APRIL 4, 1951
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—April 3 was the third anniversary of the Economic Cooperation Administration.
It is interesting to see that economic recovery has steadily moved forward in the areas where ECA has operated. Countries have made their own plans and carried them through and ECA has simply had someone on hand to supervise progress and for consultation, if necessary.
From now on there will be a slight difference in recommendations for the development of projects undertaken by ECA. This change of operation has been forced upon the free peoples of the world by the Soviet Union's aggressive tactics. From now on more emphasis will be placed on measures of defense in every country receiving ECA aid.
Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson made a very encouraging report a few days ago showing what strides had been made in the various nations of Europe in building up their own defenses. This should answer some of the criticisms that have been made in this country, both in and out of Congress.
I have had some rather interesting reports lately on Korean land reform. I understand that in spite of the war devastation 1,029,000 acres were distributed in Southern Korea. This helps enormously in reducing the problems of the tenancy in the farm population.
It has been loudly heralded that land reform had gone very far in North Korea. But little has been said about the disillusionment of the North Korean farmer when he found that instead of the old individual landowner policy he had simply changed to a Communistic system in which the controls over all land gave him less security and even lower living standards. He has been under stiffer government regulation and has had to pay higher taxes.
Among other difficulties, the North Korean farmer found that he had to obey orders as to what types of crops should be planted and that very careful supervision was exercised by the government. Bad as any system or form of tenancy was, this change to Communistic methods made matters worse.
Little by little, if you piece things together that come to you from different areas, you discover that Russian representatives say one thing to one group of people and another thing to another group. A note to the British not long ago from Premier Stalin assured them that the Red Army was now an army of very modest size. Yet I came across an item telling of a radio broadcast made by Ho Chi-Minh in which he praised the Soviet army on its 33rd anniversary, saying that it was the strongest army in the world. Either Mr. Stalin or Mr. Ho is trying to mislead someone in their appraisal of the size of the Soviet army.
Perhaps the truth of the matter is that Stalin says one thing to the British, but to his own satellites, in order to convince them that safety lies in being with him, he uses another line and they believe what he says and pass on the information.
It is a little difficult to be watching constantly for these contradictions so as to check on what really is going on in the Soviet Union and the satellite countries. But it is worthwhile, for it gives us a little clearer picture of the way propaganda is handled by them.