File No. 861.48/378a

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Switzerland ( Wilson )


985. American Red Cross has given painstaking consideration to your cablegram sent at request of Polish General Committee in Vevey dated July 31 and various communications since received indirectly from Warsaw Polish Committee concerning Polish relief, particularly supply of money for purchase of agricultural products for urban distribution.2 Red Cross desires to inquire whether, if it were willing to supply substantial amounts of money monthly for purchase of condensed and evaporated milk and could make arrangements for delivery thereof in Berne in connection with shipments of food from America to Switzerland, it would in your opinion and in the opinion of the Polish General Committee of Vevey be practicable to make an arrangement whereby this milk could be delivered to the Swiss Government to be transported to Swiss consuls at three or four of the largest cities in Poland in personal charge of Swiss officers, the milk to be delivered by Swiss consuls to local Polish committees to be approved or selected by Polish Committee of Vevey for use of babies and young children, the operation to be agreed to in advance by German Government and written guarantees [Page 510] against requisition of consignments to be given. See above-mentioned despatch of July 31. Red Cross also wishes to inquire whether, in opinion of Polish General Committee of Vevey, a supply of such milk of a value of $150,000 per month or possibly more, furnished through Switzerland as above outlined, would not be preferable to and more expedient than a supply of approximately $1,000,000 of money per annum for the purchase of agricultural products in Poland, as suggested in various communications received indirectly from Warsaw Committee concerning which it understands Vevey Committee is informed. Dresel understands fully suggestions made by Warsaw Committee. Reginald Foster with Red Cross, Paris, also has full information. Matter urgent. Will you kindly confer and report quickly as possible. Do not concern yourself with question whether arrangement suggested for transport from America can be made. Department desires to add that the inquiries contained in above telegram emanate solely from Red Cross and are purely tentative in character as this Government has not as yet considered or sanctioned the suggestion made therein.

  1. For communication of July 31 see telegram No. 1330 from the Minister in Switzerland, ante, p. 504; communications subsequent to that date are not printed.