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March 8, 1935, Page 3

Red Cross Responds to Accusations
    Made by John Spivak in Mercury

Disproves Statements Characterizing Red Cross As War
      Machine; Refutes Charges Which Allege
            Class Discrimination In Relief

               The Central Committee of the American National Red Cross has authorized a statement in answer to the accusations made by John L. Spivak in the November issue of The American Mercury. Spotlight of December 7 printed a resume of Mr. Spivak's twenty charges in which he characterizes the Red Cross as "a war machine, only incidentally interested in relief work "

            According to the Mercury article, the Red Cross has set four million dollars' aside for a special war reserve fund.

      The Red Cross statement explains that "in 1919 ten million dollars of funds from the World War were set aside for possible war needs. In1921, five million dollars, and in 1931 one million dollars were withdrawn to meet excess expenditures for draught relief; of the balance of four mil lion dollars referred to by the Mercury writer, the interest is to be used for peacetime work of the Red Cross. the principal to be available for the first emergencies of war relief."

            In response to Mr. Spivak's allegation, that the Red Cross, in distributing relief and aid. discriminates against classes and races, the Central Committee's pamphlet, referring to the special instances cited by Mr. Spivak, says:

            "Relief was in charge of an Imperial Commission aided by the Japanese Red Cross. The only function of the American Red Cross was the collection and transmission of money and supplies. Our information is that relief was administered to the needy without distinction."

            In response to the assertion that "relief was distributed to whites in preference to Negroes," the Red Cross article points out that during the Mississippi Flood relief work, a Colored Advisory Commission, composed of the leaders of Negro educational, religious. and philanthropic organizations, gave attention to the relief work as it progressed, and stated in their report:

            "The American National Red Cross made no differentiation in its policies between individuals or racial groups.

            "Of the 637,476 persons who were given Red Cross Relief following the Mississippi flood, 403,280 were colored."

            Replying to the charge that National Guards, acting under Red Cross orders. "watched the Negroes who were bound by debts to the landowners and might take this opportunity of throwing off their peonage," the Red Cross report asserts: "Never have the guardsmen of any state acted upon Red Cross orders, nor has the Red Cross ever employed guardsmen or attempted to give them orders."

            The Red Cross Report quotes testimonials from Tennessee miners to refute the accusation that the American National Red Cross discriminates against strikers:

            "We, the striking miners members of the United Mine Workers of America, feel that the National Red Cross is supreme and worths of contributions from all workers."

            In his charge that the ARC "ignored and deliberately starved millions as a measure to overthrow a government which American business did not like," Mr. Spivak confuses the work of the American Red Cross and the American Relief Administration, which are two separate and distinct organizations. The total expenditures of the American Relief Administration for relief in Russia was $63,174.848.78 of which $3,804, 863.15 was contributed by the American Red Cross in the form of medical supplies.

            In answer to the charge that money collected for the Red Cross is deposited in Morgan-controlled interests, the Red Cross article explains that the stock in the Morgan-controlled International Telegraph and Telephone Company, which Mr. Spivak uses as an instance, was bequeathed to the Red Cross by the late Major James A. Scrymser with the provision that the stock must be held during ten years and not sold during that time.

            "Deposits," according to the statement of the Central committee, "were made because those banks are sound, solvent banks .. All kept open one hundred per cent."

            The Red Cross statement asserts that some thousands of copies of the Annual Report of the American National Red Cross are printed for public distribution. "Anyone desiring to know the facts as to transactions of the Red Cross may easily ascertain them; this attack, accordingly, does not grow out of any lack of information."


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May 20, 2004