International: The Big Knife

The British dollar crisis seriously affected Western Europe's hesitant start toward economic integration. In Paris the OEEC (Organization for European Economic Cooperation) sat down to divide up the Marshall Plan dollars for 1949-50. The estimates of irreducible need from each country totaled about $5 billion. Since the U.S. Congress was expected to provide only about $3.7 billion, a working party was set to paring down the estimates. When, with blood almost visibly dripping from the knife, the working party reported, there were cries of pain from Britain. Direly worried about the immediate future,Britain had upped her original estimate from $900 million...

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