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"If the Marshall Plan were solely a matter of dollars-&-cents investment for fair return, we would do well to scrap it now. On its present scale and design Marshall aid cannot ensure the permanent rehabilitation of Europe. It is too little, and it is probably too late, to do more than slow the economic decline which brought it into being.
"But this is not the whole answer. The Marshall Plan is also political in purpose. As a counter to Communism in Western Europe it has already been worth more than it will ever cost us. It will continue to repay us many times over if it postpones Europe's disintegration and totalitarian engulfment.
"Whether we can save Europe now or not, in our own defense we are compelled to try; in the process we may encourage Europeans to fashion a Europe worth defending for themselves and for us. This effort requires among other things a lot of the resources represented by our dollarsand a reasonable amount of applied intelligence.
"We must learn to put more of this last ingredient to work in the right places and in the right ways. We must, above all, avoid the kind of mistake which in 1944 and 1945 led us to throw away enormous assets of democratic good will in liberated Europe. We were then under the illusion that war is a merely military operation; we conceivably might not be voting Marshall money this year if four years ago we had possessed a political field force equal in talent and capacity to our military commands and forces in Europe. The equivalent mistake in 1948 would be to leave the execution of the Marshall Plan to businessmen, economists and kindred specialists. We must summon the finest political intelligence that we can assemble, arm it with adequate tools and direction, and place it in the field with our dollars.
"The overriding fear in Europe today is not that we will intervene (or "interfere") ; but that we will fail to intervene with sufficient intelligence and in sufficient force when and where our interests and Europe's interests clearly demand that we do."