Government Policy on Immediate Relief for People in Occupied Europe Remains Unchanged

A strong plea for the sending of immediate relief to starving people in countries of occupied Europe was made today by former President Herbert Hoover testifying before a sub-committee of the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations, in support of a resolution introduced jointly by Senators Guy M. Gillettee, Iowa Democrat, and Robert A. Taft, Ohio Republican.

Within ninety minutes after Hoover completed his testimony, Acting Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., said that the United States Government has not reconsidered its policy of refusing to breach the blockade of German-occupied Europe. He also announced that Assistant Secretary of State Dean Acheson would be our representative on the council of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. The UNRRA, which goes to work at Atlantic City next Wednesday, will probably be asked to take up the problem of immediate relief.

In making his plea, Hoover said that any military opinion against sending relief at once to Nazi-occupied Europe should be overridden by civilian leaders. “We had military opposition at the beginning of the last war too,” he testified, “but by the end of the war the British military men themselves protested against an attempt of the American general staff to halt relief work.” Gen. John J. Pershing and Admiral William D. Leahy, the President’s chief of staff, have both spoken out strongly in favor of immediate relief, Hoover said.

The former President attacked the idea that relief supplies sent through the blockade could materially help the Germans. He pointed to the system now working in Greece, by which we and the Canadians send relief supplies in chartered Swedish ships, to be distributed by neutral Swedes and Swiss.

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