S. 938, A Bill to provide assistance to Greece and Turkey (Greek-Turkish Aid Act), March 18, 1947
President Harry S. Truman appeared before Congress in 1947 to request $400 million to assist Greece and Turkey to support “free peoples . . . resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” Congress approved the request, marking a sweeping shift in U.S. foreign policy—from avoiding foreign commitments to supporting nations threatened by Communism.
Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration
Providing Aid to Europe
After World War II, Congress approved foreign aid for war-torn nations and grappled with the Soviet Union’s aggressive efforts to impose communism on sovereign nations. As the United States faced a new “Cold War” with the Soviets, Congress approved $400 million of military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey in 1947. Less than a year later, Congress authorized legislation to provide $13 billion of aid to Western European nations, known as the Marshall Plan.
The bill constitutes the foundation of a long delayed and desperately needed foreign policy, for the guidance of our nation in discharging the inescapable responsibilities as world leader in behalf of universal, personal, and national freedom, security, and peace.
Representative Charles A. Eaton of New Jersey, Speech to the U.S. House of Representatives on the Economic Cooperation Act (Marshall Plan), March 23, 1948