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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.