840.50 UNRRA/7–445: Telegram

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

6733. Our tel. No. 6517, June 28 and airgram A–717, June 28.89

At yesterday’s meeting of CCE of UNRRA re discussion continued on Ribar’s90 “resolution in relation to violation of fundamental principles in respect of providing supplies to different liberated countries.” Commander Jackson91 said full report on operations would be submitted to Council. He pointed out that rate of shipment of supplies depended on several factors (such as availability of different types of goods, shipping and foreign currency, date of liberation and port capacity) which varied from country to country and from time to time. He conveyed to Committee Lehman’s personal assurance that supplies had been and would continue to be distributed equitably according to need. Lehman also requested that general conclusions should not be drawn from report on current operations and that discussion on general issue should be deferred until the Council meeting. Feonov92 (supply) read part of a report by Washington Bureau of Supply giving scheduled percentage distribution of supplies for last 6 months of 1945.
Penrose93 said that a monthly report on current operations was too limited as basis for discussing general subject of equity of distribution which should be discussed in terms of overall programs. Such a discussion should be held on CCE after proper notice or at Council meeting. He therefore suggested resolution be withdrawn.
Ribar replied that he wanted assurance that supplies to Yugo would be increased. He still felt that population should be principal factor determining allocations and that on this basis supplies had not been equitably distributed. He was strongly supported by Ilyus-chenko94 (Soviet) who said resolution could not be withdrawn although some modification of language might be made. Ribar proposed two modifications which merely deleted specific reference to political discrimination and revised wording of last two paragraphs slightly.
Penrose pointed out that resolution still conveyed strong implication that there had been discrimination in allocating supplies. He said this reflected upon US through its position as one of the supplying countries and through its membership on intergovernmental allocation authorities. He repudiated suggestion that the US would in any way be a party to political discrimination or inequity in relief. The US had deliberately chosen to make its contribution to relief through an international organization rather than by unilateral action. He again urged withdrawal of resolution and said that if passed it might have serious effects.
Hasler95 (UK) said most of supplies sent to Greece and Yugo so far had not been procured by UNRRA but merely taken over from military and paid for by UNRRA. Resolution therefore reflected not on UNRRA but on governments of the supplying countries. Discussion should be centered on UNRRA plans for next 6 months. He therefore opposed resolution. Vote was then taken and resolution defeated by 5 to 3 (US, UK, France, Canada and Greece against Yugo, Soviet and Zecho).
At previous meeting (June 26) CCE voted to admit ECITO96 observer to CCE with proviso that Soviet which abstained from voting would inform committee of its position as soon as possible. Yesterday Ilyuschenko said he opposed admission of observer since [Page 991] ECITO is provisional organization operating chiefly in western European countries while UNRRA primarily concerned with Eastern Europe. New vote was then taken with decision favoring admission of ECITO observer. Soviet Zecho and Yugo opposed motion.
  1. Neither printed. Telegram 6517 transmitted a report of the June 26 meeting of the Committee of the Council for Europe (CCE) at which the resolution under reference in this telegram was introduced; a copy of the text was quoted in airgram A–717. The resolution stated that shipments of supplies to Greece during May and those scheduled for June and July amounted to 70 percent of the total allocated for Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Albania, and Italy, although Greece contained only approximately 10 percent of the population of these countries. The resolution cited four Council resolutions as being contravened including Resolution 7, paragraph 1 of which stipulated that no discrimination on political grounds be made in the distribution of relief supplies. (840.50 UNRRA/6–2845)
  2. Vladimir Rybar, Yugoslav Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Delegate on the Committee of the Council for Europe.
  3. Robert G. A. Jackson, Senior Deputy Director General of UNRRA.
  4. Nicolai Ivanovich Feonov, Deputy Director General, Department of Supply, European Regional Office of UNRRA.
  5. Ernest F. Penrose, special assistant for economic affairs to the American Ambassador in London, and alternate U.S. Delegate on the CCE.
  6. Ivan Arsentievich Iliuschenko, Soviet Delegate on the CCE.
  7. William J. Hasler, alternate United Kingdom Delegate on the CCE.
  8. European Central Inland Transport Organization. For documentation on discussions regarding the establishment of a European Inland Transport Organization, and Conference Held at London, October 10, 1944, to September 27, 1945, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. ii, pp. 743 ff.