Reported in the News Letter on February 28, 1947: Food plan to feed starving Germans

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An Anglo-American campaign to feed Germany, costing each country £119,000,000 in 18 months, has been recommended to President Truman by Mr Herbert Hoover, who made an economic tour of Germany.

He proposes that a German-operated fleet of 75 Liberty ships should carry food from the United States and South America and fish from Scandinavia to Germany, and America should lease Germany fishing vessels. The immediate use of United States Army surplus rations and other excess rations is recommended to begin the scheme at once.

There should be soup kitchens in Germany to provide hot meals of at least 350 calories for 3,500,000 German children and aged, and there should be increased rations for 17,810,000 “normal consumers”.

Mr Hoover urges that it should be stipulated in all peace agreements that the cost to the Allied countries shall be repaid from any future German net exports before any other payments to other nations of any kind. He asks for the maximum speeding up of German exports.

“The great mass of Germans – in food, warmth and shelter– have been sunk to the lowest level known in 100 years of Western civilisation,” he says.

“The housing shortage is the worst modern civilisation has ever seen.”