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Prodigious Albion


At a less critical time, the announcement that Britain has pulled itself far enough out of a dollar deficit to require no more Marshall Plan aid would have been exciting news. Many people in this country, most of them in Congress, have been calling the European Recovery Program "Operation Rathole" from the beginning, and this is the first real indication that the one-way flow of money has brought results.

Both Britain and the United States can take credit for this new development. The British put on an unprecedented peacetime austerity program, jumped their exports enormously, rebuilt their war-shattered cities, and installed a giant socialization scheme in a short five years. America, meanwhile, insisted on devaluation, of the pound, which turned out to be just the stimulant needed to snap Britain out of the dollar doldrums.

But now that England has attained a barely self-supporting subsistence level, it will need more American aid to go back into the grisly business of making guns and raising armies. The period of "peace" was sort but gratifying. It showed that the western world could get together and pull itself out of destruction without adopting political or economic totalitarianism. It's a pity that it had to end so soon.

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