THE C.R.B. RESIGNS AND RESUMES
By the end of February, 1916, the various embarrassments besetting the Commission were becoming wholly intolerable to my colleagues and to me. The chief members of our staff were volunteers who had abandoned their careers, were paying their own expenses, and were carrying on an enormous task of purchasing, transporting, and distributing huge quantities of supplies, as well as providing their guardianship and accounting, in the middle of a war. All of this required working twelve hours a day, seven days a week, and it brought many personal dangers, as well as constant, bitter, and unnecessary discouragements. To help make clear the major step which the C.R.B. now took, I must briefly review the impasse we had reached.
First, the exiled Belgian Government at Le Havre was paying little heed to our pleas for the use of their Belgian-owned but British- registered ships.
Second, although we were trying to save the Northern French, at their own Government's request and expense, we were given not a single cargo vessel from the considerable French fleet, and, out of sheer stupidity, French officials had prevented us from securing German refugee ships which might have been used for the relief of the French people.
Third, Brand Whitlock, the American Minister in Brussels and a fine American, was not the type of man for the rough-stuff into which he had been precipitated. He was too sensitive a person to be American Minister amidst such suffering and tragedy. He shrank from