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Marshall Aid

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    Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 11:16
I'm currently reading 'Postwar' by the late Tony Judt and he talks quite a bit about the effects of Marshall aid in postwar Europe (Such as how it went on to account for rather large parts of government spending and how countries such as Italy invested it heavily in infrastructure and such)

Just wondering what the consensus is about it. Did Marshall aid have an exaggerated effect in renewing the European economy? Or was it the silver bullet, the massive government aid at a very trying time?

I'd love to see charts and graphs and other fun things, if you could help!


Edited by Parnell - 22 Aug 2010 at 11:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 14:58
What can one say about the European Recovery Plan of 1947-1951 (also known as The Marshall Plan") that the dates of its operation do not already imply. As with much in question during those years, the presidency took the initiative and frankly there was little altruism involved in the decisions that led up to the famed speech delivered by Secretary of State George Marshall from talking-points elaborated by George Kennan. From this simple sentence one may infer the full implications behind the policy:
 
Europe's requirements are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help or face economic, social, and political deterioration of a very grave character.
 
The Washington Post, 6 June 1947
 
Needless to say, executive initiative required Congressional funding, but such was not in place until 3 April 1948 so one might say that the first step in "European Reconstruction" demanded a not-so humanitarian private face within the American domestic arena: The Red Scare.
 
 
We've got to scare the hell out of the American People.
Harry S. Truman to George C. Marshall, 1947; later repeated sufficiently to receive steady allusion including at the hands of E. L. Doctorow in The Book of Daniel (who politely ascribed the statement to an unnamed senator).
 
Let us also be frank , the European political establishment embraced not only the cash but the premise of centralization, which it embodied. It is not by coincidence that it was just at this time that the thought of European economic unity surged forth and all thought of Germany (at least the sector under military control by the US--yes let us leave out the fiction of the French and UK zones) as a perpetual "potato patch" was abandoned. 
 
Now, if you are intereted in the pennies and dimes involved (aside from funding specifically directed toward shoring up the military of the various European states, which far outstripped what one might call socio-economic assistance but was channeled through different mediums) then let us look at the individual participants:
 
Austria
Belgium
The Netherlands
Luxembourg (this one's for you Gcle)
France
The United Kingdom
Italy
Denmark
Norway
Sweden--poor Carch he's in for a shock.
Greece
Iceland
Turkey
Switzerland (have to inveigle those bankers somehow)
West Germany (the seed money that created the Bundesrepublik)
 
Now one might inquire how much money was involved? That one is easy as far as "cooked books" are concerned since the Congress authorized a total of US$13.3 billion for the program which was not to extend beyond 30 June 1952, with an emergency clause providing for an additional 12 months.
 
But let us not "hog out" here, instead let us employ a good summation on the political background as found here--
 
 
--if you ignore some of the catch-phrasings, and then understand the ramification of direct food assistance (a big plus for American producers [not to mention the foundation of the giant corporate agrarian enterprises]) and the disbursal of monies directed toward social engineering and economic consolidation.
 
The U.S. must run this show!
William Clayton, Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, 1944-1948
 
And run it it did so much so that a replacement structure for the ERA was off-and-running by 1952 under the MDAA (Mutual Defense Assistance Act) and its directive body, the MSA (the Mutual Security Agency). Why should I mention these? Simple, it reveals the military character of the entire program from its inception as well as underscores that American subvention of European military needs freed the various states from adopting realistic defense budgets and permitted the direction of revenues towards internal economic infrastructures.
 
Humanitarianism? Bah, humbug!


Edited by drgonzaga - 22 Aug 2010 at 16:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 15:46
Thanks Dr. Notice nowhere did I suggest America acted entirely from altruistic motives - I'm from a very cynical island here... But this sentance is revealing - surely not the first or last time it would be invoked!

'We've got to scare the hell out of the American People.'


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 15:47
I've heard before that Ireland too benefited from Marshall aid, but have never read or heard of anything substantial to this effect. Did we accidentally receive a shipment of Carribean sugar one time or was there more to it than that?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 16:02
Depending on who you read and what is his political orientation you will find different results on how good/bad was the plan.
 
Libertarian/conservative economists oppose the idea that the plan had any significant impact especially that much of it went to fund post-WWII colonial wars. They argue (rightly in several cases) that economic liberation and laissez-faire policies were responsible for the recovery. 
 
Socialists consider it American imperialism to help colonial european powers (which received the majority of aid) recover control over lost territories plus put them as a guard against the iron curtain. This was to a large extent true too.
 
On the other hand worshippers of America in europe think that this was the saviour of their countries and it was done by the pure goodness of the benevolent hearts of America's political elite. They know that this is total BS but what can you do with people whose loyalty to a foreign government is stronger than to their own.
 
Finally about Ireland, well Irelnad's economy depended on the UK's and since the Irish didn't want to be seen as followers of the English they asked for Marshall's help despite never breaking ties with the Nazis. The Irish lobby in Washington was also pretty strong and wanted to include Ireland regardless. In addition to that there were several monetary issues that this paper deals with:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 16:10
I always feel an obligation to defend Irelands record during WWII, and this time will be no different! Compared to Switzerland, which acted as a money launderer for dirty Nazi gold, or the Swedes, who produced the iron for the Panzer divisions, I think Ireland were pretty benign during the war, and in some cases helping out the UKs effort (For example, De Valera sent a fleet of fire trucks north after the Belfast blitz) But anyway...

I don't see how people can argue that laissez faire brought about the economic recovery. If anything this was the golden age of Keynes, with massive investments in public housing, the creation of the welfare state and a government policy aimed at practically eliminating unemployment for good. I'd be interested to hear more about this though.


Edited by Parnell - 22 Aug 2010 at 16:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 17:07
Ah, must we sink our teeth into politics? One might say that the experience of the ERA with regard to Europe was internationalized in 1961 from the outline set up by the Truman Administration's Point Four Plan. On that date the Kennedy Administration enacted the Foreign Assitance Act by that clever ruse of "Executive Action" and brought into being USAID...
 
Once a bureaucracy is in place...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 18:40
Since pretty well the entire European continent (plus Japan) abandoned laisser faire economics in the '40s and '50s I agree with Parnell it's somewhat hallucinatory to attribute recovery to laisser-faire.
 
If it had been left to laisser-faire, then Marshal Aid money would probably all have flowed straight back to the US. The reconstructin was of course helped by that money, but unprecedentedly high taxation levels did more by shaking out savings in favour of investment. Also of course greatly expanded free education helped improve manpower resources.
 
So Marshall Aid helped but wasn't critical.
 
There are no figures available for Luxembourg alone, since - I gather - the aid went to the central bank, and Belgium and Luxembourg in 1945 had returned to the monetary union they had from 1922 to WW2.
 
I don't know why DrG considers the UK and French occupation zones any more 'fictional' than the US one. I was never in the French one, but I did do some stories in the UK and US ones, and the changeover going from one zone to he other was marked.
 
(For instance I didn't need a passport to enter and leave the British zone in the mid 60s.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 19:38

I just mentioned the opinion of Greenspan and others and they do point that some (definitely not all) policies especially monetary policies did follow a laissez-faire model.

 
As for my personal opinion, much of the Marshall plan money went to finance colonial wars (French and Dutch cases), avoid a massive banckruptcy and currency collapse (British case) and support the agricultural sector (Germany and the rest of europe). The money spent on europe was not that much compared with their national incomes however it did help alleviate budgetry problems on the short run. It was only in the 50s when the whole world economy began to pick up that europe started to grow again.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 21:22
On to the commentary:
 
Gcle, Berlin in the 60s was not the Federal Republic of Germany! I was speaking of the period between the "Six Power" London Conference of 1948 and the Frankfurt Documents handed the regional Minister-Presidents of Occupied Germany on 1 July 1948 that eventually produced the Grundegesetz that finally forged the Federal Republic of Germany on 23  May 1949. My use of the term "fiction" stems from the fact that the possibility of either French or British action in Germany at opposition to general American policies both with respect to the "occupation" and the later return of civilian government would be sheer fantasy.
 
Now as to all this talk about laissez faire, please! The minute you have governmental bodies in supervisory and deliberative control all pretense at the word a "free economy" should cease. In a natural and free market, there is no salvation from mistakes regardless of any carping from the likes of Greenspan. Who, despite all of the blather, behaves in grand Keynesian style from behind the redoubts of the eternal bureaucrat. One would think that after the events of the last 24 months one would be cured of such folly since everyone of the economic wonks did their damnest to frustrate the cleansing tonic of deflation--which after all is said and done is the only corrective force in a true laissez faire economy.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2010 at 11:12
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

On to the commentary:
 
Gcle, Berlin in the 60s was not the Federal Republic of Germany. I was speaking of the period between the "Six Power" London Conference of 1948 and the Frankfurt Documents handed the regional Minister-Presidents of Occupied Germany on 1 July 1948 that eventually produced the Grundegesetz that finally forged the Federal Republic of Germany on 23  May 1949.
And I was talking of Stuttgart, the Black Forest, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf up to the middle 50s.
Incidentally, Federal Republic or no, Germany didn't regain sovereignty until 1990/91.
Quote
 My use of the term "fiction" stems from the fact that the possibility of either French or British action in Germany at opposition to general American policies both with respect to the "occupation" and the later return of civilian government would be sheer fantasy.
Unlikely yes, fantasy no.
Quote  
Now as to all this talk about laissez faire, please! The minute you have governmental bodies in supervisory and deliberative control all pretense at the word a "free economy" should cease. In a natural and free market, there is no salvation from mistakes regardless of any carping from the likes of Greenspan. Who, despite all of the blather, behaves in grand Keynesian style from behind the redoubts of the eternal bureaucrat. One would think that after the events of the last 24 months one would be cured of such folly since everyone of the economic wonks did their damnest to frustrate the cleansing tonic of deflation--which after all is said and done is the only corrective force in a true laissez faire economy.
I agree with that, though we might disagree over the general desirability of a free market.


Edited by gcle2003 - 23 Aug 2010 at 11:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2010 at 11:33
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

 The money spent on europe was not that much compared with their national incomes however it did help alleviate budgetry problems on the short run. It was only in the 50s when the whole world economy began to pick up that europe started to grow again.
I don't know why people say that.  The recession of 1945 was not a true recession, but merely the running down of war industries and the effect on the labour market of the millions of demobilised soldiers. It happens after all wars, just as wars cure depressions in the first place. And for that matter it happened in the US too.
 
Discount that[1] and the peacetime economy started growing again very shortly after the end of the war.
 
[1] For instance by deducting from GDP the expenditure on the military, and counting military personnel as unemployed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2010 at 15:28
Oh, drat, and here I thought we could get past the point without the need of diddling historical paperwork! The military administration of Germany did come to an end in 1949 with the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949 (followed by the USSR's papering of the GDR), and the military then in place moved from "occupiers" to "defenders" with the old zones under civilian High Commissioners, who more or less served as liaison between German officials and the remaining military hierarchy, but even these ceased to function on 5 May 1955 with the promulgation of the German Treaty and their duties entrusted to traditional ambassadors. The only remnant of the old divisions that remained after that date was Berlin, which remained in jurisdictional limbo because one need four "to tango". To posit that German sovereignty did not reach fruition until Reunification [aah I hear the drums of Nationalism here] is a bit trite (but does answer ideological contretemps); yet, if one accepts such then the remainder of "Allied" troops on German soil signifies that true independence has yet to come. Whatever one might think of the "Two plus Four Treaty" of 1991 (and here Wiki does belabour things) [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_zones ] the notion of "full and unrestricted sovereignty" makes quite a mush of things--just imagine the uproar if such were practiced by a German refusal to recognize Israeli sovereignty or a simple withdrawal from NATO.Evil Smile
 
Now as to the economic dislocations after World War II, applying classic terminology or even the euphemisms in such [e.g. recession] is foolish. One might go on endlessly about "unemployment" but then one has to consider other factors that render such a reference little more than myth. In Europe, the primary problem was the restoration of agrarian productivity [in the US the problem was reflected in the reverse--agrarian surplus with the consequent drastic drop in prices (Thank G! for the "Marshall" Plan). Much the same can be said of industrial production (whether it was the demobilisation of industry in the US or the reconstruction of such in Europe) and if one is honest (as Gcle is) the years 1945-1955 are characterized by growth and not contraction. There is scant difference between the years 1945-1947 and 1919-1921 in terms of raw data for waxing prolific as to the old bon mot that "war is bad for business", but we will leave all of the scare talk here to sociologists and economists...what would advocates of planned economies do without such opportunities?


Edited by drgonzaga - 24 Aug 2010 at 20:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2010 at 22:14
It is only fair to view the "We've got to scare the hell out the American people" bit through the prism of men who less than ten years earlier were watching an extremely isolationist American people shrug off the Japanese invasion of China, and who viewed the European War as something outside the American sphere of interest. So what if England fell? Who gives a damn about Poland and France?

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2010 at 13:36
Good poiint, lirelou.
 
And meanwhile Churchill - out of power - was doing his share of scaring the hell out of the British people.
 
The situation was trickier because until 1945 there had been so much propaganda from the governments involved to boost support for the Soviet Union, and of course the UK had had a socialist government elected. The Korean war put an end to all that of course, but the two episodes that stick in my memory as affecting general attitudes in Britain to the Soviet Union before that were in 1948: the Berlin airlift, and the Yangtse incident, though technically that was a Chinese affair.  
 
The only time I remember in peacetime a cinema programme being interrupted for an announcement was in fact when the news came that Amethyst had escaped and rejoined the fleet.


Edited by gcle2003 - 24 Aug 2010 at 13:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2010 at 15:22
Why didn't Britain join the ECSC? They would have had immense influence and would have done much to counter the 'Catholic club' facade...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2010 at 20:45
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Why didn't Britain join the ECSC? They would have had immense influence and would have done much to counter the 'Catholic club' facade...
 
Is that not a "carrying coals to Newcastle" sort of question? Fortunately, we can view on-line what the UK thought in that memorable year of 1951 through the eyes of the then  The Manchester Guardian:
 
I quote:
 
BRITISH SUSPICIONS
Why then was the British Government suspicious of the plan at the start? What disadvantages did it fear if Britain had undertaken to take part? Its fears were of three kinds. It suspected, first, that the political power of the High Authority (to be set up under the plan as the chief executive organ of the Coal and Steel Community) would be too great, that its edicts could override the decisions of a member country and upset its economic policies. The second fear was that, apart from specific decisions by the High Authority, its own plans for the social and industrial structure of Britain would be jeopardised by the ordinary working of economic forces, if Britain was brought into a free market for coal and steel in close association with several economically "liberal" Governments. A third fear underlay the second. Even if in normal times it was thought the nationalised British coal and steel industries could hold their own in a single European market, in an abnormal time--that is, in an economic recession--Britain would suffer more by an association with other countries, whose ways of meeting a recession would be different from our own, than if she stood alone.
All these points are serious. How far does the draft of the Schuman Community, just completed in Paris, go to meet them?
Take the political side first. It is clear that the High Authority is not to rule by edict, like an emperor; it is not the autocrat which the French seemed to want last summer. This managing board of nine members cannot help being powerful. It will have considerable financial resources, it will see that the rules of the single market are observed, and will clearly in the process tend to interpret and administer them. But Article 5 of the draft treaty says that it shall "accomplish its mission ... with limited direct intervention." This spirit pervades the plan (as will become apparent when the details of social and economic policy are discussed). The High Authority's terms of reference are in fact negative in their basis: to prevent infringements of the single free market. They are positive only when it acts to avoid the "creation of fundamental and persistent disturbances in the economies of the member States."
 
It's just a snippet and one is welcome to read on:
 
 
By the way. I would like to take this opportunity as an excuse to "instruct" forum members on the wonders of an Internet presence essential to queriers of history: The European NAvigator! The Digital library on the History of Europe:
 
 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 25 Aug 2010 at 15:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2010 at 13:44
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Why didn't Britain join the ECSC? They would have had immense influence and would have done much to counter the 'Catholic club' facade...
They correctly saw it as the first step in Luxembourg's master plan to dominate Europe?
 
Basically though it was the same  feeling - still fairly strong in the UK - that it was not genuinely part of 'Europe'[1], strengthened by the belief that Britain's future still lay with the Empire/Commonwealth. Also the French were proposing it, and the US in favour, both of which were always suspicious.
 
The only political party in favour was the Liberal Party (which the Guardian then generally supported), and at the time they were near facing extinction. The Labour government had a tiny majority of five in the House, and was obviously faed by an imminent election, and neither it nor the Conservative Party was going to go into an election at that time faced by the possible charge of having 'sold out' what was still a major chunk of british industry.
 
 
[1] "FOG IN CHANNEL - Continent cut off"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2012 at 17:53

The Wasting of Britain's Marshall Aid
By Correlli Barnett

 
Successive governments squandered billions of Marshall Plan Aid to support British world power pretensions, and so jeopardised the economic future of Britain.

'Financial Dunkirk'
Dream of world power
Marshall Aid wasted.

We all know the easy British explanation for our cumulative export defeat in world markets from the 1950s onwards, especially at the hands of the Germans. This story tells us that lucky West Germany had all her industries and infrastructure bombed flat or removed as reparations, and then was able to re-equip herself from scratch with Marshall Aid dollars. Meanwhile, so this hard-luck story goes on, poor old Britain had to struggle on with worn-out and old-fashioned kit. 

Britain actually received more than a third more Marshall Aid than West Germany ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/marshall_01.shtml

It's an interesting insight on what happened with American tax payers money by one country. The article is much longer than the segment above, and very interesting.


Edited by Buckskins - 17 Mar 2012 at 17:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2012 at 18:48
Britain's military spending was only 'wasted' because the Cold War never got hot. It's odd how you complain about the IS having to pay for the defence of Europe, and then you castigate Britain for spending so much money on arms and keeping 700,000 men in the armed forces. In fact Britain was encouraged by the US to maintain a military presence 'east of Suez', and the US was disappointed when Britain withdrew from those commitments.
 
Moreover  Britain was simultaneously maintaining its own nuclear capacity and the means of delivery - nuclear subs and British designed strategic bombers.
 
Now you can argue that that was a waste because the Soviets would never have attacked. You can argue that it was a waste because the US would have provided the same cover. But you cannot do that and at the same time complain Britain was not spending enough money on European defence. By Barnett's argument, Britain shouldn't have got involved in the Korean War because it couldn't afford to do so, and it should have let the communists take over Malaysia.
 
Barnett is a controversial figure and a consistent hindsight critic of British governments and generals; one who has frequently sacrificed truth for soundbites, as his critics have pointed out. 
 
For his political views see his contacts with and support of the Thatcher government: he has always been a committed opponent of the Labour party.
 
For his understanding of armies, note that he served in the British army in 1945-48 and made it to sergeant.
 
What he isn't is an economist.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2012 at 18:55
Lets blame the Americans.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2012 at 19:24
Blame who you like. I didn't blame anyone because I don't think there's anything to blame anyone  for.
 
What I'm asking is that you show a little consistency in who you blame for what, and pay a little attention to the accuracy of what you quote and the background of the author.
 
Your technique is that of the person who seizes on a tract by Martin Luther and quotes it as evidence of Vatican corruption. (Mind you, I think we could rely rather more on Luther thn on Barnett).


Edited by gcle2003 - 17 Mar 2012 at 19:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2012 at 23:18
I would deny it all if I were you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2012 at 23:56
Prime minister Attlee was pursuing a policy of building a welfare state, which would add to the strain on the British economy. It is no wonder that Britain, which had to solve these various economic problems, welcomed the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program) 

Many started to worry that Britain might become, or already was, economically insolvent. The threat posed by Chinese communists in Malaysia, one member of the Sterling bloc, and the continuing fight between Arab and Jewish militias in Palestine led Britain to consider mobilization and rearmament, which would be a burden on the already strained British economy. Unofficial strikes were frequent. 

http://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/0708/yongho/yongho1.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2012 at 00:34
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

Prime minister Attlee was pursuing a policy of building a welfare state, which would add to the strain on the British economy. It is no wonder that Britain, which had to solve these various economic problems, welcomed the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program) 

Many started to worry that Britain might become, or already was, economically insolvent. The threat posed by Chinese communists in Malaysia, one member of the Sterling bloc, and the continuing fight between Arab and Jewish militias in Palestine led Britain to consider mobilization and rearmament, which would be a burden on the already strained British economy. Unofficial strikes were frequent. 

http://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/0708/yongho/yongho1.html
 
I am hoping that at some point, Mr B, you may reveal yourself to be not what you claim, but perhaps a high school student writing an essay on the British Empire who has found a unique and entertaining way to gather facts. That would be somewhat amusing. The alternatives are more dismaying.
 
Britain, along with  many other countries, including Canada, where increasing social spending at that time period, because there was little choice. After a decade of economic collapse, and five years of total war, people had had enough. After that much sacrifice, going back to a class system where the bottom end did the work and collected the scraps by way of remuneration would not be viable.
 
Britain was rearming to an extent (as others where), not because of the sideshows in Malaya and Palestine, but because of the fear of Stalin's intentions in Europe, and elsewhere.
 
And the major strains on Britain's economy came not from the above, but from paying for the misguided adventure of WW1, and again for holding the line against fascism for the liberal democracies in WW2 for two years, while America considered how much money was to be made on the event, and how long it could stay out while Britain did the fighting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2012 at 09:47
Originally posted by CV CV wrote:

I am hoping that at some point, Mr B, you may reveal yourself to be not what you claim, but perhaps a high school student writing an essay on the British Empire who has found a unique and entertaining way to gather facts. That would be somewhat amusing. The alternatives are more dismaying.
LOL
That would explain a whole lot of things not adding up - and driks are on the house if it's true.
If it IS true Buckskins, you will even get a "well done" from me.
 
Cheers
 
 
   
   If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.    (Albert Einstein)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2012 at 10:23
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

I would deny it all if I were you.
That doesn't make sense. Deny all what?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2012 at 10:44
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

Prime minister Attlee was pursuing a policy of building a welfare state, which would add to the strain on the British economy. It is no wonder that Britain, which had to solve these various economic problems, welcomed the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program) 

Many started to worry that Britain might become, or already was, economically insolvent. The threat posed by Chinese communists in Malaysia, one member of the Sterling bloc, and the continuing fight between Arab and Jewish militias in Palestine led Britain to consider mobilization and rearmament, which would be a burden on the already strained British economy. Unofficial strikes were frequent. 

http://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/0708/yongho/yongho1.html
 
You quoted part of the link assessing of the position in 1948, before ERP had really got under way. For what effect  the British government achieved under ERP you would have done better to quote the same high school student's verdict on the following years:
Quote
III.c) The Condition of the British Economy in 1949
            As it became two years since the implementation of the ERP, the effect of ERP became apparent. As the firm attitude and policies of government, local investment, and the efforts of British people were also factors of development made in 1949, the ERP should not be regarded the only reason for the progress made so far. However, the ERP certainly had taken a magnificent role in helping the recovery of the British economy.
The ERP was especially helpful to lessen financial burden of the Britain in 1949. Britain used almost all of the funds allocated to her, the acquisitions from sales of ERP goods, to pay the war debt. According to the Britannica Book of the Year 1949 and 1950, the gross national debt decreased from 25,727 million Pound Sterling in 1948 to 25,707 million Pound Sterling in 1949. The industrial output revived to 25% above the output level of the years right before the war and recorded almost a historical climax. The equipments were modernized to a substantial degree. The unemployment rate was very low
IV.c) The Condition of the British Economy in 1950
            The devaluation of the Pound Sterling seemed to be cause of the rapidly growing Dollar sales of raw materials in 1950. The foreign exchange position of the U.K. greatly improved. The statistics of the Britannica Book of the Year 1950 and 1951 show that the gold and dollar reserves increased from 603 million Pound Sterling in 1949 to 1,178 million Pound Sterling in 1950. As the British economic situation improved, the U.S. declared its suspension of ERP aid from January 1, 1951
VI. Conclusion
            The United Kingdom, which was suffering from various post-war economic hardships, welcomed the Marshall plan from the beginning and took a major role in shaping its details. Britain the largest ERP aid recipient throughout the years of the plan.
The aid had various impacts on British economy. Though the details of the impacts varied with years, the main influences were common. The ERP helped Britain import from the Dollar area. The Anglo-American Council on Productivity contributed to the increase of British productivity and industrial output. Part of ERP aid was also used to pay the war debt of the Britain and thus lessened the financial burden. One may even argue that economic support from ERP contributed to the post-war political stability.
V.c) Assessment
            From the very beginning of 1951, the Britain had to pursue economic recovery and rearmament without ERP aid, as announced by the ECA in 1950. Rising prices of raw materials and economic strain caused by rearmament were significant factors that may explain the Britain's economic regression. The halt of the ERP aid for Britain was another significant cause of the regression. The fact that Britain fell into economic difficulties in 1951, when ERP aid for Britain stopped, can be an evidence that the dependency of British economy on ERP aid was considerable.
I don't see anything there to substantiate your case that it was thrown away on attempts to remain a world power.
 
I guess you were too busy to bother reading the article, which as far as I can see is on the whole quite good for a high-school student in Korea (or indeed anywhere), though I'd be chary about taking a high school student's term paper as an authority on anything as complex as Britain's postwar econmy. .


Edited by gcle2003 - 18 Mar 2012 at 10:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fusong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2012 at 14:22
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

Lets blame the Americans.


wait being a texan you should be an evil red neck
right? LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2012 at 16:36
Quote
in WW2 for two years, while America considered how much money was to be made on the event, and how long it could stay out while Britain did the fighting.

Please excuse us for not immediately crossing the Atlantic to fight your war for you.
May you live as long as you want to,
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