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Oral History Interview with
October 31, 1970
Richard D. McKinzie
ANDREWS: What became the Point IV concept started a long time before the Inaugural Address of 1949. It actually started for a different reason than we afterward contended. This was during Mr. Roosevelt's administration when we had the big drive for food and materials for defense - the defense support program. The Japs had overrun the Pacific and the Germans were overrunning Europe, and our raw materials were getting awfully thin. So the United States, in its support of Great Britain and all the rest of them, turned to Latin America--largely for hemp, cotton, oil, seeds, minerals, everything that Latin America produces. Nelson
Rockefeller was named coordinator of that program. That involved the whole business. Well, it was not very long until he discovered that sick people couldn't do very much mining of tin, and all that sort of thing. Uneducated people were even worse to deal with. Then, when the food began to get short, you soon discovered that you had to have food out of those countries too. So they organized what was then called the Institute of Inter-American Affairs (the I.I.A.A.). Nelson Rockefeller was made head of it. He set up the Institute with help--industrial help--as an educational program primarily to assist in this war effort. In the meantime, over in the Department of Agriculture, the State Department, through the Smith-Mundt fund, was asked to take on a bunch of technical assistance programs in Latin America to increase food production. These ran separate from the I.I.A.A. I was never quite pleased with that deal, but anyhow that was done. What actually happened was, the first thing you knew you were running two diametrically opposed, differently operated programs.
MCKINZIE: Even during the war?
ANDREWS: Oh yes. And what happened was that in order to control the money and in order to really keep the stuff under control (I'm not criticizing it as such), we set up what they called the "Servicio." The Servicio implied a Latin American and an American, and an international staff that went right down through to the bottom. But the Americans had the money. Which meant that everything the Servicio did had to have the approval of the Americans. The result was that the Americans pretty well brushed aside anything that the Latins wanted and set up our programs, instead. They were good programs, and they made fine showplaces because you had it absolutely under control. You set up machinery stations, and potato warehouses and all sorts of things, and it looked good. On the other hand, the Department insisted on going a slow route in research and extension. And so we would research a subject and then try to train extension workers. Those two programs ran for about eight years and they
were small. I think around five or ten million dollars was all that went into Latin America.
When Mr. Truman made his inaugural address, all that came about was that he had said that we had to do something for the underdeveloped countries, the countries that were becoming new nations. He told his speechwriting staff to dig something up on that. The speechwriters began to scurry around about what the hell to have. And they come over to Agriculture and they went over to IIAA and everything else. Ben Hardy on the IIAA public affairs staff made a proposal for technical aid that was inserted in the President's address. When he made it, the State Department was caught flatfooted. They didn't have the faintest idea in terms of a program or anything else. So the bureaucracy began to debate on what in the hell this all means, and who would run it.
The rivalry was between USDA and IIAA to take over the show--that's the truth. In the meantime then the State Department turned over $150,000 to Charlie Brannan, Secretary of Agriculture, and
Brannan told me to get on a bicycle and go around the world and see what one could work up in terms of a pilot program to give some pattern when the big deal went into operation. So, I took off and the first place I stopped was in Egypt. I called on the Social Welfare Minister and the Agriculture Minister. Education in Egypt was under Social Welfare. My pitch was: "The United States is thinking about a program for the underdeveloped countries and what are the needs in your country that you think the United States might help you on? We had two big ideas. One, the Minister of Agriculture wanted to establish a state dairy farm--state demonstration dairy farm. They wanted to increase the production of milk in the Nile Delta and for good reason. And the other one was the Aswan Dam. They wanted to do something about that. I found out, first, that the Agriculture Minister wanted to make his big 1600 acre Nile Delta farm the dairy demonstration farm. This meant that we'd put the money in that thing to make his farm larger. I didn't buy that. But I
did take it down; we could only make note of the Aswan Dam.
I went on to Thailand, and sat down with the same ministers, agriculture and education. I found some people in Thailand who had been educated in the United States. One, the Minister of Agriculture, was a graduate of Cornell. In those days and still to some extent you've got to go through a ritual. You come into town and make your presence known to the government and you say what you want. Well, they set you up an appointment at say 3 o'clock in the afternoon. You go in and then meet the minister. He claps his hands and a servant brings in tea and you drink tea. And you start to talk. You have a lot of pleasantries, talk about families and the world at large, and the first thing you know the time is gone. He says, "At 10 o'clock tomorrow." So you go back at 10 o'clock the next day. The same routine occurs, and you begin then to get around to maybe what you want to talk about. By the third day they begin to tell you what they want and you get down to the business of your mission.
Well, they were very modest. The Minister said, "We're very proud of our rice. Thirty years ago our rice won the blue ribbon at the Calgary Cereals Fair, but we have not infused any new varieties or anything into it. Our production is going down and we want some work on rice. We've got to have an agriculture education system. Our education here is classical, Buddhaism and this. And we want somebody to help us on creating maybe an agricultural college. In the beginning we want them to do some experimentation on fertilizer. We haven't been able to use fertilizer successfully on our rice."
"Well," I said, "that's very modest; have you got any suggestions on the kinds of people you'd like to have?"
He said, "Yes, we do. There are two people in the United States that know us and we know them and we'd sure like to have them."
And I said, "Who are they?"
"Well," he said, "they are Dr. Love and Dr. Pendleton of Cornell." Love was in China on a long assignment with Cornell, and Dr. Pendleton was a
missionary in China and worked with Thailand and he knows our people. "We think they're still at Cornell. They're both elderly people."
In those days one could move. I wired Secretary Brannan that night and I said, "Contact Cornell, get ahold of Dr. Love and Dr. Pendleton and see if they can be jarred loose to come to Thailand immediately."
Mr. Brannan got into action; Ross Moore at OPAR took the ball, got in touch with Cornell, and by golly, within two weeks they were out there. We had a hell of a time getting them by--Dr. Love was 72 years old and Dr. Pendleton was 63--because of their age. But they were very vigorous people. We had to get all kinds of exemptions.
Dr. Love and Pendleton went out there and went to work. They started right now and started at the grassroots with young people, and I'11 not go into that business. Something really fine came out of that.
Then I went up to Burma. And Burma at that time had just become free and sovereign with a new
government. The first cabinet meeting had met without the astrologer's advice; some guy threw a bomb and killed the cabinet. There was practically no cabinet left. U N was the Acting Prime Minister. I talked with them and again they were also very modest. They said, "We're a socialist state, but we do realize that the socialist state cannot do everything. And we're looking for some sort of a compromise between socialism and capitalism. We think the coop idea is good, so what we'd like to have is some people out here who could help us in setting up coops, particularly rural coops. I found in the Ministry of Agriculture a graduate of Wisconsin University; I found also that he had spent a year at Crowley, Louisiana studying rice production and marketing. So I said, "All right, we'll see what we can do and get you somebody."
Next stop was the Philippines. The Philippines at that time had become independent. And I put the same story to them. "Well," they said, "we're new and we've been under the benign rule of you people all these years and we've followed American
methods and adopted many of your ways."
And I said, "Well, what do you think?"
"We believe we need an extension service, something like your extension service. And on top of that we have a very serious mosaic disease that's destroying our henequin fibers. Can you do something about that
I said, "I'll see."
Again I was able to act quickly. I got hold of USDA and a chap by the name of Hapler was sent out there who went to work with them getting an extension law through the legislature. And I got a guy from Cornell who was a world authority on mosaic disease and had him out there pronto. Four pilot programs were in being and were running rather quickly.
At about this time legislation to legalize the Point IV program got through Congress. It just barely did squeak through. It had open opposition from Tom Connally, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. The State Department in theory was supposed to carry the ball on the
legislation. But Willard Thorp, State Department man, didn't have the faintest idea what it was all about. Finally in desperation, Brannan of Agriculture was asked to come before the House Ways and Means Committee and explain what this was all about. And I went along with Brannan and I was able to pick up after Brannan made his pitch. I explained some of the kinds of programs that the Philippines wanted. One Congressman said, "Well, my God," he says, "we've been having hearings here for two weeks and you're the first guy that has ever told us what the hell it is all about."
MCKINZIE: Well, I was going to ask you when you made this pilot study, when you made this tour of Egypt and Burma and Thailand and Philippines, did you tell them at the time that there could be no industrial programs? Was that an issue? Underdeveloped countries, a lot of them, wanted to have steel mills and that sort of thing.
ANDREWS: No, the only place an industry program hit us was in Egypt, the Aswan Dam. The Egyptians hit
us right hard on that. And the Thais wanted Dr. Pendleton to make some investigations on fertilizer with a view of maybe sometime establishing a plant. But that's all it was. And not a thing on any industrialization at this point. Maybe my initial contacts were too narrow.
The State Department's high officials decided that they had to make at least four countries in Asia so-called strategic areas and entitled to a greater assistance than the Point IV program visualized. This would to some extent include industrialization, and rebuilding of roads and harbors and war reconstruction.
The Griffin mission involved a newspaper publisher from California who was sent out with Sam Hayes of the State Department, along with a bunch of other people. They went around Asia. They picked Burma, the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia as the so-called special treatment countries which would be a Marshall plan type of infusion of capital, rather than the so-called technical assistance.
They took us out of those countries and the other little programs. In Thailand the original
agriculture programs went right ahead though. Old Dr. Love stayed there for, I guess eight or ten years. He created a miracle there; it's just fantastic. And Dr. Pendleton remained six years. Then that left Point IV with about forty countries. We finally got an appropriation through and then began the fight about who was going to run it and how. Willard Thorp normally was a fellow who would be the overseer in State. Les Wheeler, who used to be in OFAR, was his assistant and was in charge of the actual Point IV coordination. Les didn't get anywhere. The war between IIAA, USDA and the Marshall plan brought on a lot of confusions. There was a virtual stalemate.
Finally, President Truman called in an ambassador from Guatamala, I forgot his name, and he tried to develop some agricultural programs. The bureaucratic struggle had him dizzy morning, noon, and night. This ambassador resigned. President Truman appointed Dr. Henry Bennett, of Oklahoma State University, to the job of real administration, to head the Point IV program as an independent unit in State. We'd
gotten the legislation through and had set up the Technical Cooperation Administration. Dr. Bennett was a very simple fellow and a very plain guy. He could handle Congress and he could handle almost anybody. He was to some extent scared of this deal b