The Under Secretary of State (Welles) to President Roosevelt 27

My Dear Mr. President: You may recall that the King of Greece, in a letter to you dated February 6, 1942, requested that the American Government supply funds for the relief of Greece and asked you to appoint a representative to administer activities relating to Greek relief. In acknowledging this request, you informed King George that you would communicate with him later concerning his proposal.

There is now enclosed a further communication from the King of Greece28 forwarded by the Greek Minister on March 6, which expresses the King’s appreciation for your consideration of his requests.

Meanwhile, the British Government has entered, with our concurrence and support, into discussions with the Swedish Government and the Swedish Red Cross for the use of seven or eight Swedish ships, now tied up in the Baltic, for the relief of Greece. The ships would take food, principally wheat, to Greece from producing countries such as Canada and the United States, and a well-qualified Swedish committee would be sent to Greece to supervise distribution, under the general auspices of the International Red Cross Committee.

No suggestions have yet been made to us by the British or Swedish Governments regarding funds to defray the expenses involved in sending the food to Greece, but I have no doubt that we shall be asked to contribute to the financing of the arrangements, if they succeed.

[Page 749]

In view of the above, I suggest the postponement of further consideration, at least for the present, of King George’s requests. If the Swedish plan should not succeed or if it should prove inadequate, the proposal of the King of Greece might be revived.

Faithfully yours,

Sumner Welles
  1. Notation on original: “SW OK FDR.”
  2. Ante, p. 747.