Mr. Day to Mr. Dupuy de Lôme.

No. 324.]

Sir: Upon my return to Washington I lost no time in taking up the subject of the measures of charitable relief which may practicably be adopted to effect the benevolent purpose of distributing to the reconcentrados and other sufferers in Cuba of food, medicine, and clothing, as intimated in your note of December 6.

As I find was said in the Department’s provisional acknowledgment of December 8, this important subject has been receiving the President’s consideration. Acting under his suggestion, I beg to inquire whether it would not be possible forthwith to enlist in this humane endeavor the admirably organized machinery of the Red Cross Association of the United States, of which Miss Clara Barton is the honored head. The efficient assistance which that association has heretofore rendered in relieving widespread distress and distributing the charitable contributions of American citizens to that end are doubtless well known to you and would, moreover, furnish a guarantee of the due application of such generous relief as would respond to an appeal of the President or of the Secretary of State to the American people. With Miss Barton and her trained assistants on the spot I think that not only would a very general response follow such an appeal, but that the distribution of relief in cooperation through organized Spanish channels and by such direct channels as may be available, the double purpose of doing the greatest possible good with the least possible loss of time would be accomplished.

If this suggestion has your concurrence, of which my conversations with you on the subject have already virtually assured me, I shall be most happy to confer with you as to the practicable means for its prompt realization.

I take pleasure, etc.,

William R. Day,
Assistant Secretary.