.
Secretary Of State George C. Mashall: “Our Government has realized from the first the magnitude of this problem and the numerous pitfalls that lie in the way of its solution. Despite the urgency of the situation, sufficient time had to be allowed for the collection of all pertinent facts and opinions and a thorough study of all the elements, both foreign and domestic, which enter into the problem. We have the preliminary report of the 16 nations who met in Paris this summer. We are beginning to receive reports from the various governmental groups who have been examining into our own resources and their relationship to possible demands of the European situation. Commissions of Congress who have traveled extensively throughout Europe are returning to this country and the results of their investigations are becoming available.
I think it is important that you should understand something of the procedure which is now being followed by your Government in arriving at a conclusion and preparing a program for presentation to the committees of Congress and later to the Congress itself. At the present time, in fact every day of the week, including Saturdays and Sundays, a large portion of the personnel of the State Department and representative groups of other interested departments and agencies, such as the Treasury Department, the Departments of Commerce and Interior, the Departments of Agriculture and Labor, for example, are engaged in daily sessions working together on data which I have described, to determine exactly what should be the program of this Government.
I do not believe any project of our Government has ever received more careful study and preparation than has this problem of the reconstruction of Europe. And I am certain that no governmental effort has ever enjoyed such complete cooperation on the part of all the agencies concerned. When it is completed it will truly be a program of the United States Government and not of any one department or agency. Your contribution should be of great value in bringing the people, the public opinion of the country, to the support of this great effort.
There has been constant reference to a Marshall Plan. The reference to me personally was unfortunate, but the reference to a plan was definitely misleading. There was no plan. There was a suggestion. Now we are in the process of drafting a plan as a proposal to the Congress of the United States. That is the situation at the moment.
The period of study and preparation is thus drawing to a close. The time of action is at hand.”
In addition to the complete address by Secretary of State Marshall, also included is the address by Hector McNeil.
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