The Commissioner at Riga (Young) to the Secretary of State

No. 1166

Sir: I have the honor to forward, in triplicate, copy of the agreements signed by Messrs. Brown and Litvinov on August 20th.

I have [etc.]

Evan E. Young

Agreement between the American Relief Administration and the Soviet Authorities in Russia, Signed August 20, 1921

Whereas a famine condition exists in parts of Russia, and

Whereas Mr. Maxim Gorky, with the knowledge of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, has appealed through Mr. Hoover to the American people for assistance to the starving and sick people, more particularly the children, of the famine stricken parts of Russia, and

Whereas Mr. Hoover and the American people have read with great sympathy this appeal on the part of the Russian people in their distress and are desirous, solely for humanitarian reasons, of coming to their assistance, and

Whereas Mr. Hoover in his reply to Mr. Gorky, has suggested that supplementary relief might be brought by the American Relief Administration to up to a million children in Russia

Therefore it is agreed between the American Relief Administration, an unofficial volunteer American charitable organization under the chairmanship of Mr. Herbert Hoover, hereinafter called the A.R.A., and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic hereinafter called the Soviet Authorities

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That the A.R.A. will extend such assistance to the Russian people as is within its power, subject to the acceptance and fulfillment of the following conditions on the part of the Soviet Authorities who hereby declare that there is need of this assistance on the part of the A.R.A.

The Soviet Authorities Agree:

  • First That the A.R.A. may bring into Russia such personnel as the A.R.A. finds necessary in the carrying out of its work and the Soviet Authorities guarantee them full liberty and protection while in Russia. Non-Americans and Americans who have been detained in Soviet Russia since 1917 will be admitted on approval by the Soviet Authorities.
  • Second That they will, on demand of the A.R.A., immediately extend all facilities for the entry into and exit from Russia of the personnel mentioned in (1) and while such personnel are in Russia the Soviet Authorities shall accord them full liberty to come and go and move about Russia on official business and shall provide them with all necessary papers such as safe-conducts, laissez passer, etcetera, to facilitate their travel.
  • Third That in securing Russian and other local personnel the A.R.A. shall have complete freedom as to selection and the Soviet Authorities will, on request, assist the A.R.A. in securing same.
  • Fourth That on delivery by the A.R.A. of its relief supplies at the Russian ports of Petrograd, Murmansk, Archangel, Novorossiisk, or other Russian ports as mutually agreed upon, or the nearest practicable available ports in adjacent countries, decision to lie with the A.R.A., the Soviet Authorities will bear all further costs such as discharge, handling, loading and transportation to interior base points in the areas where the A.R.A. may operate. Should demurrage or storage occur at above ports mutually agreed upon as satisfactory such demurrage and storage is for the account of the Soviet Authorities. For purposes of this agreement the ports of Riga, Reval, Libau, Hango and Helsingfors are also considered satisfactory ports. Notice of at least five days will be given to Soviet representatives at respective ports in case the Soviet Authorities are expected to take CIF delivery.
  • Fifth That they will at their own expense supply the necessary storage at interior base points mentioned in paragraph (4) and handling and transportation from same to all such other interior points as the A.R.A. may designate.
  • Sixth That in all above storage and movement of relief supplies they will give the A.R.A. the same priority over all other traffic as the Soviet Authorities give their own relief supplies, and on demand of the A.R.A. will furnish adequate guards and convoys.
  • Seventh That they will give free import and re-export and guarantee freedom from requisition to all A.R.A. supplies of whatever nature. The A.R.A. will repay the Soviet Authorities for expenses incurred by them on re-exported supplies.
  • Eighth That the relief supplies are intended only for children and the sick, as designated by the A.R.A. in accordance with paragraph (24), and remain the property of the A.R.A. until actually consumed by these children and the sick, and are to be distributed in the name of the A.R.A.
  • Ninth That no individual receiving A.R.A. rations shall be deprived of such local supplies as are given to the rest of the population.
  • Tenth That they will guarantee and take every step to insure that relief supplies belonging to the A.R.A. will not go to the general adult population nor to the Army, Navy, or Government employees but only to such persons as designated in paragraphs (8) and (24).
  • Eleventh The Soviet Authorities undertake to reimburse the A.R.A. in dollars at CIF cost or replace in kind any misused relief supplies.
  • Twelfth That the A.R.A. shall be allowed to set up the necessary organizations for carrying out its relief work free from governmental or other interference. The Central and local Soviet Authorities have the right of representation thereon.
  • Thirteenth That the Soviet Authorities will provide:
    The necessary premises for kitchens, dispensaries and, in as far as possible, hospitals.
    The necessary fuel and, when available, cooking, distributing and feeding equipment for the same.
    The total cost of local relief administration, food preparation, distribution, etc., themselves or in conjunction with local authorities. Mode of payment to be arranged at later date.
    On demand of the A.R.A. such local medical personnel and assistance, satisfactory to the A.R.A., as are needed to efficiently administer its relief.
    Without cost railway, motor, water or other transportation for movement of relief supplies and of such personnel as may be necessary to efficiently control relief operations. The Soviet Authorities will for the duration of the A.R.A. operations assign to the A.R.A. for the sole use of its personnel, and transport free of cost, such railway carriages as the A.R.A. may reasonably request.
  • Fourteenth In localities where the A.R.A. may be operating and where epidemics are raging, the A.R.A. shall be empowered by the Soviet Authorities to take such steps as may be necessary towards the improvement of sanitary conditions, protection of water supply, etc.
  • Fifteenth That they will supply free of charge the necessary offices, garages, store rooms, etc., for the transaction of the A.R.A. business and when available heat, light and water for same. Further that they will place at the disposal of the A.R.A. adequate residential quarters for the A.R.A. personnel in all localities where the A.R.A. may be operating. All such above premises to be free from seizure and requisition. Examination of above premises will not be made except with knowledge and in presence of the chief of the A.R.A. operations in Russia or his representative and except in case of flagrant delit when examiner will be held responsible in case examination unwarranted.
  • Sixteenth That they will give to the A.R.A. complete freedom and priority without cost in the use of existing radio, telegraph, telephone, cable, post, and couriers in Russia and will provide the A.R.A., when available and subject to the consent of competent authorities, with private telegraph and telephone wires and maintenance free of cost.
  • Seventeenth To accord the A.R.A. and its American representatives and its couriers the customary diplomatic privileges as to passing the frontiers.
  • Eighteenth To supply the A.R.A. free of cost with the necessary gasoline and oil to operate its motor transportation and to transport such motor transportation by rail or otherwise as may be necessary.
  • Nineteenth To furnish at the request of the competent A.R.A. Authorities all A.R.A. personnel, together with their impedimenta and supplies, free transportation in Russia.
  • Twentieth To permit the A.R.A. to import and re-export free of duty and requisition such commissary, transport and office supplies as are necessary for its personnel and administration.
  • Twenty-first That they will acquaint the Russian people with the aims and methods of the relief work of the A.R.A. in order to facilitate the rapid development of its efficiency and will assist and facilitate in supplying the American people with reliable and non-political information of the existing conditions and the progress of the relief work as an aid in developing financial support in America.
  • Twenty-second That they will bear all expenses of the relief operation other than
    Cost of relief supplies at port (see paragraph 4).
    Direct expenses of American control and supervision of relief work in Russia with exceptions as above. In general they will give the A.R.A. all assistance in their power toward the carrying out of its humanitarian relief operations.
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The A.R.A. Agrees:

  • Twenty-third Within the limits of its resources and facilities, to supply, as rapidly as suitable organization can be effected, food, clothing and medical relief to the sick and particularly to the children within the age limits as decided upon by the A.R. A.
  • Twenty-fourth That its relief distribution will be to the children and sick without regard to race, religion or social or political status.
  • Twenty-fifth That its personnel in Russia will confine themselves strictly to the ministration of relief and will engage in no political or commercial activity whatever. In view of paragraph (1) and the freedom of American personnel in Russia from personal search, arrest and detention, any personnel contravening this will be withdrawn or discharged on the request of the Central Soviet Authorities. The Central Soviet Authorities will submit to the chief officer of the A.R.A. the reasons for this request and the evidence in their possession.
  • Twenty-sixth That it will carry on its operations where it finds its relief can be administered most efficiently and to secure best results. Its principal object is to bring relief to the famine stricken areas of the Volga.
  • Twenty-seventh That it will import no alcohol in its relief supplies and will permit customs inspection of its imported relief supplies at points to be mutually agreed upon.

The Soviet Authorities having previously agreed as the absolute sine qua non of any assistance on the part of the American people to release all Americans detained in Russia and to facilitate the departure from Russia of all Americans so desiring, the A.R.A. reserves to itself the right to suspend temporarily or terminate all of its relief work in Russia in case of failure on the part of the Soviet Authorities to fully comply with this primary condition or with any condition set forth in the above agreement. The Soviet Authorities equally reserve the right of cancelling this agreement in case of non-fulfillment of any of the above clauses on the part of the A.R.A.

Made in Riga, August twentieth, nineteen hundred and twenty-one.

On behalf of Council of Peoples Commissaries of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.

Maxim Litvinoff

Assistant Peoples Commissary for Foreign Affairs
On behalf of the American Relief Administration
Walter Lyman Brown
Director for Europe