SEPTEMBER 17, 1949
NEW YORK, Friday—Not long ago on my question and answer page in McCall's Magazine I was asked a question I knew very little about. And I'm afraid I answered very inadequately. Now that I have more information I would like to pass it on.
The question is:
"Why don't we require that posters explaining the accomplishments of the Marshall Plan be placed in every public place in countries receiving this aid and every article sent there to be stamped 'Made in U.S.A.'? Why are we throwing away our bullets?"
I have now learned that we have done a great deal of work in cooperation with countries receiving Marshall Plan aid to get posters placed where people can see them. These posters attempt to drive home the objectives of the European Recovery Program. They are designed to make people conscious of the fact that they are getting real benefits from the plan. Foreign artists are used in making the posters and, I am told, many of them are really very striking.
In the booklet published in August, which is a current report on the Marshall Plan for the ECA Public Advisory Board, there are a few reproductions of these posters.
Naturally, the placing of the posters must be on a voluntary basis and arranged for in each country as they see fit. But the general feeling is that they have done effective service and that an extraordinarily large number of people have seen them.
It is a regulation that commodities received under the ECA shall be "stamped, tagged, stencilled or labelled with the official ECA emblem bearing the text: 'For European recovery, supplied by the United States of America,' translated into the language of the recipient country."
Containers are marked in which certain types of commodities are packaged where the commodity itself, such as wheat, for instance, cannot be marked.
I am sure you will be amused as I was, that a shipment of mules recently sent to Greece on ECA financing had the letters U.S.A. branded on the mules. I wonder if all the Greek peasants will know exactly what that means. Those letters have become so well known, however, that the Greek will probably understand them without explanation!
If you ever have an opportunity to read the prepared reports on the Marshall Plan I think you will be interested. You will get a better idea of the tremendous job that has been undertaken and of the real accomplishments. It is valuable for businessmen to read these reports but the general public also should keep in touch with the economic reasons that make us such an influence in the world today.