840.50 UNRRA/2–2745: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )

1492. ReDepts immediately preceding telegram.25 There is considerable concern here that UNRRA is being put in a most difficult position as a result of the Resolution passed in London, which [it?] [Page 967] was impossible to revise substantially in the Central Committee meeting because of political and publicity repercussions.26

Department assumes that recent action in London, now confirmed, by the Central Committee, will lead to public expectation throughout Northwest Europe of more substantial relief than either present supply or shipping availability can possibly permit. It is also anticipated that third governments will not hesitate to let UNRRA take the blame where possible for their own failure to import sufficient civilian supplies to meet urgent needs, especially those of displaced persons within their borders.
This Government will support UNRRA’s request for supplemental supplies to meet the purposes of the Resolution but separate shipping programs cannot be justified. Whatever UNRRA does bring in to Northwest Europe will therefore have to come on military ships or vessels assigned to the national governments. We hope that some small boats may be found available in the U.K. for cross channel direct delivery. The only important and accessible quantities of supplies to meet immediate UNRRA requirements in this connection will be from the U.K. stockpile, and it is hoped that the U.K. will cooperate in this respect, especially since London originated this new responsibility for UNRRA.
You are authorized to assist in any way requested the working out of arrangements between UNRRA and the governments of Northwest Europe to implement the objectives of the Resolution, and you will be kept informed of progress of supply and military shipping authorities here in meeting these objectives.

London Embassy please inform Hornbeck.27 Repeated to Paris and Brussels.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Reference is to the “Resolution for Emergency Relief Programs”, approved by the UNRRA Central Committee on February 26, 1945; for text, see Wood-bridge, UNRRA, vol. iii, p. 174. Reference to London is due to the fact that the resolution was initiated by the Subcommittee on Welfare for Europe and then passed on to the Central Committee by the Committee of the Council for Europe; see ibid., vol i, p. 78, and vol. ii, p. 344. For an account of the Northwest Europe Emergency Supply Program, see ibid., pp. 342–347.
  3. Stanley K. Hornbeck, Ambassador to the Netherlands Government in Exile located in London.