MAY 17, 1946
NEW YORK, Thursday—If I needed any proof of a warmhearted desire on the part of people of this country to help starving people throughout the world, I have had it overwhelmingly since the publication of a magazine article, some weeks ago, in which Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Gould and I talked about European conditions. From all over the country, people have written in asking for the names of families to whom they can send food and clothing regularly; teachers have written in asking for the names of schools to which their pupils can send candy bars. Cities and villages have written in asking for the names of European cities and villages which they can adopt as a whole.
The milk of human kindness is still strong in our United States, and what we have we are willing to share. The Emergency Food collection has got off to a good start, too. And I understand that the same machinery which collected clothing is going to function successfully, though somewhat different methods will have to be used in getting food shipped to Europe.
I have a letter, however, from a gentleman which I think should be answered in this column. He says: "Many people think that the food and materials that are being sent to Europe are gifts paid for out of the Treasury of the United States. An explanation of the matter by you would help serve the program and enlighten the people as to just how it is handled."
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There is, as everybody should know, an international food and agriculture organization to which the 51 United Nations belong. That group studies conditions throughout the world, tries to increase the knowledge of various peoples, and to guide them so that they will grow the things which should be grown in various areas to meet the needs of the world. We are an interdependent world today, and therefore our knowledge of conditions everywhere should increase so that each nation can do the best possible job of providing what's needed, and at the same time know what other nations are doing.
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration responds to the needs of people the world over. The United Nations each pay in a certain percentage of the total revenue, and this money is used to buy whatever can be bought to fill the requirements wherever UNRRA is asked to come to the assistance of suffering humanity.
In addition to this, our government is now setting aside for other nations whatever we can spare in the way of cereals, fats and oils. For some of these things we will get payment in the future. Some will have to go as gifts.
Also, our people, through their churches or organizations, are helping wherever they can to alleviate suffering in the world. And there are in this country relief organizations representing nearly every country that is in need. Our people, especially those who have ties in these various areas, are giving generously to all of these.