763.72119/11446: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Harvey)

503. Your 700, August 23, 8 p.m.

Walter L. Brown, Hoover’s representative, is about to arrive in London. Instruct him to proceed to Paris for the purpose of taking [Page 819] part as unofficial observer in meeting of international commission for Russian relief, to which your telegram refers, which we understand is to be held in Paris on Monday, August 29th. Time and place can be ascertained through Paris Embassy.

Inform Brown that this Government does not desire to be related to proposed international commission or to governmental action in Russia, if this can be avoided without loss of opportunities which it would be important to conserve. It is believed that in present condition of Russia, governmental action through international commission, inevitably involving dealings of a governmental sort with the Soviet authorities, is likely to have undesirable consequences. This Government does not desire to interpose any obstacles in the way of adequate relief but believes that all proceedings to this end should be of a distinctly humanitarian character and without any unnecessary governmental participation. It is thought that Brown’s participation in manner above suggested in the meeting on Monday will enable him to form a judgment (1) as to the purposes and plans of the international commission; (2) as to the effect of these upon the relief work undertaken by the American Relief Administration and (3) as to the advisability of participation by this Government. At present this Government sees no reason to believe that American aid in organizing and distributing relief would be helped in the slightest degree by governmental participation and believes that through the American Relief Administration full information of Russian conditions can be had. It desires to avoid direct dealings with Soviet regime and also to keep a free hand without becoming unnecessarily involved in plans of other governments. Department desires Brown after meeting on Monday to send his views fully through Embassy at Paris and the future relation of this Government to international commission can then be decided. Hoover approves Brown’s going for this purpose. Repeat to Herrick.