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THE SATURDAY EVENING POST 17 PHOTO. FROM EDWIN LEVICN, NEW TORE CITY A White Flag With " Commission for Relief in Belgium" in Red Letters Safeguards Bach Relief Ship foolish to give them food without payment, even though they should consent to take it on those terms. Ten ounces of food a day—about a quarter of the average amount consumed by the average adult in this country—is the amount allowed to each adult in Belgium. No matter how much money he may have, he cannot purchase more; and the entirely destitute receive as much. It was a group of Americans in Brussels, headed by Brand Whitlock, American Minister to Belgium, that first brought to the attention of the outside world—early last October—the unhappy conditions existing there. This group of Americans did more than give warning, it resolved itself into a temporary relief committee, the membership of which included prominent Belgians, and sent Millard K. Shaler, an American resident of Brussels, to England with $100,000 to purchase provisions. Mr. Shaler bought a shipload of wheat, rice, beans and peas, 2500 tons in all; but diplomatic difficulties prevented its shipment until the end of the month, when, through the efforts of Ambassador Page, in London, Ambassador Gerard, in Berlin, and the State Department at Washington, permission was received from both the British and German Governments to send the then sorely needed supplies through the war zone, provided the undertaking was carried out under American auspices and control. Mr. Hoover's Stirring Appeal THE relief movement was now transferred to London; and, in response to an urgent appeal from Minister Whitlock, Ambassador Page and a few American residents of the British metropolis organized the Commission for Relief in Belgium by merging four benevolent bodies that had come into existence when the potentiality of famine first became a live issue—the American, Spanish and Italian Commissions for Relief in Belgium, and the Comite National de Secours et d'Alimentation—Relief and Sustenance— of Belgium. The American and Spanish Ministers in Brussels, the American Minister at The Hague, and the American Ministers at Paris and Berlin were made honorary chairmen of the commission, and Herbert C. Hoover, an American mining engineer engaged in business in London and a man of extraordinary force and ability, was made its chairman and executive head. It was Mr. Hoover, by the way, who led the movement for the relief of Americans stranded in Europe just after the war began, which experiment in philanthropy seems only to have given him zest for the greater adventure. On October thirty-first Mr. Hoover sent a stirring appeal through the newspapers to the people of the United States on behalf of the imperiled Belgians, which appeared in conjunction with a message from their king, written under fire on the battleline in Flanders. "Americans must feed Belgium this winter," was Mr. Hoover's challenge to his countrymen. "There was never such a call on American charity and there never was a famine emergency so great. The problem is immediate. The Belgians are helping themselves, but they can do little; the British and French are under such a strain that they likewise can do little. Besides, these nations, together with the Dutch, have a million refugees on their hands. This is not a question of relief to the chronic poor; it is a question of feeding an entire population. The situation affects the wealthy and the well-to-do as well as the poor. It touches every home in Belgium." It was two weeks later when, on an urgent cabled request from Mr. Hoover, who from long personal and business association with Mr. Bates knew his marvelous capacity for organization and administration, that gentleman took up the work of the commission in the United States as vice chairman. Mrs. Bates immediately organized the Woman's Section of the commission, with which more than 6,000,000 of her sex are to-day affiliated, and Lindon Bates, Junior, became his father's first lieutenant. The death of this gifted young man, by drowning in the Lusitania disaster—already, at thirty-two years of age, distinguished as a writer, eminent in his father's profession and famous as an explorer— while on an errand of mercy to Belgium, is one of the saddest tragedies of the war. He is as surely a martyr to the Belgian cause as though he had died defending her soil. Mr. Bates began a whirlwind canvass of the United States on Monday, November sixteenth, in his office in the Empire Building. Robert D. McCarter, a professional associate, became honorary secretary of the commission, and William E. Hall its legal adviser; Herbert R. Eldridge, vice president of the National City Bank, and Alexander J. Hemphill, president of the Guaranty Trust Company, looked after the finances; Will Irwin established a publicity bureau. Time was Mr. Bates' first consideration, for it takes only a few days for a human being to starve, and Belgium's own food supply was now entirely exhausted. The first food from London—the 2500 tons purchased by Mr. Shaler, with another 1000 tons from the same source, had been distributed in the stricken country early in November, just as the starvation point was reached. It had been followed by 10,000 tons of wheat purchased by the commission on the Baltic Exchange in London. In immediate response to Mr. Hoover's appeal to America, the Rockefeller Foundation sent 3500 tons of foodstuffs, which left New York November fourth on the Massapequa. John Wanamaker had sent 1740 tons of food on the Thelma, leaving Philadelphia on the twelfth, and had the Orne loading 2000 tons more at Philadelphia. It was up to Mr. Bates to have enough food for 7,000,000 people at the gates of Belgium immediately when these supplies were exhausted, and to keep up the supply indefinitely. The job was a bigger one than the feeding of the contending armies of Europe, whose commissaries were the result of years of studied preparation and whose supplies were at hand. Food for the Belgians must be carried from 3000 to 8000 miles, and must be begged before it could be loaded. The first day Mr. Bates went into office as vice chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium telegrams went out to the governors of the forty-odd states of the Union, and to the mayors of every city of more than 200,000 population in those states; follow-up letters pursued the telegrams the same day. Five hundred personal letters to five hundred prominent men of Mr. Bates' acquaintance throughout the country gave immediate impetus to the movement for a nation's succor. In response to Mr. Hoover's appeal of October thirty-first societies for relief in Belgium were already springing into ex- istence everywhere, and Mr. Bates' first move was to bring these organizations under one head in each statewhere they existed. State committees under a single head were organized in thirty-seven states, to each one complete autonomy being given within its own borders, and all making daily reports to New York. That there might be the least possible delay in getting action on the part of the state committees, Mr. Bates laid out their work for them to a great extent. At their first meetings minute instructions as to methods of procedure reached these committees. Constitutions and by-laws, ready drawn, obviated the necessity of giving time to such details, and directions as to the organization of a state by towns, counties and school districts made the beginning of active work immediately possible. Every state committee was authorized to use the commission's letterhead, containing the names and titles of all its members, imposingly led by those of the seven ambassadors and ministers who formed the board of honorary chairmen, and to put their own names on this august sheet in red letters. Letter forms, to be used in the relief propaganda, were sent to the committees, and they were notified that they might print and mail, at the expense of the commission, 2000 letters to mayors, 2000 to clergymen, 10,000 to prospective contributors, as well as 10,000 general letters. More than 200 letter and other forms were incorporated for the use of the commission and the state committees. High•Pressure Publicity Work UNDER the direction of Mr. Bates, at the beginning of the campaign the most eminent food experts combined their talents to ascertain the combinations of food of the greatest nutritive value and least cost that might be packed in the minimum space, in order that the smaller contributors to the relief of the starving nation might purchase intelligently; and the United States was sown with copies of the pamphlet, Food for Belgium, which gave tables of foods and quantities, with the approximate cost, that might be purchased at almost any grocery store. Literature for purposes of propaganda went out from the commission's headquarters literally by the ton. And it was not all of it literature considered merely from the advertising point of view. Will Irwin wrote The Babes of Belgium, visiting that country for the purpose; and his booklet went all over America. The Needs of Belgium, a pamphlet containing articles specially written for the commission by Thomas Hardy, May Sinclair, Arnold Bennett, Anthony Hope, John Galsworthy, A. E. W. Mason and George Bernard Shaw, reached almost every home in the United States. Other well-known authors to contribute articles for the commission, that were circulated north, south, east and west, were Beatrice Harraden, Mrs. Humphry Ward, Father Bernard Vaughan, Marie Corelli and Compton Mackenzie. The commission's handbooks, circulars and bulletins fell. on the states in cloudbursts; 3,500,000 of them have been printed and 3,000,000 have been distributed. Three-color placards, representing scenes in Belgium, with printed instructions underneath for sending money and food thither, were sent to every grocer in America whose financial rating was above $5000; one of these placards was hung in every post office and express office in the country, as well as in store and shop windows everywhere. Four thousand wholesale grocers and 13,000 banks were specially circularized in the effort to get these placards before the people. The commission is sending information to-day to a list of 2630 newspapers and magazines; it manages a speakers' bureau, whose members are touring the country; and it is issuing lantern slides and producing moving pictures giving a pictorial history of its work. r.to FROM PAUL THO, • .7 There is No Question of the Gratitude of the Belgians to the United States


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