Bureaucracy, the Marshall Plan, and the National Interest

Bureaucracy, the Marshall Plan, and the National Interest

HADLEY ARKES
Copyright Date: 1972
Pages: 410
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x1153
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  • Book Info
    Bureaucracy, the Marshall Plan, and the National Interest
    Book Description:

    The Marshall Plan has been widely regarded as a realistic yet generous policy, and a wise construction of the national interest. But how was the blend of interest and generosity in the minds of its initiators transformed in the process of bureaucratic administration? Hadley Arkes studies the Marshall Plan as an example of the process by which a national interest in foreign policy is defined and implemented.

    The author's analysis of the efforts to design the Economic Cooperation Agency demonstrates how the definition of the national interest is fundamentally linked to the character of the political regime. His account of the discussions in the executive branch of the government, the bureaucratic infighting, and the deliberations in Congressional hearings and floor debates also shows how, in the process of making decisions on administration and procedure, the bureaucracy itself affected the aims of the Plan.

    Originally published in 1973.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6704-2
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-x)
    H.A.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. LIST OF TABLES
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  5. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. xiv-2)
  6. 1. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-16)

    The Marshall Plan had its brief but celebrated moment, and in a rather anomalous way it passed into history with the warm regard of liberals and conservatives alike. Everyone may have reservations about the current foreign aid program, but no one finds anything objectionable in the Marshall Plan, and with good reason. For liberals, the Marshall Plan avoided the tone of strident anti-Communism. The telling phrase was in Marshall’s commencement address at Harvard in 1947, when the Secretary of State declared that “our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos.” The...

  7. Part I
    • 2. BACKGROUND TO THE MARSHALL PLAN: GERMANY AND THE DIVISION OF EUROPE
      (pp. 19-42)

      Conservatives as well as liberals have come to celebrate the Marshall Plan; and conservatives as well as liberals have come to regret the effects of the Cold War on our domestic life.¹ And yet, one could argue that the Marshall Plan did more than any single measure to dissolve the ambiguity in East-West tensions and consummate the Cold War. An interesting test of this proposition is to consider the very elusive question of “turning points.” In the judgment of one of the most thorough students of Soviet-American relations, the antagonism between Russia and the United States became sharply defined by...

    • 3. COMMENCEMENT 1947: TOWARD A NEW CONCEPT OF AID
      (pp. 43-58)

      If Great Power unity could have been carried through into the postwar period, the international system might have coincided with the United Nations system. There would have been little need for diplomacy as it was traditionally understood, for there would have been much less need to tailor national power to an understanding of ends, or to measure both against the claims of morality and the interests of the international community. The tensions that gave diplomacy its moral ambiguity were scheduled for extinction in the world of the United Nations Charter. Instead of separate nations seeking their own interests through the...

    • 4. CALCULATIONS
      (pp. 59-83)

      In the aftermath of Marshall’s speech at Harvard, the structure of Executive planning reflected the current Administration view of how the program itself would be administered—a vast complex of consultation between agencies, with a leadership nucleus in the State Department. To some extent, the planning of specific programs was held in abeyance until the Select Committee of the House, the Committee of European Economic Cooperation (CEEC), and the assorted Presidential committees could bring in their reports. These reports, however, were not expected until the late summer or early fall of 1947. In the meantime, the various Executive departments could...

    • 5. VANDENBERG, CONGRESS, AND THE NEW DIPLOMACY
      (pp. 84-114)

      State had made its concessions; it accepted a new organization, the Economic Cooperation Administration, headed by a single administrator and open in its key positions to businessmen. Now it fell back on the hope that Congress would accept the other parts of the legislation that allowed the department to interfere where it had to and maintain its traditional authority in foreign affairs. But with the Republicans in control of Congress, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was Arthur Vandenberg, and Vandenberg was not conditioned to respond to such unverbalized bargaining. Even if he had recognized a tacit appeal...

    • 6. CENTRALIZATION AND AUTHORITY: THE PRIORITY OF THE MARSHALL PLAN AT HOME
      (pp. 115-131)

      In its simplest meaning centralization implies that a set of purposes has become so important that the diversity or delay of local options is no longer tolerable. Either way, centralization involves a transfer of power. In the context of public administration, where the administrative units have come to reflect commitments to social values, and where the separate agencies are tied to different groups in the society, the centralization issue may be charged with great controversy, for the programs of the various agencies contain interests that are cared about publicly. Their status in the Executive portrays the relative standing of their...

    • 7. THE REACH OF AUTHORITY OVERSEAS I: PLURALISM AND THE GOAL OF INTEGRATION
      (pp. 132-152)

      In the same way that the character of a polity is determined by the distribution of authority, as well as the ends for which power is used, the relations of authority between the United States and the European countries carried obvious meanings for the character of the Marshall Plan. On the immediate question of distribution there had to be some authoritative system for allocating aid. But that in turn raised the question of what the ends of the program were, and what kind of enforcement would be necessary to achieve them. Once again, there was an intersection between power and...

    • 8. THE REACH OF AUTHORITY OVERSEAS II: UNILATERALISM AND THE CLAIMS OF SELF-INTEREST
      (pp. 153-172)

      The most coherent and extended statement of the unilateralist position was made by Henry Hazlitt, the highly conservative columnist ofNewsweekmagazine. To Hazlitt, the fundamental threat facing the United States was not only the Communist movement, but socialism and inflation: Freedom was abrogated with every government control on business activity and the working of the free market. “Targets of production,” he told the Senate committee, “are fundamentally totalitarian mechanisms.” With this analysis one could share Congressman Ralph Gwinn’s conviction that there was no essential difference between the British Labour Government and the Soviet regime. They both stemmed from Marxism,...

  8. Part II
    • 9. PRESUMPTIONS AND POLITICAL THEORY
      (pp. 175-200)

      No one today would deny that administration inevitably brings discretion about important policy questions. The fact that decisions must continue to be made in applying rules to particular cases, and that the choice over means will often create a choice over ends, is all quite familiar to us now. The hope of anticipating every situation of choice seems obviously futile, and there appears to be more skepticism, too, about the possibility of identifying all the relevant value premises in advance. Only the positivists may still cling to the hope of building an administrative science by resolving all value questions ahead...

    • 10. THE OPERATING RULES
      (pp. 201-227)

      By their very nature operating presumptions must be expressed in terms that are immediately intelligible to the actor. As we try to formulate these rules from a reading of the legislation, then, it is very important that we start from the most obvious themes and the most explicit language. The first step would be to demonstrate the presence of a policy theme by citing explicit statements outside the legislation, but preferably in the hearings and floor debates. We might follow David Easton and call these “associated statements” as a means of marking them off from the legally “authoritative statements” in...

    • 11. THE DEPENDENT AGENCY
      (pp. 228-249)

      The ECA began its life as it lived it—heavily in debt to other agencies. The difficulties in Europe did not arrange themselves conveniently to suit the legislative schedule in the United States or the delays involved in such proprieties as appointing an Administrator and setting up an organization. A group in the State Department was keeping the aid pipeline going, and even before the Congressional action ended, Commerce and Agriculture had worked out a supply program for the first five weeks. Around the time Paul Hoffman was appointed Administrator in early April, a rough program for the entire April...

    • 12. A CURE RATHER THAN A PALLIATIVE
      (pp. 250-272)

      If the “business-like” approach never came to define the essential Marshall Plan, it was not because it lacked faithful adherents within the ECA. Vandenberg knew exactly what he wanted when he chose Paul Hoffman, and Hoffman’s own predilections were never in doubt. In 1950 Hoffman told the Senate Appropriations Committee:

      I do not believe we are ever going to have sound relations with other countries abroad until those relations are on a business basis where they are earning the dollars they need, directly or indirectly for the goods they buy from us and paying for those goods on the barrelhead....

    • 13. THE IMPERFECT INTERVENTIONIST
      (pp. 273-300)

      The ECA was the despair of those people who were most apprehensive in their concern for American self-interest. To the former isolationists, foreign adventures always threatened to ignite that old strain of American utopianism; every involvement abroad carried the risk of losing that valuable sense of limitations, and that sober regard for the requirements of national strength. After the experience with the UNRRA, there was virtually no support in Congress for a program of foreign aid without conditions or reciprocal obligations. Marshall was taken quite seriously when he promised that the program would not be another dole, and that proved...

    • 14. THEORY AND COERCION IN THE ECA
      (pp. 301-321)

      To say that the ECA was not running the economies of the Marshall Plan nations was not to say, however, that the agency had no important influence on the internal decisions of the ERP countries. The manipulation of aid that could represent some 3 to 5 percent of a national budget would inevitably have some bearing on the choices available to the national governments. But the “intervention” in this case had a remote quality that was far more characteristic of the ECA. It inhered a continuous pressure on the Marshall Plan countries for basic investment (as opposed to consumption), and...

    • 15. THE REGIME AND THE NATIONAL INTEREST
      (pp. 322-344)

      Looking back on the Marshall Plan, one is struck by the sense of an almost transparent rationality in the main outline of the legislative decisions. Of course the program could not be tailored to the partisan fancies of everyone who participated in the Executive and Congressional discussions. But there was a total complex of considerations here that was constructed in part by previous decisions in foreign aid, and that made some alternatives less clearly defensible than others. As a result, it would be hard for anyone but the most unreserved isolationist to deny the essential reasonableness of what was done...

    • 16. BUREAUCRACY, REGIME, AND THE MARSHALL PLAN
      (pp. 345-362)

      The definition of the Marshall Plan did not start from a concept of interest defined in terms of power. But that did not mean that the program lost its grounding in concrete and definable interests, or that it became attached to vague moralisms. Instead, the concepts were much more specific and intelligible. The legislation referred to “private channels of trade,” the facilities of government agencies, counterpart funds, and personnel ceilings. Nor did this degree of specificity fragment the bill into petty details that could obscure the larger pattern of values. The link between provision and premise was clearer; if anything,...

  9. APPENDIX A Three Year Totals for the Marshall Plan
    (pp. 363-363)
  10. APPENDIX B Share of American Exports Taken by Marshall Plan Countries
    (pp. 364-364)
  11. APPENDIX C Themes 3 Through 9: Associated and Authoritative Statements
    (pp. 365-376)
  12. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 377-386)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 387-395)