My dear Governor Lehman:
When President Roosevelt asked you to come to Washington in November, 1942, to establish the Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations it had become apparent that relief for the victims of Axis aggression was no less a part of winning the war than was the supplying of men, materiel and leadership for military operations.
Under your guidance during the intervening war years, the practical concept of mobilizing resources of food, clothing, medicines and other necessities to aid the victims of war was broadened from one of national scope to one of joint responsibility of the United Nations.
As the first Director General of UNRRA you accepted the grave responsibility for this humane task of world-wide proportions. You brought to this task the rich background of your years of selfless service in the fields of philanthropy and of public office as Governor of the State of New York.
Under the trying limitations of supply and distribution imposed by the war, you laid the foundation for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and prepared the structure of international cooperation which now is bringing effective aid to millions of our liberated allies. You gave without stint your time and energy to visit and observe at first hand the areas and peoples liberated by the Allied Armies. You brought home to the people of the United States and our Allies the story of the vast needs which it is our privilege to help meet in order to provide the right and opportunity of men to enjoy the simple elements that make for orderly life.
As supply ships carry to the devastated areas of Europe and Asia the relief goods which UNRRA has sought in every part of the world, the people of the United Nations, no less than those receiving UNRRA aid, will be grateful to you for your part in making possible this collaboration in the interests of lasting peace.
Very sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN