• U.S.

A Letter From The Publisher, Nov. 1, 1948

4 minute read

At this writing the offices of TIME-LIFE International, publishers of TIME Inc.’s overseas editions, are overwhelmed with requests for copies of a book called How To Do Business Under the Marshall Plan. The roster of names signed to these letters could serve as a Who’s Who of American business, big and small, and the sentiments they express show a genuine desire on the part of private industry to participate wholeheartedly in the Marshall Plan.

The story of this important booklet may interest you. It begins with E. K. Gubin, a Washington, D.C. attorney and consultant in governmental law and procedure, who was asked by some of his former San Francisco clients last spring how they were to go about doing business under the Marshall Plan. Gubin’s replies only encouraged these export-importers to ask more questions by return mail.

To get the right answers, Gubin began reading the record of the voluminous Congressional hearings on the Economic Cooperation Act. He became so interested in this extraordinary U.S. venture for European and world recovery that he began devoting most of his time to it. To clarify the Act’s many generalities and perplexing statements, he became a constant interrogator at EGA and related government bureaus and at the foreign embassies. In the end, his careful, detailed study became a voluminous report on what the European Recovery Program means to the U.S. businessman (unlike Lend-Lease, etc. it is to be conducted largely through normal business channels), and how he can participate in it.

The booklet itself is an education in present-day foreign trade. After telling how the Marshall Plan originated, giving its basic features, administrative setup, and commodity allotments to specific countries, the book carefully explains the role of U.S. business in the Plan and the effect EGA will have on it. Author Gubin devotes 13 pages to an explanation of how foreign missions in the U.S. make their purchases, how to locate foreign buying prospects, methods of payment and the documents required. He tells how to go about selling goods to U.S. Government agencies and even gives a list of key personnel in the ECA here and overseas.

Word of mouth created such a demand for Attorney Gubin’s report that he had it printed and sold in booklet form. In it he had written: “Traditional American methods of aggressive salesmanship and advertising in established media reaching European markets may spell the difference between success and failure in your ECA operations.”

The importance of world trade and ECA to TIME Inc. is obvious: TLI is founded on the belief that the exchange of news and goods between America and the rest of the world is for the benefit of all concerned, and (exemplifying that point) the overseas editions of TIME and LIFE International carry advertising sold separately from TIME Inc.’s U.S. edition.

When TLI had read Mr. Gubin’s book, it thought that it could do everybody concerned a service by distributing it. The author agreed to work with us in updating a second edition, which TLI distributed to some 5,000 U.S. business and industrial leaders. Another 3,000 copies went to Congressman Walter C. Ploeser, chairman of the House Small Business Committee, for distribution to key members of this important segment of the U.S. economy.

At present, TLI is considering a third edition of How To Do Business Under the Marshall Plan early next year to incorporate probable changes in the Act’s regulations and to satisfy the great number of requests for extra copies. These requests alone are impressive evidence of the U.S. businessman’s intention to give the Marshall Plan the kind of understanding and cooperation that can make it succeed.

Cordially yours,

James A. Linen

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