Quotes by: W. Averell Harriman

His Excellency
W. Averell Harriman
48th Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1955 – December 31, 1958
Lieutenant George DeLuca
Preceded by Thomas E. Dewey
Succeeded by Nelson A. Rockefeller
11th United States Secretary of Commerce
In office
October 7, 1946 – April 22, 1948
President Harry S. Truman
Preceded by Henry A. Wallace
Succeeded by Charles Sawyer
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
In office
April 30, 1946 – October 1, 1946
Monarch George VI
President Harry S. Truman
Prime Minister Clement Attlee
Preceded by John G. Winant
Succeeded by Lewis W. Douglas
United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union
In office
October 23, 1943 – January 24, 1946
Franklin D. Roosevelt Harry S. Truman
Preceded by William H. Standley
Succeeded by Walter Bedell Smith
Personal details
Born William Averell Harriman
(1891-11-15)November 15, 1891
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died July 26, 1986(1986-07-26) (aged 94)
Yorktown Heights, New York, U.S.
Resting place Arden Farm Graveyard in Arden, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic (1928–86)
Other political
Republican (Before 1928)
Kitty Lanier Lawrance (m. 1915–1929, divorced) Marie Norton Whitney (m. 1930–1970, her death) Pamela Beryl Digby Churchill Hayward (m. 1971–1986, his death)
Mary Williamson Harriman Kathleen Lanier Harriman Mortimer
Alma mater Yale University

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.
W. Averell Harriman
The war changed everybody's attitude. We became international almost overnight.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
There's a myth that Roosevelt gave Stalin Eastern Europe. I was with Roosevelt every day at Yalta.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
Americans wanted to settle all our difficulties with Russia and then go to the movies and drink Coke.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
Conferences at the top level are always courteous. Name-calling is left to the foreign ministers.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman
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.
W. Averell Harriman

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