Allen Wardwell to Jane Addams, February 3, 1923

Russian Famine Fund

February 3, 1923

Miss Jane Addams
800 South Halsted Street
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Miss Addams:

The Russian Famine Fund has been urged to make a further appeal for Russian relief. Five or six weeks ago the Executive Committee determined to make such an appeal and to distribute any undesignated funds which came in between the American Relief Administration and the American Friends, upon a basis later to be determined. This resolution was not carried out, because the America Relief Administration determined not to make any appeal and because, in the light of existing circumstances, it did not seem that we could in fairness proceed, without further action by our Executive Committee. There have been a number of conferences between your Chairman and the American Relief Administration and also between members of the Commission of the National Information Bureau, which investigated famine conditions in Russia, representatives of the Community Chests and the American Relief Administration. The American Relief, however, is unwilling to change its policy for the reasons stated in Mr. Hoover's confidential letter to Mr. Burns, Director of the National Information Bureau, a copy of which, except for a few paragraphs which have no direct bearing on this subject, is enclosed herewith.

That there is great need in Russia which probably will not be met unless additional American charity is found is undoubtedly true; that the points raised in Mr. Hoover's letter seriously [affect] the situation and require careful consideration before we undertake such an appeal, is equally true. If there is danger of jeopardizing the very considerable amount of work now being done by pressing a general public appeal, this matter should have careful thought, no matter how desirous we may be to increase the aid to the starving multitudes in Russia. Therefore, will you give this letter, and particularly the enclosure, your very careful consideration, preliminary to a meeting [page 2] of the Executive Committee of the Russian Famine Fund, to be held at my office, 15 Broad Street, on Wednesday, February 7, at 2:30 P.M., at which time it is hoped to reach a final decision on this question.

I sincerely hope that you can arrange to be present at this meeting; but if that should prove impossible, won't you please write to me your views on the subject prior to the meeting, so that we may have all the light possible on this difficult question? I may add that the enclosed letter to Mr. Burns is given me in confidence for the sole purpose for which it is now being used, and that I am personally responsible that no part of it go beyond the members of this Committee.

Very truly yours,

Allen Wardwell [signed]