Editorial Note

The United States participated actively in UNRRA and its programs throughout 1946, as a member of the UNRRA Council and as the chief contributor to UNRRA (72%). Documentation concerning U.S. relations with UNRRA in respect of individual country relief programs is found under the countries concerned.

It was in 1946 that this Government made its decision that the remaining relief needs of countries after 1946 could best be handled through direct consultation and arrangements between supplying and recipient governments, and that consequently the United States would make no further contributions for UNRRA activities after December 31, 1946. Unpublished documentation concerning the formulation of this decision is found in Department of State indexed file 840.50 UNRRA, in particular the following: Memorandum, Persinger to Wood, “Proposal for Relief Financing in 1947”, May 16, 1946, File No. 840.50 UNRRA/5–1646; Memorandum, Wood to Clayton, “Relief Needs After Termination of Present UNRRA Program”, May 21, 1946, File No. 840.50 UNRRA/5–2146; Letter, British Embassy to Department of State, May 22, 1946, File No. 840.50 UNRRA/5–2246; Memorandum, Dort to Wood and Clayton, June 20, 1946, File No. 840.50 UNRRA/6–2046; and Memorandum, Persinger to Lowe, “Official Report [by the United States Delegation] of the Fifth Session of UNRRA”, October 2, 1946, 840.50 UNRRA/10–246.

The United States decision to end financial support of UNRRA as of the end of 1946 was officially stated at the Fifth Session of the UNNRA Council (August 1946) by Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs William L. Clayton acting in his capacity as U.S. Member of the Council. The United States position was reaffirmed at the second part of the first session of the General Assembly of the United Nations meeting at New York City October–December 1946, by Mr. Adlai E. Stevenson, U.S. representative on the Second Committee of the General Assembly. At the United Nations a critical discussion of this position developed within the United States Delegation itself, and is recorded in the unpublished Delegation Minutes for [Page 1447] November 12, 13, 15, and 26, 1946 which are located in the files of the Reference and Documents Section of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs of the Department of State. The Department of State’s insistence on holding to its decision is recorded in an unpublished memorandum of telephone conversation between Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson and the Chairman of the U.S. Delegation, Senator Warren E. Austin, November 13, 1946, File No. 501.BB/11–346. Public discussion at the United Nations is contained in the Summary Record of the meetings of the Second Committee.

Important public statements setting forth this U.S. policy, aside from those at the United Nations, were made by Assistant Secretary Clayton on July 30, 1946 (Department of State Bulletin, August 11, 1946, page 268), by Mr. C. Tyler Wood, Special Assistant to Mr. Clayton, on November 28, 1946 (ibid., December 8, 1946, page 1059), and by Under Secretary of State Acheson on December 8, 1946 (ibid., December 15, 1946, page 1107.