I felt that it would help us to secure French subsidies for our work in Northern France if, prior to such negotaitions, I could obtain adequate undertaking from the Germans to leave our imported and native food alone. Therefor, on March 9,1915, I wrote Ambassador Gerard that any real action on our part would depend on getting such guarantees:


...It is... necessary that we should have undertaking from German Government that these goodstuffs will not be interfered with in any manner and that we shall be allowed to place in this territory at least five American members of Commission and shall have the right to move about in full superintendence of the work of distribution...As the matter is one of urgent humanitarian interest I trust that you will again lend us your kindly services and that the German Government will meet us in a liberal and prompt manner...


The Ambassador informed me that Foreign Minister von Jagow had told him that the German Army would co-operate and had advised that we settle details of the guarantees with German Headquarters at Charleville. I had suggested that if the Germans objected to American civilians amid their operation armies, we might arrange to have the supervision of the Relief carried out by neutral army officers in uniform. On March 21, however, the German Foreign Office informed Gerard that this was not necessary.


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An American Epic - Vol. 1
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