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No. 304 of March 21, that His Majesty's Government have no objection to the despatch of the mission provided it be so recognized by the United States Government and that this recognition be notified to the enemy, in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva convention.
This Government has no objection to the formation of this unit but in view of the fact that the United States has not declared war on Turkey, that no American troops are engaged on that front, and inasmuch as the Zionist Medical Unit is to be employed with the British forces in Palestine, it appears that the notification to the enemy should properly be made by His Majesty's Government.
In the correspondence which the Department has had with the Provisional Zionist Committee regarding this medical unit, it appears that they desire to use as their emblem “the Red Shield of David.” While not disapproving this emblem, the Department is pointing out to the Committee the possibility of confusion by the use of too many emblems in the field, and suggesting the advisability of adopting the Red Cross which emblem is internationally recognized as the distinctive sign of the sanitary service. It is possible that you may care to note this fact in connection with the final acceptance of the service of this unit with the British military forces. I am [etc.]
File No. 867.48/856
WASHINGTON, May 17, 1918. MY DEAR LORD READING: With reference to my letter to you of May 9, 1918, and in order to comply with the requirements of the War Industries Board, Council of National Defense, in connection with the shipment of certain medical supplies for the use of the American Zionist Medical Unit which is about to proceed to Palestine, I am sending you herewith a memorandum officially recognizing this Unit as a society authorized to lend the services of its sanitary personnel and formations to the British Government. I am [etc.]
MEMORANDUM The United States of America pursuant to the practice outlined in article 2 of the convention for the amelioration of conditions
of the armies in the field, signed at Geneva, July 6, 1906 (which the United States does not consider as binding on it in the present war), hereby officially recognizes the American Zionist Medical Unit of Palestine as a society authorized to lend the services of its sanitary personnel and formations to the British Government, and consents to its doing so.
Since the United States is not at war with Turkey where the Zionist Unit is to be employed, the society is to be regarded as a society of a neutral state whose function in accordance with existing practice is merely to recognize officially the said Unit and to consent to its use. It is presumed that the British Government which is the belligerent to accept the assistance of this Unit, will desire to notify the enemy before making any use of the Unit.
WASHINGTON, May 17, 1918.
File No. 867.48/889
WASHINGTON, June 14, 1918. MY DEAR LORD READING: Referring to your note No. 304 of March 21, 1918, and my communication of May 9, relating to the request of the Provisional Zionist Committee to send a medical unit to Palestine, I now beg to submit the following lists of doctors and nurses comprising the personnel of the Unit:
[Here follow the lists.]
It is my understanding that His Majesty's Government will attend to the notification to the enemy concerning the Unit which, I am informed, is leaving the United States for Palestine immediately. I am [etc.]
File No. 867.48/895
The Secretary of State to the Chamber of Commerce, Columbus, Ohio
WASHINGTON, July 16, 1918. GENTLEMEN: The Department begs to refer again to your letter of June 12, 1918, regarding the work of the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief and to reply as follows to your inquiries.
The funds of this Committee are forwarded to Western Asia through this Department and under licenses granted by the War
Trade Board. The work is conducted for the relief of Armenian, Syrian, Greek and other subject races of Western Asia and it is administered by more than one hundred American citizens, educators, physicians, missionaries and others who have remained at their posts for the purpose of administering this relief. The field of activity of the Committee includes Persia, Mesopotamia, and Palestine, as well as the subject races of the Ottoman Empire. No food or actual currency is sent into Turkey but credits only which permit the Committee's representatives to secure food locally and to administer relief to the subject races.
The work of the Committee is conducted with the approval of the Department of State, which, however, does not assume any responsibility for its activities.
The Department has been informed by the American Red Cross that the Red Cross has contributed from its war fund considerable sums of money for the use of this Committee in Turkey, Serbia, Persia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and adjacent countries. The Red Cross expresses the opinion that the Committee is well organized and that it administers these funds for relief measures in an efficient manner. The Red Cross states that this Committee operates in a territory where great suffering and great need for relief are prevalent and that the Committee is the only relief agency with the exception of the Red Crescent recognized by the Turkish Government.
The Red Cross adds that their relationship to the Committee has been very close. A statement regarding the interrelationship of the American Red Cross and the Committee is contained in the publication of the American Red Cross, " The Work of the American Red Cross No. II," on page 92, enclosed herewith. I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
File No. 867.48/959b
WASHINGTON, July 22, 1918. GENTLEMEN : I beg to inform you that this Department is inclined to view with favor certain relaxations in the amount of relief remittances for Turkey and remittances for the maintenance of American educational and philanthropical institutions in Turkey.
The Department would accordingly be glad to see licenses granted for the remittance of the following sums for the purpose stated:
$100, 000 200,000 200, 000 10,000 5, 000 5, 000 5, 000 10,000 50, 000 100,000
This total of $690,000 is to cover arrearages of these institutions since July 1, 1918, and to permit continuance of the work of the various institutions to July 1, 1919.
American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief -
This sum is in the nature of a reimbursement for amounts paid out by the various local relief committees prior to the recent reduction in the monthly allotment or in partial ignorance of the limits which were to be observed.
The Department would further regard with favor an increase in the amount allotted for the months of July, August, September, 1918, for the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief from $119,200 to $200,000. This sum of $200,000 would accordingly include both individual and general relief. It is understood that the Committee has made application for the month of July for a total remittance of $119,200. The increase for July would, therefore, be $80,800 yet to be applied for. I am [etc.]
FRANK L. POLK
File No. 763.72/11594
[Extract] No. 112
CAIRO, August 24, 1918.
[Received September 30.] Sir: Believing that it would prove of interest to the Department to have a report on some of the work I have performed the past seven months growing out of the British occupation of Palestine I have the honor to submit a résumé of same.
* Total should be $685,000 unless there is an error in the items.
Soon after my arrival in Egypt last January various Jewish organizations in America became active in their endeavor to send financial relief to Palestine (Jerusalem having been captured by the British forces), and I was called upon to investigate and report upon the condition of the people and the measures of relief most needed. At the same time the Jews in Egypt were making similar plans and finally organized the “Special Committee for the Relief of Jews in Palestine.” I think I may say that it was largely due to my efforts that cooperation between American and Egyptian Jews took place and that general relief work became centralized in the local Committee. This tended to bring about systematic organization and effective control, and brought the work into more harmonious touch with the military authorities who exercise, of course, absolute authority over all matters in the Holy Land.
When the “Special Committee” in Cairo with its subcommittees in Palestine became organized, I notified the Joint Distribution Committee in New York, and thereafter American relief funds commenced to flow into Palestine through the intermediary of this office.
Upon the arrival in Egypt of the International Zionist Commission, headed by Doctor Weizmann, all Jewish relief work was absorbed by the Commission. Doctor Weizmann called at the Agency with the members of his Commission to confer with me on the subject of relief in Palestine and other matters, and it was finally decided to establish an office in Cairo, to represent the Commission in relief matters, with Mr. Jack Mosseri in charge thereof.
I have continued to act as the intermediary for the transmission of all relief funds from America to Palestine-both for general purposes and for individual cases. Many tens of thousands of dollars have been and are being handled by this office for such relief.
AMERICAN RED CROSS COMMISSION TO PALESTINE
The American Red Cross Commission to Palestine, under the command of Col. St. John Ward, arrived in Egypt early in June last. Before proceeding to Jerusalem Colonel Ward and most of the members of the Commission came to Cairo to complete their organization and make certain necessary arrangements for their work in Palestine.
Colonel Ward and his principal officers called at the Agency to confer with me and enlist my advice and assistance particularly in their relations with the local officials and others.
Mrs. Gary and I entertained Colonel Ward and the members of his party to tea the day after their arrival in Cairo.