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Richard Mason of the Southern Confederation.

The Mason Doctrine was in international aid and reconstruction program proposed in March 1949 by Councilman Richard Mason of the Southern Confederation. Mason called for the program to run "for as long as is necessary" in order to help "stricken people to reconstruct their lives, which have been so brutally shattered by war." There would be no distinction made by nationality: "German and Briton, Japanese and Siberian, need help, and we must extend our hand to them in their time of need." Mason concluded by calling upon other nations "unblemished by war" to join in the program. He later specified that by other nations he meant "Mexico, which has been a major cause of world suffering and which herself has hardly felt the sting of the bomb, should devote a portion of her wealth to this cause. It is the least the Silva regime can do under the circumstances." The Mason Doctrine would last from 1950 to 1963, and would cost N.A. £25 billion.

The Confederation of North America was in a unique position in the world, being the only major power to remain neutral during the Global War of 1939 to 1948. North Americans saw in their newspapers and on vitavision the utter desolation of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The result was an increasing sense of guilt and horror, and a growing conviction that by rejecting Douglas Watson's foreign policy in the 1938 Grand Council elections, the C.N.A. had allowed the war to take place.

In this atmosphere, the Mason Doctrine won instant approval in the C.N.A. and the Grand Council, although there were several major debates as to its implementation and avowed purposes. Mason and his followers, who formed the Reconciliation Committee of One Hundred Million, wanted to make outright gifts to individuals and governments in a way that would concede the C.N.A.'s guilt in failing to prevent the war. Governor-General Bruce Hogg and his supporters were willing to approve a major budget for reconstruction abroad, but wanted tighter controls over who would be given the funds and in what way they would be spent. Hogg and his supporters also refused to accept the "guilt clause." Hogg was able to keep the People's Coalition caucus in the Grand Council united, and also won a quarter of the Liberal Party caucus to his side, so that his proposal was accepted. However, the aid program became known as the Mason Doctrine, and its passage made Mason the leading figure in the Liberal Party.

Sobel quotes a critic of the Mason Doctrine who called it "a program that is well-meaning, but considering the realities of the world, mistaken in design, and a supporter who called it "the most unselfish proposal in the history of civilized man," then notes that both judgments might be valid. North American food provided under the Mason Doctrine prevented the deaths of millions of people throughout the world, while North American machinery, technological aid, and subsidies sped the recovery of war-torn nations in Europe and Asia.

Hogg's death in September 1950 led to the elevation of Council President James Billington. Like Hogg, Billington denied North American guilt in the outbreak of the Global War, which earned him the opposition of Mason and his followers. During the campaign for the 1953 Grand Council elections, Mason hammered away at Billington and the People's Coalition for their failure to prevent the war, and this allowed the Liberals to gain a fourteen-seat majority in the Council.

As governor-general, Mason doubled previous aid programs, and went on a world tour in November 1953 to inspect conditions abroad and report back to the North American people. In a vitavised address on 30 November 1953, Mason spoke movingly of the desolation he had seen, and the many lives that North American aid had rescued. "We must lead the world to a new day," Mason proclaimed, before breaking down into tears. In this way, the period of Mason's leadership became known as the New Day.

The recipients of Mason Doctrine aid were initially grateful, but as time went on and their nations recovered, the gratitude turned into hostility. Sobel records that North Americans who visited Europe in 1956 were jeered at, spat on, and in some cases, beaten. He quotes the London Times of 24 August 1957: "Do you want to receive more Mason Plan aid? Then just kill a few North American tourists and aid officials, and call Mason a criminal. Should you do this, your North American listener will nod his agreement, and give you all he has." The governments of rival nations criticized the amount of aid the other received, and in 1956 Germany began secretly using Mason Doctrine aid to re-arm itself. The following year, other government began demanding outright military aid, and when Mason refused, anti-C.N.A. sentiment grew worse. In the C.N.A., Mason's critics called the foreign aid recipients ingrates and demanded that the program be terminated.

The Coalition's victory in the 1963 Grand Council elections brought Perry Jay to power, and he cut back sharply on the Mason Doctrine, so that by the time he retired in 1966, only African and Latin American nations were receiving any aid, and that was at lower levels than in 1962.

Sobel's sources for the Mason Doctrine are Jerome Lass's Richard Mason: The Nation's Conscience (New York, 1955); and Herbert Losee's The Magnificent Anachronism: Mason of the Southern Confederation (New York, 1969).