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How the European Movement was launched

The CIA and the Labour Party - part 5

Introduction         Part 1: Background       Part 2: Censorship       Part 3: Fellow travellers       Part 4: CIA and the press

SECRET US funding of "voluntary" organisations began with the Marshall Plan. In June 1947 George Marshall, US Secretary of State, in a speech at Harvard, suggested that the European nations, including the USSR, should agree a joint programme of reconstruction to which the US would contribute. Within three months 16 European nations had formulated a European Recovery Programme (ERP) for the period 1947-51. ERP was welcomed by President Truman, immediate interim aid was authorised for Austria, France and Italy, and in April 1948 Congress passed the Economic Co-operation Act which set up the Economic Co-operation Administration (ECA*) to administer some 13,000 million dollars of aid to Europe over the period 1948-51. (*ECA administrator for France was Barry Bingham, who helped launch the International Press Institute.)

Russian refusal to join ERP marked the start of the Cold War and historians will continue to argue which side was to blame. Certainly Congress imposed strict economic conditions which the USSR would have found very difficult to fulfil. It also required recipients to make substantial repayments which - except for certain carefully specified educational provisions such as the Fulbright scholarships - were to be repatriated to the USA.

These repayments - known as counterpart funds - accumulated under the control of ECA's American administrators in Europe in various local currencies and, in flat violation of Act of Congress, only part were returned to the United States. Thus there existed across Europe in the late 'forties a network of American territorial baroncies with massive funds available to finance their own pet projects, the most powerful such grouping being the US Military Government in Berlin whose chief was General Lucius D. Clay. The use of these funds was illegal and their deployment, therefore, had to be negotiated between the local baron, or his agent, and the recipient in secret. Thus it was that Joseph Retinger persuaded Shepard Stone, then in the US Military Government, to back the Congress of The Hague in May 1948 which launched the European Movement.

The Congress received worldwide publicity without which the European Movement would probably have been stillborn. Seven hundred and fifty top people were brought to The Hague, lodged and entertained for a week at the expense of the organisers. Without the £40,000 that this cost-a huge amount for Europe still recovering from the war-the Congress could not have been held.

The launching of the Congress for Cultural Freedom by Melvin Laskey in Berlin in 1950 was financed in the same way. Disaster threatened the Cold Warriors in 1950-51 when Congress refused to renew Marshall Aid. As Thomas Braden has confirmed, they had either to shut up shop or turn to the CIA. They chose the latter. Thus continued 17 years of secret US funding.

When, in the early sixties, it seemed to the National Security Council (NSC) that the CIA's cover was about to be blown, funding was quietly shifted to the larger charitable fundations whose directors were well aware of what was going on. The Ford, Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations moved into international affairs in a big way in 1950. Ford's international director for the next 17 years was Sheperd Stone under the NSC members Mr George Bundy, Presidential Adviser on Security, and Robert McNamara, Defence Secretary. Carnegie president was Joseph E. Johnson who organised the American end of Bilderberg. Thomas Braden was a Carnegie trustee.

Rockefeller trustees included Barry Bingham - ECA Administrator France 1949-50, chairman International Press Institute, director Asia Foundation - and Arthur Houghton, whose Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs channelled millions of dollars of CIA money into the US and world students movements. For those who continue to protest the innocence of the US (and some European) foundations, massive documentary evidence can - and will - be produced to show that in their international affairs they acted as agents of the US State Department.

But to return to the European Movement. Thomas Braden had been in the US Military Government in Germany. From 1949 to 1951 he was executive director of the American Committee on United Europe-a body resulting from a visit by Retinger and Duncan Sandys to Allen Dulles and others in the United States in July 1948. Its aims were to fund the European Movement and to bring about the establishment of a European army rearming the Germans against the USSR. It also worked closely with Cord Meyer's United World Federalists.

In a letter to Duncan Sandys, 20 January 1950, Thomas Braden wrote that the ACUE's purpose was ''not only to influence public opinion, but to sell the idea of the European Movement . . . and to justify the appeal for important sums of money."

According to Allan Hovey, Jnr., ACUE representative in Europe, the vast majority of US funds for Europe and nearly all for the European Youth Campaign (EYC) came from State Department covert funds. This was, of course. kept very secret. ACUE was a legal covering organisation.

Braden joined the CIA as Dulles' assistant in 1950 while continuing as ACUE executive director. Funds were sent to the European representative in Brussels, and those intended for the EYC were passed through a covering body in Paris - the Centre d'Action Europiènne - which submitted a monthly budget to Brussels.

Total secret US funding to the European Movement from 1947 to 1953 was £440,000. (Source: EM Archives, FIN/P/6 "European Movement: EYC Treasurer's Report 1949/53").

Thus, far from being a spontaneous expression of the desire for unity of the people of Europe, the European movement was launched by Retinger with secret money from the State Department and kept afloat with massive subventions through Thomas Braden, head of the CIA'S International Organisation Division.

Who were they travelling with?

Introduction         Part 1: Background       Part 2: Censorship       Part 3: Fellow travellers       Part 4: CIA and the press  Part 5: European Movement

Cold War: introduction