361.11/3761: Telegram

The Minister in Norway ( Schmedeman ) to the Secretary of State

33. Dr. Nansen received a long telegram on the 13th instant from Maxim Gorky4 quoting substance of an appeal made to the United States through the Archbishop [of] Canterbury and Archbishop [Bishop] of New York asking for bread and medicinal preparations for Russian people a great part of whom are doomed to hunger and [Page 799] death. Beet sugar crops of many provinces have been burned by drought. After consulting me Dr. Nansen sent reply to Gorky reading as follows:

“Have received your impressive telegram. Probability of people who can help materially now are Americans who have done unique charity work during and after war but serious obstacle will be that Americans citizens are retained in Russia and in Russian prisons. Must therefore most urgently advise that they be released at once, otherwise I fear you cannot expect much help from America. I am doing all I can to send food at once. Fridjof Nansen.”

  1. See despatch no. 1869, July 15, from the Minister in Norway, p. 804.