868.48/118: Telegram

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

140. Your 194 September 20, 6 p.m.

Department summarizes for your confidential information steps which have been taken to prepare for more extended emergency relief work in Near East:

The President has asked Congress to appropriate $200,000 for the relief and possible repatriation of destitute American citizens.
In addition to $25,000 already advanced, American Red Cross has informally indicated willingness to make further advance possibly to a total of $100,000.
Near East Relief has addressed general appeal throughout the country for an emergency fund and in addition to funds resulting from this appeal will probably be able to make advances to possible total of $200,000.
Rockefeller Relief has been approached and there is prospect of advances from this source.
Efforts are being made towards organization of a Committee in New York to centralize all American relief work for this particular emergency.
American Relief Administration is communicating with its Moscow representative with a view to ascertaining whether food cargo on S. S. Clontarf en route to Odessa and possibly now in the Mediterranean could be turned over for Smyrna relief if funds to purchase cargo were available.
Young Men’s Christian Association has advanced $10,000 and there is possibility of further advances.

The above is tentative for your personal guidance alone and does not indicate final commitments of these various organizations but will give you an idea of the efforts which are being made in this country to meet the situation. The Department is concentrating its efforts on (1) immediate relief and repatriation of Americans; (2) centralizing and coordinating relief of various private agencies; and (3) keeping these agencies fully informed of the activities of your committee.

Success of the Department’s efforts will depend largely upon full information from you as to exact problem which must be met, the facilities which are now available for meeting it and your needs for the immediate future.

Department concurs in your recommendations that American efforts should be immediately concentrated on evacuation and care of refugees during and previous to such evacuation but desires at the same time to be kept fully informed of status of these refugees after [Page 431] evacuation has been carried out in order that it may help to guide relief societies in defining their policy.

Department is still hopeful that you will succeed in drawing up with Allies a general plan for relief but in absence of such a plan you will submit as specific information as is possible as to what you need to cope with the situation.