Page 1, 28th March 1947

28th March 1947
Page 1
Page 1, 28th March 1947 — General Marshall Insists on Defining Democracy in the Light Of American Practice

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Locations: Moscow


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General Marshall Insists on Defining Democracy in the Light Of American Practice

The following despatch from Moscow dated March 17 is described as from a special correspondent of ihe N.C.W.C. News Service: The methods employed by the American Secretary of State, General Marshall, are making a profound impression at the sessions of the Council of Foreign Ministers; even though most Russian newspapers dismiss his performances with such mere statements as that he made " general observations " regarding a point of discussion.

Secretary Marshall's papers repeatedly have brought the Ministers to a point of laying their cards on the table. In the end those tonguetwisting terms like denazification, demilitarisation and democratisation. and the like, must be left to the hands of the Council's hardworking deputies. Secretary Marshall's part has been to introduce fundamental principles for the guidance of the deputies.

In no case has this method been more effective than in the paper which he submitted on the problem of democratisation. He defined the American, ideas of individual freedoms and the rights of citizens in two paragraphs; supplemented these definitions with five points formulating the specific rights which he contended should be granted to German citizens.

The Potsdam Agreement provides for " democratisation " of Germany, but leaves the term undefined. Hitherto the statesmen of the world, especially those of the United

Nations, have been eloquent on the subject of democracy.

What Secretary Marshall has done is for the first time to lay down clear terms of democracy as it has been conceived in the United States. The effict of the move is immediately apparent. It makes futile the loose language freely employed in Soviet Russia and elsewhere.

If, by his move, Secretary Marshall compels the Council of Foreign Ministers to agree on a definition of democracy, his service to the world at large will be great. To date the " democratic elements" referred to in the policed States, such as in Greece, China. the Balkans and elsewhere, are in fact, Communists. Other elements seemingly always

are " Fascists," " reactionaries," "imperialists," or worse.

The problems in the policed States are complicated. The American and British political democracies, as in most Western nations. work on a basis of accepted fundamental political principles. • The American political parties are based on the Constitution and the British parties on law as developed over the centuries, while other democracies are founded on agreed predictates.

But this is not so in the policed States. In such States, politics mean revolt against the State itself. Politics in these States are not debated on policies, details, administration, or even personalities, but struggle for power in order to change the very nature of the State. In a word, it is revolution instead of evolution.

This is the dilemma that is facing Russian Foreign Minister Molotov in the Council of Foreign Ministers now that he has Secretary Marshall's statement before him.

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