The High Commissioner at Constantinople (Bristol) to the Secretary of State

No. 191

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith for the information of the Department:

A copy of a letter dated Tiflis April 16th from Mr. E. A. Yarrow, Director General of the Near East Relief work in the Caucasus.40
A translation of an agreement between the Soviet Government of Georgia and the Near East Relief for the continuance of the latter’s relief work in the Caucasus.

I desire to call the careful attention of the Department to both of these enclosures. Mr. Yarrow’s letter regarding conditions in the Caucasus contains the first report of a reliable observer which I have received from Tiflis or that neighborhood. I do not entirely agree with all of Mr. Yarrow’s conclusions regarding the present and future relations between the Turks and the Russians in the [Page 842] Caucasus, but was interested to learn of the facilities which the present Government of Georgia has given him for his relief work.

In the agreement signed on March 28th [29th?] at Tiflis, copy enclosed herewith, the local Bolshevik Government apparently grants the Near East Relief workers far more satisfactory terms for their work than has been previously offered by Bolshevik authorities.

I have [etc.]

Mark L. Bristol

Certificate from the Socialist Soviet Republic of Georgia to the Near East Relief41

No. 403

The People’s Commissary of Foreign Affairs of the S.S.R. of Georgia appreciating the problems of the N.E.R. hereby certifies, that the Government of the Socialistic Soviet Republic of Georgia is ready to give any assistance whatever to this American Committee in its work, i.e. in organizing shelter homes, orphanages, hospitals and soup kitchens; as well as in supplying the needy population with food, medicines and clothing.

Whereas the Government of the Socialistic Soviet Republic of Georgia states:

It guarantees to those members of the N.E.R. who are citizens of the United States free travel in and out of Georgia.
The American Commission has the right of distribution of its property to the population as it deems it expedient, and the right of supervision over the distributions, in case these supplies are turned over to some local organization.
All supplies sent to the address of the Committee for above mentioned relief purposes are free from duty and all other taxes.
All the property of the American Commission is beyond requisition.
Guarantees to the Commission the right of shipping supplies to Azerbeidjan and Armenia without duty charges.
Guarantees that all regulations and new laws of the Government will be communicated to the Commission through the Commission of Foreign Affairs only.

The People’s Commissary reserves himself the right of general supervision of the activities of the N.E.R. through the Commission of Foreign Affairs.

President of the Revol. Committee
F. Maharadze

Peopled Commissary for Foreign Affairs
A. Svanldze
  1. Not printed.
  2. For mandate by the Soviet Government of Armenia recognizing the Near East Relief, see p. 931.