W. Averell Harriman

(William Averell Harriman)

W. Averell Harriman
W. Averell Harriman
  • Born: November 15, 1891
  • Died: July 26, 1986
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Politician









William Averell Harriman, better known as Averell Harriman, was an American Democratic politician, businessman, and diplomat. The son of railroad baron E. H. Harriman, he served as Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman and later as the 48th Governor of New York. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952 and 1956, as well as a core member of the group of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men".

Quote Topics Cited
Conferences at the top level are always courteous. Name calling is left to the foreign ministers. Diplomacy & Diplomats
Economic assistance is one of the most effective weapons at our disposal to influence European political events in the direction we desire. Foreign Aid
For God's sake, man, when you leave State, you'll be overwhelmed with offers. You'll be rich. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
He [Jimmy Carter] can't win the presidency. I don't even know him. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
He is a very handsome man, and a very impressive one, and he is always wrong. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I will not eat dinner with that man [Richard M. Nixon]. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
If you follow this policy you're going to have the deaths of some brave people on your conscience. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Influence inside depends on outside loyalty. Management & Managing Government
Let us talk honestly. You know that your troops are in Laos; we know it; the Lao people know it; and the world knows it. Miscellaneous
No foreign policy will stick unless the American people are behind it. And unless Congress understands it the American people aren't going to understand it. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Stalin is a strong, ruthless revolutionist and therefore a very potential threat to future world conditions. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
Strong as we are I don't believe that we can have any security standing alone. Defense & National Security
The expert is out to point out all the difficulties and dangers. Management & Managing Government
There is one thing that I have learned about Economic Development—that it has to do with a lot more than economics. Foreign Aid
We must recognize that our objectives and the Kremlin's objectives are irreconcilable. The Kremlin wants to promote Communist dictatorships controlled from Moscow, whereas we want, as far as possible to see a world of governments responsive to the will of the people. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
Actually I'd had a certain amount of experience in Europe in the inter-war period, as a banker, and I was also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Chamber of Commerce.
Americans wanted to settle all our difficulties with Russia and then go to the movies and drink Coke. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
As far as the Russians were concerned, I felt the reverse; they had adequate gold, if they wanted to buy, and they weren't dependent upon international trade. I felt they were more self-sufficient.
Conferences at the top level are always courteous. Name-calling is left to the foreign ministers.
How could you justify giving Holland twice the amount of money that you gave Belgium? Well, finally, I put it up to them. They said that they couldn't do it; it would destroy them. I said they had to do it. And I finally got support from Hoffman on it. Money, Coins & Minting
I think Stalin was afraid of Roosevelt. Whenever Roosevelt spoke, he sort of watched him with a certain awe. He was afraid of Roosevelt's influence in the world.
I think there are telegrams that may or may not be available, which indicated that I very much had in mind the need to give Europe substantial aid after the war, after Lend-Lease was over. War & Peace
I was quite ready to accept certain restrictions on the United States. After all, there was a great dollar shortage. It was quite clear that the more prosperous Europe became, the more business there would be in the United States. Business, Commerce & Finance
It never occurred to me that we would have as grandiose a program as the Marshall Plan, but I felt that we had to do something to save Europe from economic disaster which would encourage the Communist takeover.
It was fear. He didn't want to see a united Germany. Stalin made it clear to me - I spoke with him many times - that they couldn't afford to let Germany build up again. They'd been invaded twice, and he wasn't willing to have it happen again.
Much of the aid we first gave to Russia we took away from what we promised Britain. So in a sense, Britain participated in a very real way in the recovery of Russia.
Poland, of course, was the key country. I remember Stalin telling me that the plains of Poland were the invasion route of Europe to Russia and always had been, and therefore he had to control Poland.
Roosevelt was determined to stop Stalin from taking over Eastern Europe. He thought they finally had an agreement on Poland. Before Roosevelt died, he realized that Stalin had broken his agreement.
Roosevelt was the one who had the vision to change our policy from isolationism to world leadership. That was a terrific revolution. Our country's never been the same since. Leaders & Leadership
The biggest trade that Germany and Britain had was with each other, in the prewar period; I think I'm right in that. Two highly industrialized nations had the most trade with each other, and it wasn't tariff policies alone that made trade relations better for both of them.
The Russians obtained a number of plants under Lend-Lease, which had been authorized by Washington, that I thought were not justified for their war effort. They wanted them for postwar use. War & Peace
The Russians often took advantage of Lend-Lease.
The war changed everybody's attitude. We became international almost overnight. War & Peace
There's a myth that Roosevelt gave Stalin Eastern Europe. I was with Roosevelt every day at Yalta.
This was the period when I used all the influence I had to get the British to abandon their export trade, and as much as possible convert all of their manufacturing facilities to the immediate needs of the war, including civilian, as well as military requirements. War & Peace
We became convinced that, regardless of Stalin's awful brutality and his reign of terror, he was a great war leader. Without Stalin, they never would have held. War & Peace
We both agreed that Stalin was determined to hold out against the Germans. He told us he'd never let them get to Moscow. But if he was wrong, they'd go back to the Urals and fight. They'd never surrender.
We were talking about really getting Europe on its feet. It was our hope that there would be a breakdown of trade barriers in Europe first, and then eventually a breakdown internationally, which would help increase trade with Europe. Hope
Yet the whole preamble of the second authorization act for the Marshall Plan showed the direction Congress was ready to take about breaking down barriers within Europe.