Truman Letter to Committee Chairmen on Financing UN Palestine Refugee Program

(July 27, 1951)


My dear___________:

I wish to call to your attention a critical situation which now exists with respect to the financing of the Palestine Refugee Program of the United Nations. This program of relief to Arab refugees displaced from Palestine was carried on during the fiscal year 1951 through contributions from participating countries, including a contribution from the United States of $25,450,000. The Mutual Security Program now before the Congress includes a request of $50,000,000 for the United States contribution to this program in the fiscal year 1952.

In the July Joint Resolution making temporary appropriations, no provision was made for the Palestine Refugee Program. The program was carried forward during July, however, through the use of existing stocks and funds from other sources. Available resources are now nearly exhausted.

One of the principal causes of tension in the Near East is the miserable state of the hundreds of thousands of Arab refugees from Palestine. A major step forward was recently made when the Arab League went on record in favor of a massive program of resettlement of Palestinian refugees in the Arab States. Grave damage to this program is likely to result if the present aid program collapses because of a temporary shortage of funds.

I therefore urgently request that the pending continuing resolution provide $2,000,000 for the month of August and $3,000,000 for the month of September. Such a contribution is essential to prevent the starvation of many refugees and to avoid a deterioration in the present critical situation in the Near East.

Respectfully yours,

HARRY S. TRUMAN


Source: Public Papers of the President