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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 12. August 20, 1947

Marshall Plan

Marshall Plan

That the Government fully realise the seriousness of the situation is instanced by recent pronouncements in the Commons. But what are they doing about it? One reaction was a campaign to publicise the economic White Paper, but it produced only the ill-starred and stupid work "Work or Want" poster, which would look better at ASCOT than in a factory or a mine. The Transport Nationalisation Bill may help in the rationalisation of an overloaded industry, but will not come, into effect until next year. A planning board, after long delay, has been appointed, but so far has not shown itself to have any more power or responsibility than the usual consultative committee or Royal Commission. First tobacco, now newsprint, soon probably films, are being cut, but no one pretends that this will bridge the gap.

The real trend of opinion within the Government is probably shown by the enthusiasm with which they have welcomed the Marshal offer. Sir. Bevin has carried all before him, at home and in Paris, to try to make dollars safe for the democracies. It seems likely that the Cabinet did not originally want another loan and that the Marshal plan has caused a change of opinion.

Is this in fact sufficient? Quite apart from the strong likelihood that the credits will be so tied with conditions as to constitute a mortgage on the Continent, there is no certainty that it will be approved at all by a Congress clamouring for tax cuts and ignorant of these elements of economics which inevitably foretell a break in the American inflationary boom. There is no certainty that we will get the machinery and capital goods we require to reconstruct our industries.

There is absolute certainty that sooner or later we must balance our trade budget. The sea on which we are drifting is narrow and confined, and not even a Gulf Stream of dollars can prevent us from eventually striking some very Jagged rocks.