Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Oral History Interview with
Sir Ashley Clarke

During the period of the Truman administration, served in the British Government as Head, Far-Eastern Department, Minister at Lisbon, 1944-46; Minister in Paris, 1946-49; and Deputy Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office, 1950-53.

London, England
June 10, 1970
by Theodore A. Wilson

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]

This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of this transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.

This oral history transcript may be read, quoted from, cited, and reproduced for purposes of research. It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.

Opened October, 1981
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

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Oral History Interview with
Sir Ashley Clarke

London, England
June 10, 1970
by Theodore A. Wilson


CLARKE: There's one impression which is very strong in my mind about the actual moment when Mr. Marshall made his speech; that when he made it I don't think he himself had any very clear idea of how the thing was going to work out. I think he was giving a general indication that the United States as a matter of policy were prepared to help if Europe were prepared to help themselves. That was the basis of it. And the Foreign Secretary at the time, who was Ernest Bevin, and a man of really outstanding clarity of thought on most of the things that he dealt with, at once saw that what we needed in Europe was to get a more or less united effort together


to start a number of recovery programs. There had been similar suggestions from various sides as we emerged a year or two previously from a really very exhausting war, but there was no clear idea of the sort of European unity which of course we have now. And Mr. Bevin acted on it absolutely immediately. I remember his telegraphing to Mr. Bidault, who was at the time French Foreign Minister, to say we have to get a conference together at once to look at this statement. He was only able to do that because he had some very clear ideas as to what eventually became the O.E.E.C. (Organization for European Economic Cooperation).

WILSON: You were, of course, Minister at Paris at the time the cable came over and do you have any recollection of the French reaction?

CLARKE: Yes. I'm trying to remember whether Mr. Bevin was actually in Paris at the time. You see he came over a great deal at that time because there were many conferences at that time including conferences


about making peace. But he certainly took the opportunity very smartly. And within a very short time there was an invitation that went out to come to such a conference sponsored by the French jointly with ourselves.

So what I mean is that there was perhaps a clearer idea in Europe at that time of what American aid might become if America were willing to go that far than perhaps there was in Mr. Marshall's own mind.

WILSON: Do you have the impression, did you have the impression at the time that the American Embassy people were sufficiently aware of the urgency and need for some assistance, particularly people in Paris?

CLARKE: Well, that's rather difficult to say without also going into personalities.


CLARKE: Because I somehow doubt that Mr. Caffery saw


quite as far ahead as some people but, of course, Mr. David Bruce understood it perfectly.

WILSON: Yes. If I may interject -- any comment that you might make can certainly be for attribution or off the record.


WILSON: Averell Harriman has given a great deal of assistance and support to this project. We've had the opportunity of making use of his papers, and of course, one gets, well one gets his side of the problems between the American Embassy and the ECA mission. And so the matter of the role that Jefferson Caffery played is one which we would like information about and we're not getting it, of course, from the materials we have.

CLARKE: Well, I just don't think Mr. Caffrey had that way of looking at things; and then I dare say that when the ECA mission was actually set up there may have been some degree of rivalry, but I find it


difficult at this distance of time to substantiate all that.

WILSON: Well, it is substantiated in a number of ways. My curiosity, of course, derives from the reasons for it; one can guess at a number of them, such as displacement of an established operation by a new operation. Do you have any impressions at this distance of the issue about whether this aid was to be done through the Department of State or done through a separate corporation agency as did occur from the vantage of Paris?

CLARKE: I can't exactly recall. But I would have thought it was bound to be less successful if it was exclusively a State Department run affair. But I don't think that was really an obstacle. As it happened I think that the only way to make it succeed as it did, even beyond anybody's expectations, was to make use of an agency of some kind right on the spot.

WILSON: That's the impression one gets, naturally,


of Harriman serving as the special representative. So much had to go through him.

CLARKE: This is a basic thing of which we've seen all too much in recent years. Now aid has always to be described as having no strings on it and there is a human tendency to resent being given things and being helped too much. I suppose a classic example is that of General de Gaulle. Anyway, people go along with a project more easily that seems to be growing out of the ground of where they live.

WILSON: Would you describe the Marshall plan as aid with no strings? There were some strings obviously.

CLARKE: Well, there were obviously strings, some of them fairly important. But broadly speaking, it was remarkably altruistic and required imagination. There were certain things you couldn't do with American aid, but I've forgotten at the moment what they were and I don't think they really


inhibited the operation very seriously. Once the Europeans had the idea they had a real stake in this, it went remarkably.

WILSON: One of the strings was this general pressure on the part of the United States or on the Department of State for liberalization of trade. My previous historical research has concentrated on the immediate prewar and wartime period when this is so obvious as the principle in Department of State policy. Is it fair to say that Department of State people were perhaps zealots about this issue? Were they so single-minded about liberalization or non-discrimination in trade, as to see it as the solution to all our problems?

CLARKE: Yes, I would think there was a good deal of this and also that there was a certain degree of resistance from here at first. The most remarkable example of liberalization was the Italian situation in 1951, approximately, when they liberalized about 95 or 96 percent. Considering


what an extremely shaky condition Italy was in at the time, this was a very bold thing to do. I think they must have ultimately derived the courage to do it through a good deal of exhortation from the United States. And it turned out to be the very thing which changed the whole situation.

WILSON: That's very interesting. I will be in Italy, I was telling your wife, to see some Italians some time next month. I'll be sure to bring up this question.

CLARKE: I would think that [Luigi] Einaudi was largely responsible. As you know, he was a very great and good man; a banker, and basically anti-Communist. Indeed, the biggest influences at work there were Einaudi and Carli at that time. Later on Carli carried the thing a good deal further about 1955. It was then a ten-year plan, I think, which was the follow-up of what had been done in 1951. I don't think liberalization would have gone nearly as quickly if it hadn't been for the very audacious


action by the Italians. In a sense, they had nothing to lose by it because they were so weak anyway that almost anything else couldn't make the situation worse and might make it better -- in fact did make it immensely better. Not only for themselves but as a matter of fact, it made it much easier for us to liberalize and we did liberalize, though not as far as they did.

WILSON: Very interesting. Yesterday Sir Alexander Cairncross said that he -- and this echoes what other British persons have said -- that it was his impression from England that the American invitation for Russian participation wasn't sincere and that to a certain stage there was a belief and a possibility that the Russians would participate in the Marshall plan. Would you agree with that?

CLARKE: I didn't realize that it went as far as that but think there was genuinely a desire to see the satellites come in. As you know, the Czechs did


in fact accept and then had to pull out again.

WILSON: Yes, when [Klement] Gottwald went to Moscow.

CLARKE: That's right. But I wasn't perhaps quite near enough to it to know whether the United States policy was absolutely, sincerely related towards getting the Russians in.

WILSON: There is some evidence that on the American side, of course, that Marshall and others were quite relieved when the Russians didn't participate.

CLARKE: Maybe. But it shows that the Russians were really terrified by this strange development, and had to force the whole of their lot to stay out.

WILSON: One of the questions that I had down was this business of American pressure, the increasing American pressure to cut off East-West trade from the political point of view. One, we mustn't give the Soviet Union anything that will increase its war potential, and I've been somewhat corrected


since I've been here that I perhaps shouldn't put it in that way but look at it at least in part as Russian concern that continued East-West trade would weaken their hold over the satellites. Do you think that is the...

CLARKE: I remember too that criticism. But at the tine that Mr. Marshall made his remarks, I think that there can be no doubt that the Russians were terribly afraid of what would happen if they allowed their satellites to join a Pan-European effort.

WILSON: Might you comment on the question of the creation of a new organization, that is, the OEEC, rather than making use of perhaps the Economic Commission for Europe? There was an early British idea, by Bevin, that a new organization should be established, rather than making use of the ECE.

CLARKE: Yes, I think it quite likely was a decision of Bevin's and there were obviously disadvantages


in having to operate through an agency which had got the Russians inside it. I imagine the strongest motive in our attitude about that was that we should be hamstrung at a time when we were trying to do the things which OEEC did in fact do. But I saw one of your questions asked if we felt over here that this was all part of an anti-Communist thing. I don't think it was quite that, except that of course Europe was in such disarray at the time that anything to strengthen Europe to be able to stand up to the pressure from the East seemed to us rather a good thing. And I have a certain feeling that the other trials of force which developed with the Russians about the same time perhaps might not have developed if we hadn't had the assurance that OEEC was going to succeed. I've forgotten what the exact year or date of the Berlin crisis was...

WILSON: '48. Just at the time...

CLARKE: We were beginning to recover a kind of European consciousness and European firmness at the time.


It was just two or three people that took that decision about Berlin and Bevin was certainly one. But I don't think that Bevin would himself have been quite so ready to take that decision if he hadn't felt that the biggest hurdle was already being surmounted. That is to say, European recovery

WILSON: Most persons with whom I have talked in the United States date the beginnings of the cold war -- their consciousness that some sort of conflict really did exist and would seem to last a long time -- from the Czechoslovakian coup in '48? Would you agree with that? The reason I'm asking is that there has been some considerable discussion in America in recent years that had President Roosevelt lived there would have been a much different world but that when Truman came in, either because he didn't know yet what international affairs were like, or for various reasons, he took much too strong a stand with regard to the Soviet Union and thus...


CLARKE: I wonder if that's true. I find that rather difficult to believe. No, I think that events were moving that way. There had to be conflict developing at the very end of the war. We hadn't quite realized, unfortunately, that before the war ended the Russians would take a turn to stake out their interests in Europe. And I think historically the Russians have always acted like this. They want a firm fence of some kind or another which marks about where they are not going to be interfered with, and on the other side the other chaps can do what they like. There had to be in the years immediately after the war some sort of tension between the two sides to decide where that line came and it went on growing until, paradoxically enough, the Berlin wall was actually physically built and you could see where the fence was. And it's amazing how almost immediately after that the tension dropped. Now this wasn't something created by Mr. Truman; this was a thing that was bound to happen, that was intrinsic in the whole miserable situation


at the end of the war. It was not immediately clear to the West and perhaps less clear to America that tensions had dropped until some people, like de Gaulle, began questioning whether there really was a cold war.

WILSON: It would be very difficult and was very difficult to just say, "Okay, the Red Army has Poland even though the war began over Poland, and we will recognize that." What I suppose I'm asking is do you think that American policymakers were more attached to ideals as a basis for international relations, less able to recognize de facto situations in this period?

CLARKE: Americans are always actuated by ideals as it happens, but the direction which American policy was going to take -- I don't speak as an expert at all, since I never served in America -- comes when there's a kind of balance achieved between ideals and what is practical. I would have said that the whole effort to assist Europe


to recover economically was a very strong counter-balance of a practical kind, and the people went around, you know, pushing European unity a little faster than it was prepared to go. It's a pity that it wasn't really prepared to go faster, notably in this country. It derived precisely from the people who were dealing with economic affairs.

It was the right thing as it happens, but, nevertheless, I would have thought his was the perfectly characteristic case of a mixture of ideals and practicality, which is a characteristic, I think, of American policy. I believe even that by going too fast and too far from an American position, so far from helping the development of the unity which is shown by the Common Market, I think he retarded it somewhat. I think he made a lot of people suspicious of where this was all leading us when they didn't really need to be as suspicious as they were. It looked as though he was expecting people to take a leap in the dark. When those


six countries decided to take the leap, lamentably enough we did not,

There is a strange sort of contradiction in Mr. Bevin's own action upon these things because he was very much attached to OEEC; he was immensely appreciative of the help that America had indeed given them. But he was not at all inclined to be pushed around really by anybody. And I think that he may have felt that his own special ideas about OEEC were being given a meaning that he never really thought that they should have. And he once talked to me about it. I was sitting as the British member of the preparatory committee for the Council of Europe, which came up just about the same time (1948). I asked him how really do you see this Council of Europe developing? And his answer was in effect, if I remember it rightly, that OEEC and the Council of Europe were going to merge and become the same thing. Well, that wasn't at all, as I understand it, what American policy had figured out. And indeed it


seemed to me even at the time that this was trying to mix two different kinds of animal.

WILSON: That's very interesting. Yes, that's very interesting. Now does one fit into what you've said the championship for a time at least of a very strong role for the Council of Europe by Mr. Churchill, and his advocacy?

CLARKE: Well, this is a frightfully difficult question and you have to study Mr. Churchill, really, to know the answer to it. But one of the greatest disappointments, I think, to a lot of us who have been for a long time enthusiastically in favor of a united Europe was that the Conservative Party were at the time out of office. It was a fairly obvious line of foreign policy to favor a united Europe, a really united Europe, economically and politically and in every way. But we had a Labour government in power who were taking the opposite line and who said, "Okay, this is all right for the Europeans,


but our arrangements over here seem to suit us all right. We'd better stick to them." Mr. Churchill with his sense of history and drama and all that did in fact become the sort of spearhead of the European movement. But there were deep disappointments to those of us who were of that way of thinking, that when he got back into office he cut all that back. A lot of conservative ministers, like MacMillan and Duncan Sandys, and a number of others one could name, were ministers for many years afterwards and never budged from their belief in the united Europe. But unhappily the head man did back off.

WILSON: At that time also he made several statements, which might have been interpreted as favoring a much more aggressive policy towards relations with the East, what perhaps might be called in the United States, advocacy of the liberation policy. There were attempts to wean away, perhaps through brinkmanship policy, Soviet satellites. Is this also because he was the spokesman for a party out of


power and that he could take a much stronger position?

CLARKE: Yes, indeed.

WILSON: That caused some alarm on the part of the United States, I think.

CLARKE: Yes. One can explain his going more gently about that kind of thing when he got back into power. But I've still never really understood what was at the bottom of all this.

WILSON: Might I ask how does one relate the activities of Count [Carlo] Sforza in the Council? He was -- for a time at least -- a leading advocate of European unity.

CLARKE: Oh yes, very much so. This was before I became absolutely, directly concerned with Italian affairs. The thing about the Italians is that generally speaking a united Europe is something which appeals to them tremendously. They feel themselves to be the very heart of Europe in many


ways, and European unity is an obvious thing for a country that has itself been through that process of trying to sink local differences and become united as a nation. Actually, that is what, of course, they are doing today in their elections.

WILSON: That's right.

CLARKE: But they happen to be having an election about regionalization which appears to be the opposite tendency at work. And I don't quite know how this regional thing is going to work out. It's written into the constitution that they've got to develop the regions and that is that. I expect it to work out as everything in Italy somehow works out. But the really basic thinking of the Italians is of one united country, and that is the background to Sforza's attitude in the Council of Europe on this subject. It would be just common form.

WILSON: Americans were, of course, very much concerned with the South and very much concerned with this development cooperation that was set up in the


South of Italy. I have the impression from the documents that it perhaps was to the exclusion of the North or to issues of industrialization of the North. I'm not sure that I'm on safe ground in saying that, but they seem to see it as a test case for technical assistance and the political benefits that would flow from that. I'm not sure how well they understood the situation.

CLARKE: There's such a very large section of the United States public which is of quite recent Italian origin, as you say, mostly from the South.

WILSON: That's true. Might I ask you about your assessment of the anti-Communist bias and the point that Marshall plan aid would in a general way help Europe protect itself from the East? What about the issue, particularly in France and perhaps in Italy, in 1947-48, of an internal Communist threat?

CLARKE: Yes, of course, that was a very serious matter. But what is the force of your question


in relation to the domestic aspect?

WILSON: Well, I suppose the question is: was the proper question asked? Was the situation read correctly by Americans who at the time seemed to be extremely concerned and alarmed about France, in '47-'48, that there was a very strong possibility that the Communists would take over?

CLARKE: Yes, there was at least the risk of it; the risk was much worse in Italy at the time and, of course, it lasted much longer because there was a bigger Communist Party in relation to the other parties. In political terms, the governments in France and in Italy were probably able to take a much calmer view of their own situation in 1947 than other countries. But that the situation was indeed menacing at that time cannot be doubted. In both countries the strength and prestige of the Communist parties turned to a large extent on the personality of the leaders. Thorez and Togliatti


were big men who tended to dominate the country in those days. Now they've lost both of them and their parties don't play quite the same part although they continue to be a very important element. It should be remembered that in Italy in 1947 the Socialist Party split precisely on the issue whether they were going to cooperate in any way with the Communists or not. As you know, the greater part of the Socialist Party decided they would and they came to a pact on common action. The other part of the Socialist Party became the Social Democrat Party which was absolutely opposed to Communism. That remained the situation for many years.

WILSON: One of the issues at the time was not merely that Communists were Communists, but that a Communist could not be a Frenchman, a Communist could not be an Italian. Do you think your impression was then that Thorez in France and Togliatti in Italy had very little independence from Moscow?

CLARKE: I think at that time they didn't have much


independence. But with the increasing economic welfare of France the local Communists were able to be more French than they had been for a long time. And that certainly happened in Italy. Togliatti was a really remarkable man. It was like St. Paul; Togliatti had all the qualities you expected of Communists, but he was in fact a very convinced Italian.

WILSON: Very interesting.

That's, of course, my reading of it. The pivotal matter of de Gaulle's opposition to communism was that a Communist could not be a Frenchman; therefore, if he did anything consistently in that period it was that he attempted to exclude Communists. This may get you off into something you may not wish to deal with, but considerable anti-Gaullist sentiment in the United States Government held over from the war, and also on the part of American representatives in France. There are rather confused estimates of the strength of the Gaullist movement from '47, say, to '51 or '52.


What might be your impression as to the potential in all of these cabinet crises, all the French crises which came up, as to a return to power of General de Gaulle?

CLARKE: Well, you mean inside France? People were very conscious of de Gaulle even when he was rusticating at Colombey les deux Eglises. I happened to go to France just after he left the Government and had ceased being Prime Minister early in 1946. And during the four years I was there I really never saw him. He never appeared in public and there was no occasion for me to meet him. But I think it is true that people were very conscious of him even in absentia as either a possible saviour or as a possible menace. How strongly anti-de Gaulle qualified observers really were at the time he went away, I don't know. I think that amongst diplomats, whether American or British, there was strong suspicion of the part de Gaulle might play -- suspicions that were very justified as it turned out. At the time,


I was rather surprised at some of the people who felt strongly that he was a danger to France. The way things turned out he was both a saviour and a danger. It's a sort of mixture. On the whole I think one has to say that for a time at least he really did them a great deal of good. You have to realize that at the end of the war and for really a number of years afterwards -- perhaps you might say even up to 1958 when de Gaulle took over -- the French had for the first time in their whole history almost an inferiority complex. And de Gaulle did away with that. It's a very dangerous thing, an inferiority complex, on the part of anybody you want to be friends with and so one really has to be happy about that. But I think the people in 1947-48 and around that time were afraid that he might find himself, perhaps against his own wish, being forced along the paths of the dictators.

WILSON: Did this inferiority complex which you


referred to play a role in determining French policy toward Germany in the period, the concern of France for its security?

CLARKE: Perhaps "inferiority complex" is the wrong word. The strangely interesting thing is the attitude of the Germans towards the various countries that occupied them. Because the ones they took to, although they were perhaps the most harsh of the three, were the French. They understood -- the Germans understood -- the way the French dealt with them. Of course in a sense they understood the way the American Army dealt with them. But they didn't really altogether understand the English. And the Americans, they felt, anyway belonged to another Continent. So it's difficult to say that the French feeling of uncertainty, which I called an inferiority complex, in those years immediately after the war made their policy towards Germany vague and ineffective. Actually, the attitude towards Germany had been


like that certainly since 1870 and really much longer. The amazing thing is that it did not prevent de Gaulle from reestablishing the confidence of his countrymen in themselves so far that they were prepared to enter into agreements with the Germans which made them patently equals. Naturally, de Gaulle, though perhaps he thought Adenauer had some claim to be regarded as equal to himself, certainly didn't at all think of the Germans as being equal with the French. But there, I think in those years immediately after the war, for all of us the greatest problem of European unity, once the economic problem had been dealt with which was obviously the most urgent, was how to bring the French to get on with the Germans and to forget the traditional hatred. In a sense it is a sort of miracle that it actually happened. The essential point is that I don't think it could have happened as long as France felt uncertain and without confidence in herself.


WILSON: If I may inject a somewhat technical question about this effort to provide for satisfactory relations between France and Germany, how was this carried on? Was it carried on basically through the military authorities, the occupation authorities, who were then the High Commissioners? Was it carried on through your Embassy in Paris with the French Government, or at a higher level between heads of government?

CLARKE: Well, it didn't really go through heads of government very much until de Gaulle started to take a hand. I think it went on in just the normal way that relations between neighboring countries do go on. The exception to that is that in the very beginning when we were all still in occupation of Germany, official French policy was extremely rigid wherever the question of helping the Germans to recover was concerned. I'm talking about the period before the Marshall speech.

WILSON: Opposition to the Potsdam Declaration would


be an example of this?

CLARKE: Yes, I can remember very clearly going to the Quai D'Orsay to try and persuade the then head of economic affairs that it was reasonable to rehabilitate the industries of the Ruhr and particularly to start by putting the coal mines in order. I got such an outburst of eloquence that I almost got up and left the room. But I became conscious that this was an emotional subject, although what I had been saying seemed to me pretty good sense and ultimately turned out to be, of course, what had to be done. At that time in 1946, it was like talking kindly about the devil in the Vatican. But it just had to be found, a close understanding between France and Germany. So, it's amazing to me how the whole of that atmosphere could have been transformed in such a short time. And surely the beginning of it was this common effort to recover economically.


WILSON: The American side, of course, is that General Clay was given or took the initiative in negotiating with the French Government about honoring or supporting the Potsdam declaration, about providing for bizonal or trizonal unity, economic unity, in these things.

CLARKE: A really crucial move was the currency reform. That gave Germany the means; not immediately, but without it Germany couldn't be independent. On that we were absolutely determined in this country. And of course as far as I know, there was no difference of opinion in the United States about it.

WILSON: That's right.

CLARKE: I would suspect that there were fairly divided councils in France.

WILSON: There was some belief in what has been called an economic magnet thesis -- that successful cooperation between the British and the United States


zones would inevitably attract the Russian and French zones. That didn't work out that way.

CLARKE: Could not. It's not as simple as that.

WILSON: Could I ask perhaps what impressions did you have, serving in Paris, of the role of the United States Congress, of the visits of Congressmen?

CLARKE: Well, I think to be absolutely frank, we didn't feel that those people really knew very much about what they were talking about. We were rather surprised at what enormous respect was paid to their views. But I suppose this was merely an insular British reaction. We have the same phenomenon in a slightly different form but it seems to work out a little more easily. If the minister at the time is a really important minister he covers with his cloak the whole Department.

WILSON: It does seem from our study of the documents that these people spent a rather large amount of


money bringing Congressmen to Paris or wherever, in order to give them information which could have easily been provided in Washington.

CLARKE: Well, the Parliamentarians have a rooted suspicion of information that officials give them, because they think it must have been launched for some reason. But it so happens that that is what officials are for -- to try and give something like the full picture as objectively as they can. Officials are human beings like any others and they may have a preference for one way of doing things rather than another. But on the whole, they're always having to serve first Mr. Kennedy and then Mr. Nixon: first Mr. Harold Wilson and perhaps (who knows?) later this month Mr. Heath. The only justification for a good official is that he should be as objective and as careful as he can about the information he provides.

WILSON: In Great Britain, though, you add to this pressure for objectivity, the Civil Service and


permanent staff in the Foreign Service as well, which is, I think, of some value.

CLARKE: Yes, I think it is a valuable thing. I don't myself at all take the line that someone from outside with a special expertise or someone with parliamentary experience coming to some special problem cannot contribute something valuable. But the business of a diplomat abroad is to keep his eye always on the whole picture. The whole picture can only be got from someone who has really made it his professional business to look just at that.

WILSON: And he must live with the consequences of what the person from outside may bring in on this matter. Were you aware at the time of a discontinuity in American policy because of the transition from the Byrnes period as Secretary of State to the Marshall period, and from Marshall to Acheson?

CLARKE: Yes. I remember Mr. Barnes in the London four-power conference with the Russians, the last


of the conferences which thought they could unify Germany somehow and with the blessing of all four powers.

WILSON: Did he strike you as a diplomat or a Congressman?

CLARKE: Struck me rather as a Congressman.

WILSON: Do you recall placing any importance on the speech which he gave at Stuttgart -- the description of American policy toward Germany in late 1946?

CLARKE: I must confess, I've forgotten what he said. But I remember he did play quite an important part in our conception of how to arrange the future of Germany in consultation with the Russians. After all, at that time the four commanders used to meet every week and they even settled a lot of things. Each one took his turn to be president; rather different in style with the Russians than with the other three. But


there was a sort of working relationship.

WILSON: Well, thank you very much.

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]

List of Subjects Discussed

    Acheson, Dean, 35
    Adenauer, Konrad, 29

    Berlin, Germany:

    Bevin, Ernest, 11, 13, 17
      and the Marshall plan speech at Harvard University, 1-3
    Bidault, Georges, 2
    Bruce, David, 4
    Byrnes, James F,, 35-36

    Caffery, ,Jefferson, 3, 4
    Cairncross, Sir Alexander, 9
    Carli, Guido, 8
    Churchill, Winston, 18, 19
    Clay, William, 32
    Cold war, 13, 15
    Common Market, 16
    Communist party, 22
    Council of Europe, 17, 18, 20, 21
    Czechoslovakia, 9-10, 13

    de Gaulle, Charles, 6, 15, 25-27, 29, 30

    Economic Commission for Europe, 11
    Economic Cooperation Administration, 4-5
    Einaudi, Luigi, 8
    European economic integration, 15-16
    European trade liberalization, 7

    France, 2, 3, 32, 33


      currency reform, 32
      and France, 28-31
      territorial divisions of, 36-37
    Gottwald, Klement, 10

    Harriman, Averell, 4, 6
    Heath, Edward, 34

    Italy, 20-21

    Kennedy, John F., 34

    Labor government of the United Kingdom, 18
    London, England, 35

    MacMillan, Harold, 19
    Marshall, George, 3, 10, 11, 35
    Marshall plan, 6-7

      Europe's response to, 1-3
      speech announcing, 30
      and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 9-11, 12

    Nixon, Richard M., 34

    Organization for European Economic Cooperation, 2, 11-12, 17

    Paris, France, 2, 3, 5, 30, 33, 34
    Poland, 15
    Potsdam Declaration, 30, 32

    Roosevelt, Franklin D., 13
    Ruhr valley, 31

    St. Paul, Minnesota, 25
    Sandys, Duncan, 19
    Sforza, Count Carlo, 20, 21-22
    State Department, 5, 7
    Stuttgart, Germany, 36

    Thorez, Maurice, 23
    Togliatti, Palmiro, 23, 25
    Truman, Harry S., 13-15

    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 9-11, 12, 19, 33, 35, 36

      and Truman, Harry S., 13-15
    United Kingdom, 9, 32, 33, 34-35
    United States, 20, 32
      Congressmen from, 33-34
      foreign policy of, 35-36

    Wilson, Harold, 34

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