Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1960

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

History

Advisor

Committee Chair

Abstract

Foreign aid has become a traditional part of the foreign policy of the United States, but in the eleven years since the enactment of the Marshall Plan there has been a steady increase of opposition to foreign aid programs. The votes in the Senate in favor of the Marshall Plan were 4.06 times the negative votes. Ten years later, in 1958, the "yea" votes in the Senate on the Mutual Security Administration bill were 3.00 times as many as the "nay" votes. The votes in the House for these same two years show an even greater manifestation of a growing opposition to foreign aid. In 1948 the affirmative votes were 4.48 greater than the negative, while in 1958 the figure drops to 1.93. While only two out of the eight Kansans in Congress voted against the Marshall Plan in 1948, three voted against the Mutual Security Act in 1958, and Senator Schoeppel, who did not vote, was known to be against the bill. This indicates that the Kansas Senator s and Representatives in Washington have roughly followed the national trend of a mounting opposition to foreign aid bills (3.00 more “yea” votes as “nay" votes in 1948 as compared to 2.00 more “yea” votes than “nay” votes in 1958). Throughout this study the writer has attempted to show why this opposition has increased as far as the Kansans were concerned. Speeches, both in and out of Congress as well as the public statements of the Kansas Senators and Representatives for the period 1948 to 1959 were checked in an attempt to ascertain why these men voted as they did. A study was also made of the Congressional Record, the Topeka Daily Capital, the Hutchinson News-Herald, the Garden City Daily Telegram, the Emporia Gazette, and the Kansas City Star. Letters of inquiry were also submitted to these men. It is the considered opinion of the author that the main reason for the Kansans voting in favor of foreign aid was basically due to the agricultural interest of their State. If any of the Senators and Representatives from Kansas have attempted to solve the problem of surpluses in agricultural commodities by foreign aid legislation. The majority of these men who voted in favor of foreign aid hoped that these plans would permit the flow of agricultural commodities to the rest of the world. This would, as they believed, solve the problem of hunger in the world while solving the problem of surpluses in the United States. That feeding hungry people is a humanitarian purpose cannot be disputed, but to feed the hungry of the world and collect a return for the food is a degree beyond a humanitarian purpose. The Kansans wanted the United States to be the chief source of food for the world, yet they wanted the United States to be justly compensated for their food in the form of foreign currencies, strategic materials or military defense in Europe. Not all the Kansans believed foreign aid would solve the agricultural surplus problem in the United States. Those men who voted "nay” on foreign aid measures argued that a better and a cheaper plan could be legislated to solve the surplus problem. They believed that foreign aid measures were not the best defensive maneuver the United States could utilize for security in the world. They believed the money collected from taxpayers of the United States could be used to gain the real advantages of security for the nation. The key to this security for the United States was a financially sound nation, one that built its military defenses upon its own shores, not the far-off shores of foreign countries. Although the form of foreign aid has changed considerably, such as in the form of the Point Four Program (assistance to underdeveloped countries), Mutual Security Administration, or the International loan Fund; the debate in Congress concerning foreign aid has not actually changed. Those arguments that were used in 1948 were used in 1959.

Rights

Copyright 1960 Darrell Munsell

Comments

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