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I wish to draw attention to your report of the Auckland Metropolitan Patriotic Committee's meeting of last Tuesday night. This matter was brought up mainly because of the continual fight Avhich the Patriotic committees throughout New Zealand have had for the last five and a half years to try and offset the belief on the part of the citizens of New Zealand, consistently fostered by Press references, that it was the Red Cross that was supplying the parcels to prisoners-of-war. During the course of , my remarks. I pointed out that up to a matter of two years ago, the prisoner-of-war parcels cost the Patriotic Funds £1 per week per head for each prisoner receiving a parcel, and that these parcels were distributed throughout the prisoner-of-war camps by the International Red Cross, with headquarters in Geneva. That body, as is well known, is the only one permitted to do the work of distribution and had no hand in the collection of funds from the citizens of this Dominion. Some two years ago, the Government agreed, upon representations being made by the National Patriotic Fund Board, to subsidise the food content-: of the parcels, but the added comforts such as cigarettes, writing materials, books for study, were paid for from the National Patriotic Fund. To show how the Reel Cross receives credit for something to which it is not entitled. I referred to the action of returned prisoners-of-war making a donation to the Whangarei sub-centre of the Red Cross as a token of gratitude for the work the Red Cross had done in providing prisoner-of-war parcels. It would seem abundantly clear that the donors were not aware of the part the National Patriotic Fund Board played in providing these much valued parcels. Far be it from me to enter into a Press controversy with the Red Cross, but I feel that in justice to my fellow members of the Auckland Metropolitan Patriotic Committee and other Patriotic workers throughout New Zealand, it is time—even at this late stage—that citizens of New Zealand learned the truth regarding the use of their donations, so -far as the prisoner-of-war parcels are concerned, and that the descriptio'n of parcels as "Red Cross parcels" should cease. A. PECKSTON.

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Bibliographic details

CREDIT FOR P.O.W. PARCELS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 189, 11 August 1945

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CREDIT FOR P.O.W. PARCELS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 189, 11 August 1945