Ships of State: Maritime Policy as Foreign Policy Under the Merchant Ship Sales Act of 1946
Beers, Lloyd Anthony
Sicilia, David B.
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U.S. maritime policy immediately following World War II included the disposal of surplus merchant vessels to foreign countries under the terms of the Merchant Ship Sales Act of 1946. Concurrently, U.S. foreign policy was directed toward restoring balanced international trade and monetary flows. The U.S. Maritime Commission and the U.S. Department of State found a common purpose in the sales of surplus ships to foreign nations. The Maritime Commission wanted to rid itself of vessels it had no need to operate or maintain, and the State Department was anxious to facilitate vessel sales to further its foreign policy goals that included rapid global economic recovery, thriving multilateral trade, and containment of communism. This thesis examines the international objectives and outcomes of the combined efforts of the U.S. Maritime Commission and the U.S. Department of State to distribute surplus war-built merchant vessels to the maritime nations of the world.