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THE CONGRESS: Foreign Aid–Three Years

2 minute read

Just as Congress began to consider the Administration’s whopping $8.5 billion request for 1952 foreign aid, Dean Acheson almost casually dropped a blockbuster: the figure that the Administration is actually thinking about is $25 billion, spread over the next three years.

Congressional opposition was already building up to the $8.5 billion appropriation. Ohio’s Taft wants the money spread over two years. Illinois’ Douglas wants it shaved by $1 billion. Such influential, economy-minded members as Georgia’s George and Virginia’s Byrd had joined in the demand for a cut. An old Administration stalwart, Texas’ Tom Connally, in one of his tempestuous outbursts, accused ECA of “squeezing money out of our people and spreading it all over the world to take care of those wobbling little countries in the Orient.”

Secretary Acheson, testifying before Connally’s Foreign Relations Committee, seemed to be submitting to questions rather than trying to sell his program. He sidestepped battle with his Republican critics, sometimes curtly, sometimes indifferently. Maine’s Owen Brewster tried to provoke him with a line of questioning about State’s present China policy. Acheson said that he contemplated making no changes. “You are going to let the dust settle?” Brewster goaded. “If you wish to put it that way,” Acheson wearily retorted.

The Administration, and foreign aid, appeared to be facing a hard time on Capitol Hill.

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