On February 7, President Truman discussed the Indian famine situation with the following group at the White House: former President Hoover; Secretary Acheson; Assistant Secretary McGhee; Charles F. Brannan, Secretary of Agriculture; Stanley Andrews, Director of Foreign Agricultural Relations, Department of Agriculture; [Page 2113]William C. Foster, Administrator of the Economic Cooperation Administration; D. A. Fitzgerald, Director, Food and Agriculture Division, ECA; James K. Knudson, Defense Transport Administrator; Frederick J. Lawton, Director, Bureau of the Budget; and W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President. Following the meeting, Mr. Hoover spoke in favor of aid to India to members of the press; his remarks were acknowledged by President Truman in his news conference of February 8. (See transcript of news conference in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1951, page 147.)
On February 8, a formal appeal to the United States Government for emergency assistance to India in the form of two million tons of grain was made in a note by the Indian Chargé in the United States, M. K. Kirpalani, to the Secretary of State (891.2311/2–851). The text of the note is printed in a report of February 20 prepared by the Department of State for the information of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs entitled India Emergency Food Aid Program (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1951), page 11.