845.5018/48a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Calcutta ( Patton )

676. There has been received at the Department, by reference from the White House, the following telegram, addressed to the President by Syed Badrudduja, Mayor of Calcutta:

“Acute distress prevails in city of Calcutta and province of Bengal due to shortage of foodstuffs entire population being devitalized and hundreds dying of starvation. Appeal to you and Mr. Churchill75 in the name of starving humanity to arrange immediate shipment of food grains from America, Australia, and other countries.”

You should in your discretion convey an appropriate message of acknowledgment to the Mayor, informing him that responsible officials of this Government have not been unmindful of the situation [Page 300] described by him, but that, as the Mayor himself will undoubtedly realize, the shipment of grains is a matter dependent upon many factors complicated by the war. As the Mayor is perhaps aware, the British Indian authorities in this country are making efforts which it is hoped will be helpful in alleviating the situation. He may be assured that this Government will facilitate those efforts in every appropriate manner.76

  1. Winston S. Churchill, British Prime Minister.
  2. A letter based on this instruction was sent by the Consul General to the Mayor of Calcutta on September 13 (845.5018/52).