Russian Famine Relief Act Article

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Russian Famine Relief Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act for the relief of the distressed and starving people of Russia.
Acronyms (colloquial)RFRA
NicknamesRussian Famine Relief Act of 1921
Enacted bythe 67th United States Congress
EffectiveDecember 22, 1921
Public law 67-117
Statutes at Large42  Stat.  351
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 9548 by Henry Wilson Temple ( RPA) on December 14, 1921
  • Committee consideration by House Foreign Affairs
  • Passed the House on December 17, 1921 ( 188-79)
  • Passed the Senate on December 20, 1921 (Passed)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on December 21, 1921; agreed to by the House on December 21, 1921 (agreed) and by the Senate on December 22, 1921 (agreed)
  • Signed into law by President Warren G. Harding on December 22, 1921

The Russian Famine Relief Act of 1921 authorized the expenditure of $20,000,000 for the purchase of American foodstuffs to send to post revolutionary Russia, for relief of the Russian famine of 1921–22.

The Act was overseen by Herbert Hoover, serving simultaneously as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the head of the American Relief Administration, and signed into law in late December. With the Russian Civil War winding down, and Lenin having implemented the pseudo-Capitalist New Economic Policy (NEP) in order to get the Russian economy back on its feet, some like Hoover and Sen. William E. Borah of Idaho that hoped that the aid would serve as political leverage against the Bolshevik regime.

Others, President Warren G. Harding, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and the business Conservatives within the Administration refused to countenance the idea, unless the Soviets were willing to pay back the money loaned to the Tsar’s regime during the war. Lenin refused, and so while the act was a genuine humanitarian gesture, it accomplished little in changing the tense relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

See also

Droughts and famines in Russia and the Soviet Union
Russian famine of 1601–03
Russian famine of 1891–92

External links

  • Patenaude, Bertrand M. "Hoover Archives: Food as a Weapon". Hoover Digest - Research and Opinion on Public Policy. Hoover Institution. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown ( link)
  • Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Calvin Coolidge: 'First Annual Message', December 6, 1923". The American Presidency Project. University of California - Santa Barbara.
  • "Revelations from the Russian Archives". Exhibitions. United States Library of Congress.