123 H 271/4

The Chairman of the American Relief Administration (Hoover) to the Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary: On July 5th, 1919, in order to meet the desperate need of the Armenian population in Transcaucasia and the Armenian Republic, at my suggestion and in accordance with the wishes of the President, Colonel William N. Haskell was appointed High Commissioner to Armenia, representing the United States, Great Britain, France and Italy. His commission was signed by M. Clemenceau as President of the Peace Conference.

The authority centered in the High Commissioner as Joint Representative of the several Allied Powers gave him the powerful support which he required to overcome those racial and political antagonisms, the natural outgrowth of the birth of new States, which were threatening the total annihilation of the Armenian people. The work of this Mission was also to ascertain and provide requirements up to the point when the succeeding crops would render general contributions of food stuffs from overseas unnecessary; to take over and extend the charitable work of the Near East Relief in caring for refugees, orphans and destitutes; to represent the American Relief Administration; to administer the charitable relief from all other countries; to assist in re-establishing stable conditions in the Republic of Armenia.

Colonel Haskell, supported by an efficient and devoted staff, has carried out his difficult duties in an admirable manner. Flour was the most urgent food requirement of this region. The 41,000 tons contributed through the United States Grain Corporation and the [Page 786] 51,000 tons of the American Relief Administration have been delivered. The amount is sufficient to supply essential needs until the next harvest, which it is estimated will then carry the country for six to eight months. Refugees have been fed and clothed and to a considerable extent restored to useful occupations. Agriculture has been re-established. Forty hospitals and seventeen orphanages have been opened or put in order and provisioned for one year ahead. Over fifty thousand children have been fed daily.

Under the direction of the American Relief Administration and including the period of the administration of the Allied High Commissioner, there was contributed from all sources for the aid of the Armenian people in this region one hundred and eight thousand tons of food and supplies. This was in the form of Governmental credits or private donations the approximate values of which were as follows:

From Great Britain
Besides a small amount of private charity of which we have no record, there was furnished on the part of the British Government in the form of freight credits a total of $560,000.
From the United States
1. American Relief Administration covering allocation from the $100,000,000 relief appropriation, March 1919, to date, credits $8,075,000.
2. Grain Corporation Credits 4,725,000.
3. American Red Cross donations 2,100,000.
4. Commonwealth Fund donations 750,000.
5. Near East Relief donations 4,802,000.
Total from the United States 20,452,000.
Grand total $21,012,000.

Aside from the great work of reconstruction, the repatriation of the many thousands of refugees, and the benevolent activities which must for years be carried on by the Armenian Government, for the present the most appealing work for any outside relief organization must be the care of hospitals, orphanages, schools and a certain number of destitute.

Colonel Haskell has successfully performed the task for which he was appointed. The orphanages, hospitals and other charities in the Armenian Republic and Transcaucasia have been turned over to the management of the Near East Relief. All the American Military Staff are to be withdrawn at once. He proposes, as of August first when the few remaining relief measures of the Government [Page 787] program are completed, to present his resignation to the Council of Ambassadors in Paris.

With Colonel Haskell’s resignation my intervention in the management of this branch of European Relief will also come to an end.

I respectfully suggest, Mr. Secretary, that the State Department notify the Council of Ambassadors in Paris of the resignation of Colonel Haskell to be handed to them August 1st, 1920.

Faithfully yours,

Herbert Hoover