Efforts Toward Peaceful Cooperation

In 1955, the U.S. Government consolidated its various foreign-aid programs, including what remained of the Marshall Plan for Europe, into a permanent International Cooperation Administration. Two years later, the U.S. created the Development Loan Fund to help provide developing areas with the capital needed to finance transportation, power, industry, rivervalley development, irrigation, and other foundations for economic growth. By the end of 1960, the Fund had made some 183 loans to 49 countries totalling nearly $2,000 million. In addition, between 1954 and 1960, the U.S. distributed food worth more than $10,000 million to needy countries. About half this food was an outright gift to avert famine in such countries as Pakistan, Nepal, Jordan, Haiti, and Ghana. The other half was sold for foreign currencies, which could then be lent back to the recipient countries at low or no interest for their economic development projects.

Hopes for peaceful cooperation between the Communist and non-Communist powers were raised by the 1955 Geneva "summit conference," but the American, Soviet, British, and French heads of state failed to agree on methods of achieving either disarmament or the reunification of Germany. To minimize the dangers of surprise attack and to halt arms development, President Eisenhower proposed that the Soviet Union and the United States exchange blueprints of their military establishments and permit mutual aerial observation of military installations. The Soviet leaders rejected this plan as an invasion of national sovereignty. Nevertheless, the Geneva meeting did produce agreements providing that Soviet technicians, intellectuals, and performing artists would tour the U.S. while their American counterparts visited the Soviet Union.