The Commissioner at Berlin (Dresel) to the Secretary of State

No. 27

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department of the steps taken by the German Government towards the establishment of organizations for the handling of relief coming from foreign countries.

This work falls within the province of the Ministry of Economics (Reichswirtschaft Ministerium), which Ministry is sub-divided into the following three bureaus:—

Questions of finance and trade import and export.
Imports and Exports as affecting rationing schemes. In this bureau is the Reichsgetreidestelle, an organization very similar to the American Grain Corporation.
All charitable work.

In order to avoid the duplication of effort on the part of the various relief organizations then existing in Germany, the Government early last summer established the Central Committee for Foreign Relief (Zentral Ausschuss fur Auslandshilfe), placing at its head Geheimrat Bose, who also heads the Bureau of Charitable Work in the Ministry of Economics. Its organization was as a central committee representing all of Germany, dependent on which were sub-committees in various localities.

The German Red Cross and other local relief organizations are now working in close co-operation with this Committee, and all other private institutions turn to it for assistance of supplies that must come from the exterior of Germany.

The American Friends Service Committee, headed by Mr. Alfred G. Scattergood, which has undertaken the feeding of the children in Germany with the help of Mr. Hoover’s European Children’s Fund, is in close touch with this Central Committee for Foreign Relief. The function of the American Friends being one purely of inspection and control, the local sub-committees of the Central Committee bear the expense of organization, preparation and distribution of the relief, and the Central Committee has undertaken the charges of the shipment of the supplies from Hamburg to points in the interior.

As a matter of general interest, I venture to add that the American Friends Service Committee expect their first steamer to dock at Hamburg on February 3d with sufficient supplies to enable them to start immediately the distribution of one meal of 600 calories [Page 253] per day to 10,000 children in Berlin, 5000 in Hamburg, 3000 in Leipzig and 3000 in Dresden. The German authorities are giving them every assistance and complete co-operation.

I have [etc.]

Ellis Loring Dresel