Belgium's need PDF (1.3 MB)
Commission for Relief in Belgium 1009 Mills Bldg., San Francisco, Cal. BELGIUM'S NEED. The following statement has been pre- pared by Tracy B. Kittredge, Field Secre- tary in California of the Commission for Relief in Belgium (C. R. B.). Before the outbreak of the war, Mr. Kittredge was traveling on the continent of Europe as a graduate student of history. On the organization of the Belgian Commission by Mr. Herbert Hoover, Mr. Kittredge volun- teered his services, and was in Belgium from December, 1914, to August, 1915, as a delegate of the Commission in charge of the actual distribution of food and clothing in the province of Limbourg. Beside being founded on personal observations, his statements rest on documentary evidence, and are authentic. 1.-WHAT IS THE CONDITION OF BEL- GIUM TODAY? Three million people in Belgium are wholly or partly destitute. Paralyzed by war for eighteen months, ruled by a conquering army, they are fed by charity. To them, the American flag and the letters "C. R. B." (Commission for Relief in Belgium) mean bread and meat, and the possibility of continuing to exist. 11.-WHY IS THERE DANGER OF FAM- INE IN BELGIUM? The products of Belgium's soil will feed its people only one-third of the year, and ordinary imports are stopped. With a population of seven millions, and a density of population of more than six hundred to the square mile, the peo- ple of Belgium in peace times imported seventy per cent of their food supplies. Left to herself Belgium would starve in a few months, as the war has closed all the ordinary channels of importing food.
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