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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, February 20, 1947



Dearest Mildred—You’ve perhaps heard from Bill that I’m still stuck here. The circumstances are peculiar. UNRRA,The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), an international relief agency representing forty-four nations. Founded in 1943 by U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it became part of the United Nations in 1945. Its purpose was to provide relief to the victims of war in any area under the control of any of the forty-four nations through the provision of food, fuel, clothing, shelter, and medical and other essential services. wishing to choose it’s [sic] own time for the departure of its officials, devised a scheme by which those who stay as long as they’re wanted get a bonus, when they finally are released, which bonus increases as time goes on. If the official resigns, he forfeits the bonus. Now, I’m entitled (if I stay as long as I’m wanted) to a relatively comfy bonus, already, and it increases with each month, I can’t resign without losing the entire bonus. That’s why I’m stuck here.

The work is livelier than ever. And I’ve lost my trained staff. In Dec., I was informed that my mission was to close on 13 Jan., wherefore my staff naturally looked for other jobs—and as they had been carefully trained by me, they speedily found what they sought, at much higher salaries than I could get UNRRA to pay them. So they left me on 31 Jan., and now I’m struggling with old drag-outs, who are all I can find, for the short time the show continues. Tentative closing date is now 31 March, but that’s far from certain.

As soon as I am clear of UNRRA, I mean to make for your side of the water—subject to what plans you may have, for I don’t want to arrive over there and find you’ve left for France. So please let me know your programme, dearest.

I was delighted to receive the D.O. publications,See letter of March 24, 1947. which I have regaled myself on. Many thanks for having them sent to me.

Elisina is well—much better than she was last year. She’s here.

Fondest love to you and Robert, dearest Mildred



Associated Places: Geneva [Genève] (Switzerland)