File No. 763.72114/2929

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page)


5536. Your 7325, October 4, 2 p.m. You may inform Foreign Office that Department does not approve of Harte’s plan, and in the event that any arrangement whatever is made concerning the purchase and shipment of food supplies to Russian prisoners in the Central Powers, the American Red Cross would be named as the recognized organization for this purpose. Furthermore, no plans will be perfected until this Government has consulted fully with the British and French Governments.

It has been suggested by Russian Ambassador here that all the Russian prisoners in the Central Powers, about 1,800,000, be sent food from the United States. The Department, as well as the Red Cross, has never approved this proposal, but, on suggestion of Red Cross, consideration is being given to the purchase and shipment of food supplies, amounting to about 2,000 tons per month, to those Russian prisoners who are sick, wounded, and otherwise incapacitated, entire operation in Germany being supervised by Spanish Embassy, Berlin, and inspectors and committees consisting of or controlled by representatives of Embassy and by prisoner committees, proper guaranties being first obtained from the German Government.