The Acting Secretary of State to the Senate of the United States

To the Senate of the United States:

In response to the resolution of the Senate bearing date May 26, 1919 and reading as follows:

“Whereas it is reported that innocent men, women and children, particularly of the Jewish faith, are being outraged and massacred in Poland, Rumania, and Galicia: Therefore be it

“Resolved, That the Department of State be, and hereby is, directed to communicate such reports to the President of the United States, and request that he confer with the representatives at the [Page 770] Peace Conference of the countries where such outrages and massacres are reported to occur, and inform them that this body and the American people generally deeply deplore acts of violence and cruelty committed against men, women and children because of race or religion,”

the undersigned, the Acting Secretary of State, in the absence of the President and Secretary of State from the country has the honor to make the following statement: Prior to the passage of the resolution of the Senate on April 25 last, the Department had instructed the American Minister to Poland, who was then in Paris, to make investigation on his arrival in Poland of the truth of a report that on April 5 last, certain Jews were massacred by the Poles at Pinsk while the Passover bread was being distributed.

Subsequently thereto and prior to the passage of the resolution other instructions were sent by telegraph to Mr. Gibson, the American Minister at Warsaw, to make investigation regarding other reports that had been received of massacres of Jews in Poland and subsequently to the passage of the resolution further telegraphic instructions have been sent.

The Minister was instructed to associate with himself two commissioners in the investigation of the charges which had been made and of the reports which had been received.

The Department suggested the appointment by the Minister, as members of his commission, of Dr. Boris Bogen, in charge of the Polish work of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and Lieutenant Colonel Walter C. Bailey, director for Poland of the American Red Cross, and they were appointed and acted with him.

The Department of State has also, in pursuance of the directing terms of the Resolution, communicated it to the President and has been instructed by him to inform the Senate what steps are being taken to have the reports investigated. The President has further given some thought to the advisability of sending another commission to Poland, which matter will probably be definitely decided after Mr. Gibson has had an opportunity of discussing the subject at Paris.

Both prior to the passage of the Resolution and subsequently thereto the American Minister at Bucharest was instructed by the Department to investigate carefully the Jewish situation in Rumania and to report promptly.

Respectfully submitted.

Frank L. Polk