840.50 UNRRA/3–745

The Director General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration ( Lehman ) to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Acheson )

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I enclose the text of a telegram which I have received from President Osmeña on behalf of the Philippine Government.33

As the Philippine Government is a signatory member of the Administration, it may expect to receive assistance in relief and rehabilitation from the Administration, in accordance with the Resolutions of the UNRRA Council. In view of the recent decision of the Central Committee,34 UNRRA is under obligation to provide emergency supplies and services in advance of any application which the Philippine Government may make to be adjudged unable to pay. For my part, I am of course anxious that any assistance which the Philippine Government may stand in urgent need of and which the Administration may be able to give should be rendered.

However, in view of your statements to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs when UNRRA’s appropriation was being discussed (Hearings, Committee on Foreign Affairs on H.J. Res. 192, page 45), we have assumed that UNRRA’s part in the relief and rehabilitation of the Philippines would be secondary to that played by the United States Government, and in view of the great responsibilities which the United States has acknowledged towards the Philippines, this would seem a natural arrangement. Nevertheless, UNRRA will be operating certain services in relation, for example, to the control of epidemics, the improvement of health conditions and the movement of displaced persons, which will be of concern to the Philippine Government, and services of this character will, of course, be made available to the Philippine Government if this is desired by them.

I should be grateful, therefore, if you would inform me of your Government’s policy towards the problems of relief and rehabilitation in the Philippines.

Very sincerely yours,

Herbert H. Lehman
  1. The main portion of the text of this telegram from President Sergio Osmeña is printed in Woodbridge, UNRRA, vol. ii, p. 456.
  2. The Central Committee’s resolution of February 26, 1945, permitted the Director General to approve the extension of limited emergency relief programs without consideration of the recipient nation’s ability to pay; for text, see ibid., vol. iii, pp. 174–175; for comment on the resolution, see telegram 1492, February 27, 6 p.m., to London, ante p. 966.