We were talking about really getting Europe on its feet. It was our hope that there would be a breakdown of trade barriers in Europe first, and then eventually a breakdown internationally, which would help increase trade with Europe.
Yet the whole preamble of the second authorization act for the Marshall Plan showed the direction Congress was ready to take about breaking down barriers within Europe.
Actually I'd had a certain amount of experience in Europe in the inter-war period, as a banker, and I was also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Chamber of Commerce.
I think there are telegrams that may or may not be available, which indicated that I very much had in mind the need to give Europe substantial aid after the war, after Lend-Lease was over.
The Russians obtained a number of plants under Lend-Lease, which had been authorized by Washington, that I thought were not justified for their war effort. They wanted them for postwar use.
As far as the Russians were concerned, I felt the reverse; they had adequate gold, if they wanted to buy, and they weren't dependent upon international trade. I felt they were more self-sufficient.
Much of the aid we first gave to Russia we took away from what we promised Britain. So in a sense, Britain participated in a very real way in the recovery of Russia.
Roosevelt was determined to stop Stalin from taking over Eastern Europe. He thought they finally had an agreement on Poland. Before Roosevelt died, he realized that Stalin had broken his agreement.
We both agreed that Stalin was determined to hold out against the Germans. He told us he'd never let them get to Moscow. But if he was wrong, they'd go back to the Urals and fight. They'd never surrender.
It was fear. He didn't want to see a united Germany. Stalin made it clear to me - I spoke with him many times - that they couldn't afford to let Germany build up again. They'd been invaded twice, and he wasn't willing to have it happen again.
The Russians often took advantage of Lend-Lease.
This was the period when I used all the influence I had to get the British to abandon their export trade, and as much as possible convert all of their manufacturing facilities to the immediate needs of the war, including civilian, as well as military requirements.