In 1947 the American Secretary of State George Marshall announced the Marshall
The basis of the plan was simple. Economic hardship after World War 1 had
helped to cause World War 2. Europe's economies were shattered after the war.
America was offering $17billion in aid to help rebuild those economies.
There were some strings attached. European states had to agree a plan between
them and then apply for US aid. The plan had to involve a degree of co-operation
between the states.
France and Britain supported the Marshall Plan enthusiastically. They desperately
needed the aid. They also felt that a joint economic plan would bring economic
recovery and help to improve political cooperation and so make future wars
The USSR was interested in American aid, but was suspicious about American
demands that European countries should cooperate. This looked like the USA
interfering in the way the USSR ran its economy.
A conference was held between Britain, France and the USSR in June 1947
to discuss all the issues. It ended up in disagreement and the USSR refusing
to cooperate with Marshall Aid.