JUNE 9, 1948
NEW YORK, Tuesday—It is quite obvious from the comments that one sees coming in from foreign sources that Rep. John Taber's Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives accomplished one unfortunate result by slashing European Recovery Program funds by 26 percent. It started a flood tide of anti-U.S. propaganda emanating from Moscow.
We, who live in the United States, have long been accustomed to the idea that the House of Representatives may be more responsive to the feeling of the people on domestic issues, but cannot be expected to understand or to interpret the foreign policy of the United States. That policy has had to rely very largely for understanding and for interpretation on the upper House. The Senate, by tradition, has been much more closely connected with the questions of our relations to the rest of the world.
To us in the United States, it was not so very strange to have Mr. Taber's committee act on the ERP in an irresponsible way. We expect that the Senate will reconsider the whole situation and give a more satisfactory answer. The rest of the world, however, cannot be expected to understand the workings of our Congress, and so we handed to the Soviet Union an opportunity to say many things that we certainly do not want the majority of the people of Europe to believe.
According to the reports in the newspapers, Russia is saying that it is quite evident that the United States is tired of accepting responsibility for Europe. The Soviets claim that we are going to let Europe starve and that we wish to wash our hands of European recovery programs. They politely indicate that Europe has made a mistake to put any trust in the U.S.; they should have realized that the only reliable country with which to deal is the Soviet Union.
This result is brought about by our own House of Representatives which, on the other hand, is decidedly anxious to have the world believe in democracies and distrust anything that savors of Communism!
We are strange in the way in which we try to achieve certain results.
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It is rather sad to see President Eduard Benes resign his leadership in Czechoslovakia. However, he could undoubtedly do nothing else in view of the type of election that was held last week, and which allowed of only one party being elected.
I remember so well when Mr. Benes was returning to Czechoslovakia after a short stay in this country during the war. He believed firmly that there could be cooperation between his country and the Soviet Union and that goodwill and cooperation could exist on the economic level even if there were differences on the political level.
He has learned that it was not possible, and I am sure that for him the disappointment is so great that there will be no great effort on his part to conquer whatever physical ailments assail him. Our sympathy goes out to him, for he is a lonely figure. Nonetheless, there must be many people both in his country and scattered throughout the world who have shared in his disappointment.