Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt
Reference is made to Mr. Hassett’s memorandum dated April 4, 194513 requesting a report for you on the status of measures to bring relief to the civilian population of the occupied portion of the Netherlands.
The food situation in that area had reached a state of serious deterioration by November 1944. Inquiry was made of General Eisenhower whether he would object from the military point of view to shipments of relief supplies to occupied Holland. He replied that he had no objection and, moreover, indicated the desirability of such shipments. Since December approximately 20,000 tons of relief foodstuffs and medicines have been forwarded. The greater part of supplies thus far sent have been of Swedish origin.
The Department of State and the Foreign Economic Administration recently approved, after further clearance with SHAEF, a British proposal to make further and continued shipments to occupied Holland of relief supplies up to 5,000 tons weekly. Initial shipments will be made from food stockpiles in the United Kingdom.
At the time the report by the delegates of the International Red Cross Committee14 was made, it is believed that distribution of the initial shipments from Sweden had not begun. These shipments plus [Page 19] the further shipments recently authorized should serve materially to alleviate conditions in that area.