[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]
Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. ) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the Samuel Hayes oral history interview.
Opened November, 1978
Oral History Interview with
July 16, 1975
by Richard D. McKinzie
MCKINZIE: Dr. Hayes, would you explain why you decided to enter Government service in the first place in 1942? You had already a very good start on what appeared to be a quite distinguished teaching career.
HAYES: Well, I had been teaching but I had also gone, for a period, into advertising. My doctoral dissertation was a nationwide survey of political attitudes and voting behavior, and this was close to what George Gallup had developed in
the Gallup survey. Mine was before his period; mine was in the presidential election of 1932. He was the Director of Research for one of the major advertising agencies here in New York, and they invited me to join their research department. I wanted to get this kind of experience, so I spent a year and a half there after teaching at Sarah Lawrence College. Then Pearl Harbor came along at the end of '41, and I looked to see what I might do. I went down to Washington in '42, when I entered Government, starting with some of the domestic economic agencies, War Production and OPA. I then moved into the Lend-Lease Administration and served abroad and in Washington for Lend-Lease and its successor agency, the Foreign Economic Administration [FEA].
MCKINZIE: Was this something you consciously sought
HAYES: Well, I wanted to be involved in the national effort somehow. I guess that the motivation on the Lend-Lease side was the recognition of the burgeoning importance of international elements in our whole life and an interest in being part of that.
MCKINZIE: One thing that every historian tries to figure out when he looks at the work of anyone who served in Government is whether or not that person went into Government with a clear-cut idea about relations between nations of the world. Were they unreconstructed Wilsonians? Were they balance of power advocates? Did you have any strong feelings about international structure and organization at that time?
HAYES: No, I really didn't. I was functioning as an economist, trying to utilize economics in the service of whatever policy was adopted. I didn't really have any view of world relations other than trying to achieve successful results in World War II.
MCKINZIE: The Foreign Economic Administration was the operating agency for Lend-Lease for quite some time.
HAYES: Well, it was the successor agency to Lend-Lease. There was the Board of Economic Warfare; there was the Office of Foreign Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Operations, or something like that, OFRRO, which Governor [Herbert Henry] Lehman headed; and there was Lend-Lease. These were all separate at the time I went to North Africa in June of '43.
I don't remember just when they were merged, but that fall or the following winter they were all merged into a single agency, the Foreign Economic Administration.
MCKINZIE: Were you at all inclined to stay with that organization at the end of the war?
HAYES: Well, the organization itself was disbanded, essentially; a few remnants were taken into the State Department. I didn't see any real opportunity. If somebody had said that here's an exciting post on the economic side of State, Commerce, Treasury, or something, I think I might have considered it. But the fact was that a man whom I had worked for in North Africa, Dr. Ralph Watkins, had become the Director of what was called a "Marketing Research Service," a kind of a business information
division of Dun & Bradstreet. We having worked well together in North Africa, he invited me, as soon as I wanted to leave Government, to come up and join him and help set up this new operation at Dun & Bradstreet. I had thought that that looked like a lot of fun, and it's good to get in on the ground floor; so I didn't hang around in Washington.
MCKINZIE: During the three years that you were with Dun & Bradstreet, did you have close contact with people in the State Department and Commerce Department who were concerned with international economic matters?
HAYES: No, really no contact at all. The people that had been in the lend-lease efforts and FEA sort of scattered. We had an annual get-together for the people who had been in North Africa
together, and on a personal basis I saw some of these people. But they were practically all out of Government by then.
MCKINZIE: Any person concerned about matters of the world couldn't help but be worried during those years. Did you pay particularly close attention or was your work with Dun & Bradstreet of such a demanding nature that you didn't have a lot of time to devote to that?
HAYES: Well, clearly, I was doing a certain amount of reading and paying some attention, but I wasn't going to Washington, I wasn't participating in conferences, I wasn't doing any writing in the international field.
MCKINZIE: Then what brought you there in 1948?
HAYES: Well, I felt that the work in Dun & Bradstreet
was interesting, and I had very good personal relations with the people involved, both the head of the company and my supervisor. Still, I felt that the work was beginning to pall, and actually I talked to a guy at the Social Science Research Council and said, "I'd like to get into more professional social science research." He said, "How would you like to go out to Rand? They're filling up a social sciences department at Rand." I went to Rand, and they offered me a job in the social science department. I consulted with my former professor and kind of patron, Willard Thorp, who was Assistant Secretary of State and who had been at Dun & Bradstreet, helping set the new division up (he had left before I got there). He had also been my major professor at Amherst. He said, "Well, if you're going to
leave Dun & Bradstreet anyway, come down and help me. I couldn't have invited you and taken you away from Dun & Bradstreet because of my personal relations there, but if you are leaving anyway then I can invite you." So, he invited me to join him in Washington and I chose that as much more exciting -- and closer; I am not really a Californian.
MCKINZIE: Could you narrate what happened to you when you went to Washington in 1948, talking about your relationship with Willard Thorp and the economic people in the State Department?
HAYES: Well, it was a very exciting time to be there. Of course, the Marshall plan had been authorized in December of '47, so there were task forces. One of them was chaired by
Ernie [Ernest A.] Gross, planning the details of the program. Although the overall concept had been authorized, they still had to come up and get appropriations for so much money for such and such kind of thing, and all sorts of policy questions had to be thrashed out. I was involved somewhat in those activities. In fact, when ECA got to the point of getting ready to set up its missions in Europe, they borrowed me from State for a few weeks. I went to France and to the Scandinavian countries, and another fellow, John Cassels, went to England and the low countries. We talked with our Embassies in each country about what ECA was going to be doing in their country, what staff they already had, and what additional staff, functions, and people would be necessary. In other words, it was sort of a preparatory mission to soften up the
Embassies, who weren't very eager to have ECA missions suddenly descend on them. In fact, one of the Embassies we went to said that they could handle the whole thing themselves; they didn't need anybody else.
MCKINZIE: Did you have any feeling when you talked to people in the missions that they somehow expected to use the ECA for political purposes, as a kind of an economic leverage that they didn't then have?
HAYES: Well, I don't think the people in our Embassies had that kind of manipulative approach, but quite a number of the people in ECA did. They said, "Now, we've got real strength; we can force the governments to do things. We can force them to control their inflation, we can force them into an integrated Europe, we
can bring about all sorts of changes that look desirable to us, because we've got so much leverage." I think there was quite a bit of this on the side of the ECA people, but not so much on the side of the Embassy people. The Embassy people were generally pretty traditional, pretty limited, pretty much reporters rather than actors.
MCKINZIE: There's still some confusion about the priorities among the many objectives of ECA. One of the objectives was for some kind of economic integration or a greater degree of it than was in existence. Where did that come in priority? Averell Harriman, special representative, talks about it and yet in critical moments doesn't talk about it. You were in these very early planning sessions; were they talking about it?
HAYES: I don't remember that there was much discussion of this in the early planning sessions. It was pretty much economic recovery activity rather than integration activity. I'm sure you've talked with [James] Harlan Cleveland or will talk with him; he would be particularly articulate and informed on this, because he was in it much more deeply than I was and for a longer period of time. It was not a high priority in the period that I was involved, which was the very early period, '48. I then got back into ECA in 1950, when I saw that this was an entirely different area, different philosophy, and so on.
MCKINZIE: According to the revisionist school, if the Communist threat had not existed, it would have had to be invented. That thinking was based upon the assumption that there were
imperatives of "capitalism American style" in 1947 and 1948. Studies can be cited from CPA [Civilian Production Administration], the successor of the War Production Board, which projected a recession in the third quarter of 1947, that the European nations were down to their last few millions of reserves, and that there would be disastrous economic consequences. This revisionist theory then holds that the Marshall plan (ECA) was for self-serving economic as much as for or more than for international political purposes. How did you see it on the spot?
HAYES: Well, I thought it was clearly in the U.S. interest that there be a healthy, productive Europe, sure; that their recovery was desirable and helpful for us. It isn't as though there was no evidence of a Communist surge. When you
look at the Italian elections, for example, and France, in both countries they were coming on strong. And what would have happened if we hadn't come in? Who can tell? I think there was a pretty real phenomenon there which we were perceiving.
MCKINZIE: I take it from your comment that you accepted the idea that economic adversity stimulates communism.
HAYES: Well, I'm not sure that I would go that far. I think economic adversity tends to stimulate criticism of whatever Government is in power, if it's adversity in the sense of going down from a standard that one's had. People are then likely to be critical of the Government.
MCKINZIE: After you made this tour of Embassies,
laying groundwork for the ECA missions, how did you keep in touch with ECA?
HAYES: Well, not very closely except through some personal friends; I mentioned Harlan Cleveland, and there were others whom I had known for a long time. They did have some operations going on in certain of the underdeveloped countries which were very similar to what the Point IV program was planning to undertake. I got involved in the Point IV program very deeply right from the beginning. I would sit in for Willard Thorp in various kinds of meetings, and one of the kinds of meetings was the meetings of the Institute for Inter-American Affairs, which was essentially a technical assistance program in Latin America and which was the model which Ben [Benjamin H.] Hardy drew on in making suggestions that eventually got into the Presidents
speech. When the President made his speech and proposed the fourth point amongst the others, it took most of us in the State Department by surprise. There wasn't any real consultation -- with Willard Thorp on economic matters, for example -- about it. But when the President made the speech and something had to be done, he turned to the Secretary of State and said, "Look, I want you to implement this."
The Secretary turned to Willard Thorp and said, "Well, you're in charge of economic affairs; it's up to you to implement this."
Willard Thorp, who had fifteen different things, turned to me and said, "I want you to go full-time on this."
So, I was involved full-time. We set up an interdepartmental committee called the Advisory Committee on Technical Assistance. It
had regular meetings and position papers prepared on various elements of the program, policies, and implications. It reviewed these as the committee sat and developed the whole p