863.48/101: Telegram

The Director of the American Relief Administration ( Rickard ) to the Secretary of State

American Relief warehouses established in Warsaw, Hamburg, Vienna, Budapest and Prague now being stocked with following commodities: flour, bacon, beans, canned milk, corned beef, lard and cotton seed oil. We have arranged with American Bankers Association to circularize immediately their 22,000 banks in America requesting the assistance of each bank in selling food drafts in denominations of 10 and 50 dollars to customers desiring to help individual friends in Poland, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The purchaser receives a food draft to be mailed to the person he desires to assist in one of the above named countries who will be entitled to receive upon presentation of this food draft at nearest central warehouse the food designated on the draft of an equivalent value to the cost of the food draft. There are two 10 and two 50 dollar food drafts designated [designed] to meet Christian requirements and Jewish requirements.

This plan has been presented to and received the endorsement of the Federal Reserve Board and the United States Treasury and also of each of the European countries concerned. The European Government[s] will hold all of contents of American relief warehouses [Page 247] free of requisition and will assist in transportation and entry of all foods. Should any profit accrue from the operations it will be turned over to children’s fund. If any person desires to contribute to the general relief of any one of the countries named without designating any individual beneficiary they can purchase draft in usual manner and we will forward it to our agents abroad to be used where most urgent relief is required.

We will be pleased to have your approval of this plan which we have initiated as a constructive relief measure largely offsetting the uneconomical methods of sending food packages from this country without any assurance of their delivery and also to meet the urgent appeals of these Governments to their nationals here not to transmit money.

Edgar Rickard