Louis Marshall, in a press interview following the demand of Max D. Steuer for a public accounting of the funds collected and distributed by the Joint Distribution Committee, said that so far as he is concerned, the matter is a “closed book.”
“The statement made Saturday by Felix M. Warburg, member of the firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co.; Herbert H. Lehman, of Lehman Brothers, and Paul Baerwald of Lazard Freres,” said Mr. Marshall, “goes into the matter fully and makes it unnecessary to add anything. I am not going to indulge in any controversy with Mr. Steuer.”
Julius Rosenwald of Chicago, who is a member of the committee, donated more than $3,000,000, Mr. Marshall added, and Mr. Warburg has contributed more than $1,000,000.
“In fact, every member of the committee has given largely,” said Mr. Marshall. “These are men who fully understand the value of money and can be trusted entirely in making it do the most work.
“I do not see how Polish bankers could have profited largely through handling the exchange because the money merely passed through their hands at the established rates, over which the committee had no control. In a very large measure we distributed our own supplies, but in some instances where the terrible conditions brought about by constant warfare made it exceedingly dangerous, if not impossible to transport supplies without having the drivers of wagons murdered on the way, we were forced to buy local stores.
“In some instances we were forced to pay high prices for necessities, but they had to be purchased to save human life and relieve great suffering. We can hardly be blamed for the conditions which made this necessary.
“Mr. Steuer started by saying that American representatives of the fund stole part of the money. After my statement he took back that part and said that the loss was in exchange, but that he had no personal knowledge of it. His information, he said, was obtained last month at Zurich. I believe it came from certain disgruntled gentlemen from Poland regarding things that happened eight years before and was given and received without regard to what the conditions in Poland were at that time. It is utterly useless further to discuss the question,” Mr. Marshall declared.