Paris Peace Conf. 840.48/1

Colonel E. M. House to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ( Balfour )37

My Dear Mr. Balfour: The President requests me to say that the discussions of his proposal of December 1st,38 submitted through me, for the creation of a European Relief Administration and the appointment of a Director General of Relief, have been reported to him. He entertains no doubt that he will receive in due course from the Allied Governments a reply to that note, but it appears from the discussions that some time will be required to reconcile the differences of view involved in the undertaking.

The objects of the United States Government in connection with food supply—which concern only the Armistice emergency—are to save life, to preserve order throughout the liberated, neutral, and enemy territories, and to create an efficient organization to accomplish these purposes. In these purposes he feels assured of your entire sympathy and cooperation.

Pending further discussions of the entire problem, however, the situation in certain areas is of so critical a nature, and requires such immediate emergency action that he wishes me to inform you that he is instructing the United States Food Administration to take measures at once to furnish food supplies and to establish an organization to this end in certain places outside of Germany.

Taking it for granted that you will also be anxious to undertake immediate action in these matters through your various food departments, and in order that there shall be full coordination in this task, he has asked Mr. Hoover to indicate to you these situations and the points at which he proposes to establish representatives for the administration of relief measures, so that if you see fit, you may also send your representatives to these points, and these gentlemen may mutually coordinate these various efforts.

I am [etc.]

Edward House
  1. Similar communications were apparently sent on the same date to M. Pichon and Baron Sonnino.
  2. Ante, p. 646.