File No. 861.48/380

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


1817. For Castle, American Red Cross [from Whitehouse]:1

Referring to the Department’s telegram of October 2, 6 p.m., No. 985, and Legation’s telegram dated July 31, I have just conferred with Polish General Committee, Vevey, which states situation in Poland so desperate that they implore American Red Cross send quickly whatever can save portion of dying children. Milk of first importance. Cocoa, bacon, rice, farina, olive oil, medicines, imperatively needed. Not a drop of castor oil obtainable in Warsaw. Foodstuffs and medicines more serious than money in the present crisis, but owing to unavoidable delay in receipt of shipment to Berne, Polish Committee suggests portion of proposed monthly cash allowance be credited them here to make immediate purchases [Page 513] prime necessities either in Switzerland or possibly Poland. Committee believes if immediate action taken many infants may be saved whose mothers too weak to nurse them. Among adults, terrible disease has broken out as result of lack of fats, which brings on blindness first and then death. On previous occasion, Polish Committee informs me, arrangement was made with Swiss Government to distribute supplies through Swiss Consul, Warsaw, German Government giving written guarantees against requisition of consignment, and scheme worked satisfactorily. Committee’s report terminates: “If America can save our children, it will win their and our eternal gratitude, and their prayers for the future of your great country.” Believe cash installment of say $100,000 would alleviate situation in some accessible districts by immediate action, but doubt personally that larger sum could at present be expended on purchases made in Switzerland. Whitehouse.

  1. H. Remsen Whitehouse, Special Assistant to the Legation in Switzerland.