Chapter I

1. Others who took part in these early meetings were: MM. J. Allard, le Comte Cicogna, M. Despret, E. Janssen, F. Van Bree, L. Cousin, L. Solvay, and three Americans---Mr. Hugh Gibson, Secretary of the American Legation, and Messrs. D. Heineman and W. Hulse. The minutes of these meetings are to be found in Rapports mensuels du Comité National de Secours et d'Alimentation. M. Albert Henry has given a full account of these events in his books, L'Oeuvre du Comité National de Secours et d'Alimentation pendant la Guerre and Le Ravitaillement de la Belgique pendant l'Occupation allemande. See also Brand Whitlock, Belgium, A Personal Narrative, 1, pp. 297-301, 340-51, 358-69; Hugh Gibson, A Journal from Our Legation in Belgium, pp. 181-83, 243-44, 279-84, 300-301; and Vernon Kellogg, Fighting Starvation in Belgium, pp. 1-35. back to text

2. Documents 2 and 3. back to text

3. Documents 4 and 11. These telegrams and other correspondence relating to Belgian relief in 1914 are included in the 1914 Supplement, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, pp. 809-24. back to text

4. Document 6. The appeal was in the form of a statement by Shaler. This and other statements made to the press were for the double purpose of informing public opinion of the true conditions in Belgium and of pressing the Washington authorities to give prompt assent to American Participation in relief measures. back to text

5. Document 9. back to text

6. Document 13. back to text

7. Documents 1 and 7. back to text

8. Document 15. The word "American" was dropped from the name of the new committee when the diplomatic representatives of Spain and the Netherlands were invited to become patrons. The active personnel of the committee remained American. back to text

9. Namely, those of Charleroi and Liège. back to text

10. Given out by Hoover in the form of a statement by Millard K. Shaler. From an article in the New York Times of the 13th October 1914, entitled, "Our Word Awaited to Help Brussels." back to text

11. From an article in the New York Sun, 23d October 1914. back to text

12. As a matter of fact MM. Francqui and Lambert came to London as representatives of the Comité Central of Brussels. Upon their return to Belgium after these conferences with Hoover, Page, and others, there was a reorganization of the Comité Central, which early in November became the Comité National de Secours et d'Alimentation. back to text

13. Great Britain---Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons (Fifth Series), Volume LXVIII: 416, 18 Nov. 1914. back to text

14. F. D. Acland, Esq., M.P., Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Affairs. back to text

15. Von der Goltz to Whitlock, 16th October 1914. See Document 7. back to text

Chapter II

16. The C.R.B. did not undertake the responsibility for the relief of the 2,000,000 people in the invaded French territories until April 1915, five months after the commencement of the Belgian work. Since the French territories were governed by German military authorities, while Belgium (except East and West Flanders) was under a German civil government, the functions and activities of the French and Belgian committees were by no means the same. Another reason for distinction between the two national distributing organizations was that the funds turned over to the Commission for relief came from different sources. These and other characteristics of the relief in Northern France are illustrated by the documents in chapter vi. back to text

17. The attitude of the Dutch Government toward Belgian relief was helpful from the beginning. U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1914 Supplement, pp. 820-22. back to text

18. Hoover brought Lucey from Rotterdam to Brussels where, as Director of the Commission in Belgium, he put through the reorganization of the Brussels office. When Lucey returned to the United States at the end of January 1915, A. N. Connett succeeded him in the directorship. back to text

19. See chapter iv. back to text

20. Von Bissing had succeeded von der Goltz as Governor-General in Belgium on the 3d December 1914. back to text

21. Baron von der Lancken as head of the Political Department for the Governor-General addressed a similar letter to the Marquis de Villalobar, Spanish Minister in Brussels. back to text

22. Chapter viii, Document 344. back to text

23. See chapter iv. back to text

24. See chapter viii. back to text

25. See Documents 36-40. back to text

26. See chapter xi. back to text

27. W. B. Poland, then Director of the C.R.B. in Belgium. back to text

28. Document 51 gives the functions of this Department. back to text

29. Robinson Smith, C.R.B. representative in the Province of Hainaut. back to text

30. For memorandum accompanying this letter see chapter iii, Document 77. back to text

31. This memorandum of agreement was submitted to the British Foreign Office for its approval. Hoover signed for the Commission on the 30th December 1916. Francqui (in Paris temporarily) signed on behalf of the Comité National early in January 1917. back to text

32. See chapter xii. back to text

33. Fernand Baetens was appointed representative of the C.R.B. in Belgium beginning with the 1st May 1917. See chapter xii. back to text

Chapter III

34. This is treated in chapters iv, xiii, xiv, and xv. back to text

35. See Documents 69-91. back to text

36. See chapter v. back to text

37. For a statistical summary of importations see Gay, The Commission for Relief in Belgium; Statistical Review of Relief Operations, pp. 18-19. This book gives a complete statistical analysis of the relief operations, and is referred to hereafter as Gay, Statistics. back to text

38. Extract. For full text of telegram see Document 25, chapter ii. back to text

39. Chapter iv. back to text

40. See chapter 1, Document 20, and Gay, Statistics, pp. 38-39. back to text

41. This memorandum had been formulated by Mr. Hoover and presented to Sir Edward Grey by Ambassador Page. back to text

42. Walter Runciman. back to text

43. The negotiations preceding the extension of relief in Northern France are given in chapter vi. back to text

44. Prepared in consultation with the Comité National during Hoover's negotiations with the Germans for the protection of the 1915 harvest. See chapter viii. back to text

45. See Gay, Statistics, pp. 36-37. back to text

46. See chapter viii. back to text

47. See Foreign Office letters of July 7 and 17, Document 341, chapter viii, and Document 38, chapter ii. back to text

48. Nederlandsche Overzee Trustmaatschappij, formed at the suggestion of the British Government to centralize Dutch imports and exports. It was of great assistance to the Allies in maintaining the blockade. back to text

49. In March 1915 the British began the close blockade of Germany with the "Reprisals Order." This and subsequent Orders in Council tightened the blockade and led to sharp controversies with neutral governments, notably with the United States. back to text

50. Blockade matters which at this time were in the hands of the War Trade Advisory Committee were later transferred to the Ministry of Blockade under Lord Robert Cecil. back to text

51. Document 73. The reorganization of the system of inspection and control to meet these British objections is described in chapter ii. back to text

52. This memorandum accompanied Sir Edward Grey's letter to the Marquis de Villalobar of same date, which appears as Document 55 in chapter ii. back to text

53. The German reply was addressed both to Villalobar and to Whitlock. The German text appears in chapter xvii. back to text

54. Document 86. back to text

55. Documents 88, 89, 90. back to text

56. See Gay, Statistics, pp. 54-76. back to text

57. The external organization of the C.R.B. continued to perform its usual functions with minor readjustments. See chapter xii. back to text

58. See Gay, Statistics, pp. 86-89. back to text

59. Draft telegram omitted. back to text

60. See Gay, Statistics, pp. 78-98. back to text

61. The documents relating to the shipping crisis are given in chapter v. 29. back to text

62. See chapter iv. back to text

63. This commission was established early in the war under British presidency to co-ordinate Allied purchases in Great Britain. back to text

64. See Gay, Statistics, pp. 99-121. back to text

65. See chapter xv and Gay, Statistics, pp. 30-31. back to text

66. See Gay, Statistics, pp. 124-125. back to text

67. See chapter xvi and chapter xiii. back to text

68. Detailed statistical analyses of C.R.B. imports are given in Gay, Statistics. back to text

69. These importations plus local products controlled by the relief organization constituted the ration of the occupied territories. For documents on local products see chapter viii. back to text

Chapter IV

70. See chapter i, Document 13, also Document 117 below. back to text

71. These unique exchange operations are explained in Documents 123, 125, and 129, below. back to text

72. Gifts in money and in kind reached the remarkable total of $52,290,835.51. See chapter xv. back to text

73. Chapter xiii. back to text

74. Chapter xiv. back to text

75. Part VIII, Article 232: ". . . Germany undertakes . . . . to make reimbursement of all sums which Belgium has borrowed from the Allied and Associated Governments up to November 11, 1918, together with interest at the rate of five per cent (5%) per annum on such sums. . . . ." The agreement regarding the Dawes Annuities signed at Paris on the 14th January 1925 sets aside a portion of each annuity to be applied to the reimbursement of the Belgian war debt as defined in the Versailles Treaty. Since the United States did not sign the Versailles Treaty, this agreement specifies that the amount due the United States should be paid to Belgium. The United States-Belgian Debt Settlement Agreement takes this into account. Extracts from these agreements are given in chapter xiv. back to text

76. See chapter xiv. Under the terms of the United States-Belgian Debt Settlement Agreement the annual payments on account of the pre-Armistice loans are less than the amounts that Belgium would presumably receive from the portion of the Dawes Annuities ear-marked for this account, and American post-Armistice advances are refunded at such rates of interest and over such lengths of time as to cancel a considerable portion of them. The amount of total concessions has been computed as $291,000,000 on the assumption that 5 per cent interest is a fair rate. Cf. Bank of Manhattan Company, The ABC's of Foreign Debts. back to text

77. See chapter xiv. The total concessions to France under the funding terms agreed to by the United States in 1926 have been computed as $2,500,000,000, on the assumption that 5 per cent interest is a fair rate. Cf. Bank of Manhattan Company, The ABC's of Foreign Debts. back to text

78. Comité Central, Brussels. See chapter i. back to text

79. See chapter iii, Document 64. back to text

80. See chapter v. back to text

81. Beginning in January 1915 the Germans imposed a forced monthly issue of bonds on each of the Belgian provinces. The Belgian banks were then required to purchase these bonds with paper currency guaranteed by the banks and issued through the Société Générale de Belgique which under German decree had become the bank of issue in place of the Banque Nationale de Belgique. Thus the German Government became possessed of the monthly sum of forty million francs with which currency they proceeded to purchase supplies and services in Belgium for the benefit of the German Army. back to text

82. See chapter v. back to text

83. See chapter v. back to text

84. See Document 125. back to text

85. Remittances to individuals and institutions in Belgium through the C.R.B. reached a final total of over $6,000,000. See Gay, Statistics, p. 66. back to text

86. Dr. Wickliffe Rose and Mr. E. P. Bicknell, of the Rockefeller Foundation, after leaving Belgium in December 1915, had made a tour of inspection in Poland and Germany to investigate the situation of populations who had suffered in the war. back to text

87. It was apparent that something must be done to relieve the growing distress among the 2,000,000 people in occupied Northern France. Nevertheless, Hoover realized the uselessness of attempting to organize relief in this new area until he could secure means to handle the Belgian problem successfully. See chapter vi. back to text

88. See chapter xi. back to text

89. Max M. Warburg. back to text

90. Albert Ballin, head of the Hamburg-Amerika Line, a man of broad humanitarian interests, who during the last years of peace had worked diligently for the adjustment of Anglo-German differences. back to text

91. See chapter v. back to text

92. See chapter ii. back to text

93. See chapter v. back to text

94. See chapter ix. back to text

95. See chapter xi. back to text

96. See chapter ii. back to text

97. See chapter iii, Documents 73 and 77. back to text

98. See chapter ii, Documents 38, 50, and 51. back to text

99. From the British Treasury, £750,000, and from the French Treasury, Frs. 18,750,000. The latter realized about £674,000. back to text

100. See Document 135. back to text

101. See chapter xii. back to text

102. Hoover returned to London in March 1917. Beginning with May 1917 his headquarters were Washington. back to text

103. The origin and purpose of this Committee are explained in chapter xv. back to text

104. At this date the Presidential Advisory Committee comprised: Alexander J. Hemphill, S. Reading Bertron, C. A. Coffin, R. Fulton Cutting, Elbert H. Gary, William L. Honnold, John F. Lucey, Henry L. Stimson, Oscar S. Straus, John Beaver White, Frank A. Vanderlip, and Frank Trumbull. back to text

105. For reply to this message see chapter v, Document 247. back to text

106. See Documents 171 and 184; 243-262, chapter v; 508-510, chapter xii. back to text

107. Chapter xiii. back to text

108. See Document 252, chapter v. back to text

109. One of the most important Inter-Allied economic bodies, organized to make the most efficient use of the available Allied shipping. back to text

110. Established in 1914 to co-ordinate the purchases in Great Britain of the Allies and departments of the British Government. Though theoretically international the C.I.R. was largely directed by the British, upon whom the other Allies were dependent for funds. back to text

111. See Document 183. back to text

112. This sum was advanced specifically to discharge the Commission's excessive overdraft at its London bank, but no indications of future action were given. back to text

113. A subcommittee of the Allied Maritime Transport Council. back to text

Chapter V

114. See chapter 1, Document 12. back to text

115. See chapter iv, Document 117. back to text

116. As an encouragement to shipowners the British Government had set up and financed a War Risk Bureau through which ships were insured at small cost. This insurance specifically excluded the risk of crossing the North Sea, and, in fact, the British took no steps to encourage this trade. back to text

117. See Document 189. back to text

118. Count Bernstorff immediately replied, "If German Secretary of State gives this Information it will be all right." back to text

119. British authorities had threatened to refuse permits to C.R.B. ships unless the issue of German safe-conduct passes was resumed. back to text

120. S.S. "Harpalyce," C.R.B. ship, outward bound from Rotterdam, was torpedoed in the North Sea in daylight on the 10th April 1916. back to text

121. Hoover bad sent J. B. White of the London Office to Holland to assist in the negotiations for interned German ships for the Commission. See Document 207. back to text

122. See chapter iv, Document 137. back to text

123. It was not until April 1916 that the plan was dropped. back to text

124. See chapter iv, Document 126. back to text

125. The British Government on the 30th April notified Hoover it had no objection to the Royal Dutch Lloyd. back to text

126. Louis CHEVRILLON, representative of the C.R.B. in Paris. Hoover called upon him frequently to secure the necessary support of the French Government. back to text

127. The U.S. Government agreed (Letter, Lansing to W. H. Page, 6 December 1915) to permit German interned ships to leave American ports. back to text

128. From the 10th to the 15th February 1916 Hoover was in Paris discussing the relief work in Northern France with French civil and military officials. Hoover emphasized the perilous shipping situation of the Commission and urged active French assistance. The French reversed their decision on interned German ships made four months earlier and now requested Hoover to revive the negotiations. See chapter vi, Document 293. J. Wilmink, director of the Royal Dutch Lloyd, acted as intermediary between the C.R.B. and the Hamburg-American Line. back to text

129. As a part of this aggressive policy the German High command agreed that an unrestricted U-boat campaign should be commenced on the 1st March 1916. For political reasons the date was postponed until the 1st April. On the 24th March, however, the "Sussex" with seventy-five Americans aboard was torpedoed, the state Department wired an ultimatum, and the unrestricted campaign was again postponed. Cf. Scheer, Germany's High Seas Fleet in the World War, pp. 237-242. back to text

130. This resolution was introduced at the request of Mr. Hoover. back to text

131. There was also opposition to this proposal in the Department of State on the ground that international complications might arise from the transport of contraband goods in Government ships. (Lansing to Daniels, 16th February 1916.) back to text

132. Appointed by the British Government early in 1916 to exercise general supervision over shipping problems. The allocation of ships under British registry to the Allies was part of its duties. back to text

133. The British Shipping Control Committee had given preliminary decision against the proposal for the use of Belgian ships flying the British flag, and Hoover had asked A. Shirley Benn, Honorary Treasurer of the National Committee for Relief in Belgium (British), to exert his influence with the British authorities. back to text

134. The Commission's program at this time required the continuous service of fifty to sixty vessels, so that these losses which had to be made good by additional charters represented more than one-fifth of its fleet. back to text

135. Letters, 12th and 13th March 1917, from the German Legation at The Hague to the Commission's Rotterdam office. See chapter xvii. back to text

136. In spite of its strong advocacy by many British and Americans, the Admiralty and shipping officials did not agree to adopt the convoy system until the middle of May 1917. It required several months to establish the system, and it was not until September that there was a decisive falling off in tonnage losses. back to text

137. Sims: The Victory at Sea, p. 387; Frothingham: The Naval History of the World War, III, chaps. 3, 5, 9; Salter: Allied Shipping Control, chap. 4. back to text

138. See chapter iii. back to text

139. Arrangements of this general character were made with other northern neutrals. back to text

140. During this period of reduced importations the receipts from the sale of provisions in Belgium were insufficient to finance the relief organization's huge benevolent program. See chapter xvi. back to text

141. U.S. Treasury advances to the Commission at this time were $7,500,000 and $5,000,000 each month for Belgium and Northern France, respectively. See chapter iv. back to text

142. P. Mali, Belgian Honorary Consul General. Like the other Allies the Belgian Government was hard pressed for ships. back to text

143. For King Albert's telegram see chapter iv, Document 172. back to text

144. Allied ownership of bunkering facilities made this control possible. No neutral vessel was allowed coal unless its charter had first been approved by the Inter-Allied Chartering Executive. The Inter-Allied Chartering Committee, of which the Executive was a part, had been set up in January 1917. back to text

145. Established on decision of the Allied Conference in Paris, November 1917, to make the most economic use of tonnage under the control of all the Allies. The first organized meeting of the A.M.T.C. took place in March 1918. back to text

146. See chapter iv, Documents 173 and 174. back to text

147. A mission headed by Colonel E. M. House sent to Europe in the autumn of 1917 to represent the United States on the Allied Supreme War Council and subsidiary bodies. back to text

148. See chapter vi, Documents 295, 299, 300. back to text

149. See chapter iv, Document 179. back to text

150. There were transported overseas 118,642 American troops in April 1918; 245,945 in May; 278,864 in June; and 306,350 in July. The shipment of food and equipment had naturally to increase proportionately. back to text

151. As has been noted in chapter iv, Documents 173 to 183, the Commission was in difficulty at this time regarding the financing of its European purchases. When the Allies finally accepted responsibility for these funds, the Commission was required to make its European purchases through the medium of the Commission Internationale de Ravitaillement. A change in operating procedure was also made at this time. With the approval of the two Governments---French and Belgian---to which it was ultimately responsible for its financial accounting, the Commission cancelled all commercial insurance and set up its own insurance reserve. back to text

152. Representatives of the U.S. Shipping Board met with but were not actually members of the A.M.T.C. The measures jointly adopted effected a more efficient employment of the available shipping. back to text

153. R. B. Stevens, American representative with the Allied Transport Council. back to text

154.. The Germans continued the unrestricted U-boat policy until the middle of October, when in response to President Wilson's demand submarines were ordered not to attack passenger ships. back to text

155. For complete list of casualties and their causes see Gay, Statistics, pp. 42-43. back to text

156. A brief treatment of this subject and a description of the Commission's successful port arrangements (which largely contributed to the effectiveness of the fleet) will be found in Gay, Statistics, chapters iv and v. back to text

Chapter VI

157. A small area about Furnes and La Panne remained in Belgian hands. back to text

158. More than half this number lived in the contiguous arrondissements of Lille, Valenciennes, and Douai. back to text

159. Notably chapter ii (Organization), iv (Finance), and v (Ships). back to text

160. In reference to the early relief shipments into Belgium the French Foreign Office ". . . . states that it does not anticipate any trouble will be encountered from French authorities. . . . .by American committee. . . . ." United States Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1914, Supplement, p. 820. back to text

161. In connection with the British financial negotiations, see Documents 129, 131, chapter iv. The French situation was also raised by Hoover in Berlin in February. See Documents 134, 135, 138, 140, chapter iv. back to text

162. L. Chevrillon, C.R.B. representative in Paris. back to text

163. In this letter Chevrillon described interviews with subordinate officials of the French Government and called attention to the fact that two representatives had arrived from Lille to negotiate for relief. M. Louis Guérin, one of them, was then in Paris and was reported to have expressed the opinion that the Commission had sufficient supplies for both Belgium and Northern France. The other representative had gone to London. See Document 265. back to text

164. On the 1st March 1915 the British and French Governments announced retaliatory blockade measures in reply to the German "War Zone" declaration of 4th February. By the Reprisals Order of 11th March 1915 the British Government declared its intention of stopping all goods of enemy origin or destination without regard to earlier rules respecting contraband. back to text

165. Hoover had suggested the possibility of securing grain from the stocks in France to begin the relief in the occupied regions. No such supply was ever forthcoming. back to text

166. The Commission was obliged to adopt this fiction because of the unwillingness of the French Government to admit openly that it supported financially the feeding of French civilians in the occupied regions lest the Germans use this fact as an additional argument against the legality of the Allied food blockade of Germany. back to text

167. This plan was never put into effect. back to text

168. Chapter iv, Document 147. One-half of this was to be borne by the French Treasury. back to text

169. Document 268. back to text

170. Chapter iii, Document 67. back to text

171. E. Sengier, Finance Department of the Commission's London office. back to text

172. After Hoover had been assured of financial support by the British and French Governments for the Belgian work, he asked Francqui to come to London for a conference on the details of accounting and the responsibilities of the Commission, the Comité National, and the Belgian Government in respect to the new funds. At this time, moreover, the whole matter of continuing relief was in the balance as a result of the British threat to withdraw their consent to the operation unless Hoover secured guarantees respecting the coming Belgian harvest, which the Germans appeared unwilling to give. See chapter viii. back to text

173. The seat of the Belgian Government at Havre. back to text

174. There was a shortage of food supplies in the world's markets at this time. See Document 273. back to text

175. See Document 271 and footnote. back to text

176. See chapter ii, Document 34, for complete text of this telegram. back to text

177. See chapter viii, Documents 326 and 327. back to text

178. After the evacuation of Northern France by the Germans, the Comité Français was reconstituted into the Comité Général de Ravitaillement des Régions Libérées, with headquarters at Lille. This committee was dissolved in late 1919 when the provisioning of the North of France by the Commission ceased. back to text

179. Document 315 in chapter vii describes the work of the delegates in France. Dr. Vernon Kellogg, who was chief Representative in France and later Director of the Commission in Belgium, has written interestingly and vividly of these days in his Headquarters Nights. back to text

180. Chapter viii. back to text

181. The German threat was withdrawn and there was no suspension in the feeding. back to text

182. The 20,000,000 francs were received in September and thereafter as requested. back to text

183. The name used to indicate the source of funds for the relief of Northern France, which was in reality the French Government. back to text

184. See chapter viii. back to text

185. Chapter v, Document 218. back to text

186. See chapter iii, particularly Documents 70 and 82, for negotiations with the British Foreign Office regarding importations. back to text

187. See chapter iii, Document 71, for program for Northern France omitted here. back to text

188. Though Hoover's general object in these Paris negotiations was to get active support of the French, the problem which assumed paramount importance at this time was that of shipping. In the preceding October the French had turned down Hoover's proposals for the use of German interned ships (see Document 210, chapter v), after Hoover had secured the approval of the British Government and of the Germans to the scheme. It is interesting to note that the French now informally suggested that Hoover revive the negotiations. In the meantime, as Hoover feared, the German attitude had changed and they refused to release their interned tonnage for relief service. (Chapter v, Documents 212, 213.) back to text

189. Chapter iii, Documents 81 and 82. back to text

190. See chapter x; Kellogg: Fighting Starvation in Belgium, 1918, pp. 61-64. back to text

191. See chapter viii. back to text

192. Comité Hollandais pour Ravitaillement du Nord de la France, sometimes referred to as the Comité Delesalle. (M. Delesalle was the mayor of Lille.) back to text

193. See chapter iv, Documents 148 and 149. back to text

194. Nederlandsche Overzee Trustmaatschappij. See footnote, Document 72, chapter iii. back to text

195. See chapter iii, Document 76. back to text

196. See chapter viii. back to text

197. The subsidy for Northern France had been increased to Frs. 35,000,000 per month, as Hoover had requested. Document 294. back to text

198. Having been successful in securing program and finance increases for Belgium and France for the coming winter (see chapter iii, Document 93) Hoover made a personal investigation throughout the occupied territory in November 1916. back to text

199. Chapter iii, Document 93. back to text

200. Chapter xii shows the effects on the relief organization of America's declaration of war. back to text

201. Document 283, paragraph 4. back to text

202. Documents 100 to 116. back to text

203. See chapter iii, Document 113. back to text

204. Chapter xv concerns the mobilization of funds for the destitute of Belgium. back to text

205. See chapter xvi; Gay, Statistics, pp. 76-79. back to text

206. See chapter xv. Gift clothing to the value of almost $5,000,006 was sent to Northern France in 1918-19. back to text

Chapter VII

207. This is the subject of chapter xv. back to text

208. Belgium is divided into nine provinces, but for purposes of relief there were eleven "Provincial Committees" responsible for the following areas: Antwerp, Brabant, Brussels Agglomeration, East Flanders, West Flanders (north), West Flanders (south), Hainaut, Liège, Limbourg, Luxembourg, and Namur. Brussels and suburbs thus had a provincial organization separate from the province of Brabant, of which this city is a part. The areas of East and West Flanders in the Army Zone were divided into three provincial organizations in conformity with arbitrary lines established by the German armies.

All occupied French territory was within the Army Zone and its division for relief purposes corresponded exactly with the divisions maintained by the German. armies. Six "District Committees" were responsible for the six areas: Lille, Valenciennes, St. Quentin, Vervins, Charleville, and Longwy. See Gay, Statistics, chapter ii. back to text

209. Three other young Americans who had gone to Belgium for the Commission prior to this time---E. D. Curtis on the 1st November, G. S. Jackson and Amos D. Johnson, Jr., on the 20th November---were subsequently assigned to duties as delegates. Others selected as delegates during December 1914 brought the total at the end of that month to twenty-five. See chapter ii, Documents 27-30. back to text

210. See chapter xii. back to text

211. See chapter xii. back to text

212. See chapter ii, Documents 50 and 51. back to text

213. A liaison department established by the German authorities to regularize the relations of the General Government and the C.R.B. and C.N. See chapter ii, Documents 44 and 45. back to text

214. See chapter x. back to text

215. The C.R.B. extended its operations to include the provisioning of invaded Northern France in April 1915. See chapter vi. back to text

216. See chapter vi, Document 283. back to text

217. Charleville was for a long period the headquarters of the German General Staff. It was also the station of the Commission's chief representative for Northern France. back to text

218. This meeting is described in chapter x, Document 433. back to text

Chapter VIII

219. For a brief statement of the normal local food resources of Belgium and Northern France, see Gay, Statistics, pp. 18-27. back to text

220. See Document 7, chapter i. This letter, as well as many other German guarantees and declarations, is repeated in the original language in chapter xvii. back to text

221. See Document 12, chapter i. back to text

222. See Document 13, chapter i. back to text

223. See chapter iv (Subsidies) and chapter v (Ships). back to text

224. Document 99 in chapter iii is an example of the monthly ration tables worked out by the C.R.B. on this basis. back to text

225. The dietetic aspect of the ration is outside the scope of this book. It is discussed in Calorie Production and C.R.B. Analyses of the Common Foods and Food Values and the Rationing of a Country by Robinson Smith. back to text

226. See Document 117, chapter iv. back to text

227. Document 189, chapter v. back to text

228. Document 120, chapter iv. back to text

229. See Document 125, chapter iv. back to text

230. See Document 129, chapter iv. back to text

231. Balance of telegram badly garbled. This telegram was received by Hoover through the American Embassy on the 26th January 1915. See Document 321 for Zimmermann note, which reached London at a later date. back to text

232. See chapter vi, Document 274 and footnote. back to text

233. See Document 322. back to text

234. Gerard's comment on Zimmermann's maneuver in reducing his assurances is particularly interesting, as is also Hoover's comment that it "looks as if they [the military] were intending to denude the country before the question of replacement arises." Document 133, chapter iv. back to text

235. See Documents 142 and 143, chapter iv. back to text

236. See Document 144, chapter iv. back to text

237. See Document 145, chapter iv. back to text

238. See Document 129, chapter iv. back to text

239. See chapter vi, Document 281. back to text

240. See chapter vi, Document 283. back to text

241. See Document 326. back to text

242. This letter is a paraphrase of a letter from Hoover to Gerard dated the 1st May 1915 (Document 328). back to text

243. Negotiations were delayed because of the tense diplomatic situation which followed the sinking of the "Lusitania." On the 31st May 1915 the British Government indicated its intention of making public its position in this matter by a note to the United States Government. back to text

244. Chapter i, Document 7. back to text

245. Document 322. back to text

246. See particularly Documents 336 and 339 below. back to text

247. Documents 207 to 213, chapter v. back to text

248. An identical letter was addressed to Whitlock and appears as Document 40, chapter ii. This important general guarantee is given in the original language in chapter xvii. back to text

249. Document 341. Document 345. back to text

250. Document 343. Given also in original language in chapter xvii. back to text

251. A branch of the provisioning department of the Relief organization created to supply seed and fodder to the peasantry. back to text

252. See Documents 70-74, chapter iii. back to text

253. See Document 33, chapter ii. back to text

254. Chapter ii, Documents 46-63. back to text

255. Document 83, chapter iii, is an English translation of this important guarantee of the 14th April 1916. See chapter xvii for text in original language. back to text

256. See Documents 51 and 52, chapter ii. back to text

257. See Documents 84 and 85, chapter iii. back to text

258. Comité Hispano-Néerlandais. back to text

259. Vermittlungsstelle Comité National, a department of the German General Government at Brussels set up to deal with relief matters. See chapter ii, Document 45. back to text

260. The Commission in its operations necessarily maintained a distinction between Belgium and France not only because of the difference in nationality, but because of the different sources of funds. A similar distinction was observed by the British Foreign Office. The Germans, however, ignored the national distinction in their administrative system, cutting off East and West Flanders from Belgium and including the provinces in the zone of the armies along with the French regions under their control. back to text

261. See chapter x. back to text

262. Commissary officer for the civil population in Northern France and Flanders. back to text

263. Negotiations between the Commission and the military authorities were also under way at this time. They are shown in Documents 360-363 below. back to text

264. Not until January 1916 did Hoover receive official approval of the relief arrangements in Northern France and then there was no direct statement by France but a general approval from the British Foreign office, in which, it was implied, the French concurred. Financial support the French Government continued to give, but it gave Hoover no diplomatic backing whatever in the vital question of shipping. See Document 292, chapter vi. back to text

265. See Document 362. back to text

266. W. B. Poland succeeded Crosby as director of the C.R.B. Brussels office in December 1915. back to text

267. See chapter xi. back to text

268. See chapter xi. back to text

269. With the kind permission of Messrs. Doubleday, Doran & Co. back to text

270. See Document 295, chapter vi. back to text

271. Dutch representative in Brussels of the Comité Hispano-Néerlandais. See chapter xii. back to text

Chapter IX

272. It should be remembered that those Belgians possessing the means were required to pay at fixed prices for the supplies issued to them. The destitute could not, of course, pay for the supplies they received and their needs were met through the Benevolent Department with funds secured from various sources for the purpose. See chapter xvi and Appendix 1. back to text

273. It was during the summer and fall of 1915 that the relations between the C.R.B. and the German civil government in Belgium were somewhat strained. The attempt of the Germans to control the relief and the episode of espionage charges are described in Documents 36 to 45, chapter ii. back to text

274. This refers to the Dutch proposal to which reference has been made. back to text

275. The principal decrees prohibiting and regulating exports were issued on 26 October 1914 and 25 February 1915, Bulletin des lois et arrêtés pour le territoire belge occupé, Nos. 10 and 45. The decrees relaxing these restrictions were issued 1 June 1915, 22 July 1915, and 18 September 1915, ibid., Nos. 84, 101, and 119. A brief account of German economic policy in Belgium is given in Pirenne and Vauthier, La législation et l'administration allemandes en Belgique, chapter iv. For a more detailed account, see Kerchove, L'industrie belge pendant l'occupation de 1914 à 1919. back to text

276. See Documents 148 to 162, chapter iv. back to text

Chapter X

277. For this episode see chapter ii, Documents 32 to 40. back to text

278. The situation in Northern France, as has been noted in earlier chapters, differed from that in Belgium in many respects. The issue of forced labor arose there under different circumstances. The sensational episode of the deportations from Lille and the Commission's intervention are covered by Documents 433 to 435 in this chapter. See also chapter vi, Document 288, for another aspect of this matter. back to text

279. Document 407. Full text is given in Document 344, chapter viii. back to text

280. From Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für die okkupierten Gebiete Belgiens, No. 17, December 1, 1914, p. 67. back to text

281. Chapter ii, Document 36. back to text

282. Chapter ii, Document 38. back to text

283. The full text of this letter is given as Document 344, chapter viii. Villalobar and Whitlock sent identical letters. back to text

284. The full text of this letter is given as Document 345, chapter viii. back to text

285. From Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für die okkupierten Gebiete Belgiens, No. 108, 22d August 1915, p. 887. back to text

286. Document 341, chapter viii. back to text

287. Document 38, chapter ii. back to text

288. Document 408. back to text

289. See Pirenne and Vauthier, La législation et l'administration allemandes en Belgique, chapter v. back to text

290. After long debate the Reichstag finally passed the Auxiliary Service Act (2d December 1916) but in a form which failed entirely to meet the stiff demands of the army. See Ludendorff's Own Story, II p. 393. Also Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, November 19, 22, 23, 24, and especially 24, for the bearing of the law on the occupied territories. back to text

291. Ludendorff, op. cit., p. 397. The Minority Socialist deputies Haase and Dittmann protested in the Reichstag, 2d December 1916, against the deportations which were defended by Helfferich. See Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 3d December 1916. Cardinal Mercier's eloquent letters and von Bissing's replies are given in Whitlock's Belgium, II, pp. 495-528. back to text

292. Governor-General von Bissing's explanation of the deportations policy is given in an interview, published in the New York Times, 12th November 1916, and the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 14th November 1916. See also F. Passelecq, Les déportations belges à la lumière des documents allemandes and Cmd. 8404 Misc. 37 (1916), Correspondence with the Belgian Minister respecting the Deportation of Belgians, etc., and Whitlock, op. cit., II, chapters xxxviii-xlii, xlv, xlix. back to text

293. Identic letter sent to Señor Don Alfonso Merry del Val, Spanish Ambassador at London. back to text

294. A similar letter was sent by Sir Eyre A. Crowe (for Viscount Grey) to Ambassador Page for transmission to Whitlock and Villalobar in Brussels. back to text

295. Parliamentary Debates, Vol. lxxxvi, p. 706. back to text

296. From the Pall Mall Gazette, 15th November 1916. A group of State Department documents beginning with the 10th October 1916 on deportation of civilians from Belgium are given in U.S. Dept. of State, European War No. 4, pp. 357-373. They include despatches from chargé Grew at Berlin, Minister Whitlock at Brussels, and an interesting memorial from the German Government on the subject, for publication in Allied and neutral countries. back to text

297. Documents 433 to 435 describe this incident. back to text

298. At the demand of the Foreign Office the administration of relief within Belgium was reorganized and strengthened at this time and the participation of Americans defined. See chapter ii, Documents 59 to 63. back to text

299. U.S. Dept. of State, European War No. 4. Whitlock, op. cit., II, 655-658. back to text

300. This article appeared in varying forms in nearly all the London daily papers of 5th December 1916. back to text

301. Appears in abbreviated form in U.S. Dept. of State, European War No. 4, p. 361. back to text

302. See Document 427. back to text

303. There are many contemporary accounts of this incident. A German version is given in Vorwärts, 17th September 1916. The British Press Bureau issued an eyewitness account by a French resident of Lille. A French official version is given in Rapports et procès-verbaux d'enquête de la commission instituée en vue de constater les actes commis par l'ennemi en violation du droit des gens, Sixième Rapport. back to text

304. The "Sussex" negotiations. back to text

305. The 11,000 first reported proved to be actually 22,000 of whom 300 to 400 women, girls, and invalids have been returned in accordance with suggestion of the C.R.B. [Poland's note.] back to text

306. It may be explained that the North of France is divided into six districts for the purpose of feeding the population, and that in each district the C.R.B. places one of its representatives who co-operates with the District French Committee and the German officer assigned to the duties of controlling the work done both by the Committee and the American representative. Captain Weber is the officer for the rural district of Vervins. [Wellington's note.] back to text

307. This disease is common among the textile workers. [Wellington's note.] back to text

Chapter XI

308. See chapter iv, Documents 133-142. back to text

309. The headquarters of this International Commission were to be in Berlin. Ambassador Gerard was appointed Chairman; Eliot Wadsworth, Director General; the Dresdner Bank of Berlin, Treasurer. Certain German committees and Polish local bodies were to co-operate with the Foundation. The Rockefeller Foundation representatives engaged in these negotiations were: Dr. Wickliffe Rose, Director General of the International Health Commission of the Foundation; E. P. Bicknell, National Director of the American Red Cross; Henry James, Jr., manager of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research; Colin Herrle, Secretary. See E. P. Bicknell's articles, "The Battlefield of Poland," The Survey, 2 Dec. 1916, and "Begging Bread for Poland," ibid., 6 Jan. 1917, also Rockefeller Foundation Report, 1915. back to text

310. The Comité Générale de Secours pour les Victimes de la Guerre en Pologne, which had been formed in Switzerland by Paderewski and Sienkiewiez, shortly afterward asked the British to allow food to be sent into Poland from America. The request was refused on the ground that the Germans were continuing to confiscate Polish products. See Cmd. 8348 Misc. No. 32 (1916) Correspondence Respecting the Relief of Allied Territories in the Occupation of the Enemy, pp. 4-5. back to text

311. Major von Kessler of German General Staff in Northern France. back to text

312. W. B. Poland. back to text

313. Hoover took the opportunity of this meeting with the military authorities to mention the unsatisfactory treatment of the Commission by the German administration in Belgium. See chapter ii, Documents 44 and 45. back to text

314. Documents 207 to 213, chapter v, describe Hoover's negotiations for German ships for the C.R.B. The. French Government delayed giving its consent, and finally the Germans refused. back to text

315. The version given appears to be the final form altered to conform to the German as well as the Polish ideas. back to text

316. The Austro-Hungarian Government was brought into these discussions because the eastern districts of Russian Poland were administered from Lublin by the Dual Monarchy. The Germans controlled the western districts which were under a general government set up in Warsaw. Berlin and Vienna could not agree on a solution of the Polish problem, and the maintenance of this dual administration created further complications in the Commission's relief negotiations. back to text

317. For further correspondence between Premier Asquith and Polish organizations in the United States see Cmd. 8348 Miscellaneous No. 32 (1916), Relief of Allied Territories in the Occupation of the Enemy, Annexes 4, 5, and 6. back to text

318. Members of the Rockefeller Foundation War Relief Commission, notably Mr. Walcott, Mr. Henry James, Jr., and Col. Warwick Greene, cooperated with Mr. Hoover in these negotiations. Rockefeller Foundation Report, 1916. back to text

319. See Document 439. back to text

320. The reference is to the parts of Russian Poland under German and Austro-Hungarian administration, not to the pre-war Polish possessions of Austria (i.e., Galicia) or of Germany (i.e., Posen and West Prussia). back to text

321. This memorandum was handed to Sir Edward Grey on the 21st February 1916. back to text

322. Considerable relief had been provided for Serbia by American organizations. There were proposals early in 1916 to enlarge this program. Political, financial, shipping, and other difficulties prevented the realization of this more ambitious plan. See Cmd. 8348, Misc. No. 32 (1916), pp. 8-9, 24-25. back to text

323. Document 449. The portion omitted here is a word-for-word copy of Hoover's proposals. back to text

324. See Document 448. back to text

325. The proposal to ask co-operation of the Swedish Government was sent to Grey by Page on the same day (12th May 1916). back to text

326. For the official explanation of the German position in these negotiations see Berliner Tageblatt, 4th June 1916. back to text

327. For further elaboration of British position in this matter see Cmd. 8348 Miscellaneous No. 32 (1916), Annexes 12, 13, 14. back to text

328. 64th Cong. 1st Sess. Sen. docs. 494, 540. back to text

329. The Comité Générale de Secours pour les Victimes de la Guerre en Pologne had been permitted to transmit some £49,000 in 1916, and the American Express Company was allowed to remit a limited amount of relief funds each month. back to text

330. The proposal was first made by John B. White, a member of the War Trade Board and one of the original directors of the C.R.B. Mr. White's Proposal also suggested that the Commission be the channel through which all permitted remittances from America to enemy-occupied territory be sent. back to text

331. See chapter iv, Documents 174 to 183. back to text

332. After the Armistice of 1918 Hoover was able to inaugurate relief of Poland, and extensive and varied aid was given to the restored state by the American Relief Administration, the American Red Cross, the Joint Distribution Committee, the American Friends Service Committee, and others. An account of this work is given by H. H. Fisher and Sidney Brooks in America and the New Poland and in the reports of the several organizations. back to text

Chapter XII

333. Director of the Rotterdam Office. back to text

334. March-May, 1916. back to text

335. See chapter iv, Documents 155-161. back to text

336. Warren Gregory, Director in Brussels. back to text

337. P. N. Gray, Assistant Director of the Brussels office at this time. As will be noted, many messages were dispatched through diplomatic channels during this period. back to text

338. Letters of similar character were sent to the French Ambassador and the Spanish Ambassador in London. The effect of Hoover's declaration on the German authorities in Belgium is described in Whitlock, Belgium, Vol. II, chap. xlvii. back to text

339. Interview with Associated Press. Published in America on the 15th February 1917 in the New York Sun and New York Times. back to text

340. Transmitted to the Commission by the French Embassy in London on the 14th February. back to text

341. The meeting here described followed the publication of the intention of the C.R.B. to withdraw its American delegates in Belgium. back to text

342. Similar letters were exchanged between the Spanish Ambassador and the Belgian Minister in London. back to text

343. See chapter v, Documents 227 to 242. The critical situation of relief in these days can be realized only by considering the diplomatic and shipping crises together. back to text

344. National Committee for Relief in Belgium, established in April 1915 to take over the stimulation and collection of donations for the C.R.B. from British Empire sources. See chapter xv. back to text

345. The Commission had handled government subsidies alone to this amount by this date. back to text

346. American delegates began to leave Belgium on the 1st April 1917. Hoover, in the meantime had returned to London via Spain and France. back to text

347. This Committee's negotiations respecting the harvests are shown in chapter viii, Documents 352, 384-387. back to text

348. Chapter iii, Documents 109-114; chapter iv, Document 184; chapter v, Documents 243-262. back to text

349. Document 253, chapter v. back to text

Chapter XIII

350. See Documents 100 to 116, chapter iii. back to text

351. For the situation in Northern France at the same time, see Documents 308 and 309, chapter vi. back to text

352. See chapter xv. back to text

353. See Document 116, chapter iii. back to text

354. Complete statistical analyses of commodity and financial figures as well as a brief description of the method of administration and operation are given in Gay, Statistics. back to text

355. The total overhead and administration expense of the entire operation, including a large burden of the cost of administration of allied and associated appeal committees, totaled $3,908,892.74, or 0.43 per cent of the total cost of operations. On the other hand, a profit of over $9,600,000 was earned on extraordinary transactions entirely outside of Belgium and France. The overhead expense was paid for out of this profit and the substantial balance became available for benevolence in Belgium and Northern France. back to text

356. The surplus and profit are the result of a marginal charge made to cover equalization of prices, war destruction, fluctuations in exchange, and to support, through the Benevolent Department, the destitute. They also reflect the volunteer service of members of the Commission, and the concessions and special privileges granted to the Relief Commission by individuals and by railway, steamship, telegraph, insurance, and brokerage companies all over the world. back to text

357. The agreement of December 1916, Document 63, chapter ii, approved by the Allied Governments, covered the entire question of administration and financial responsibility. back to text

358. Full memoranda of these conferences are given as Document 295, chapter vi. All Hoover's recommendations had the approval of the individual members of the French Government present at these conferences. The French Government, however, never gave its direct approval so long as the war lasted. See also Documents 268, 289, 291, 292, and 293, chapter vi. back to text

359. Document 514. back to text

360. See Document 63, chapter ii, also Document 514. back to text

361. The method of relief administration as described here applied to Belgium only. No such complete cycle was possible in Northern France. The Commission's Provisioning Department supplied the food at as near cost as possible for all of the French population, rich and poor alike, as a ration and for it accepted acknowledgment in the form of communal receipts. The benevolent aspects were left to the French Government for after-war settlement. back to text

362. The work of these organizations is described in Documents 310 to 313, chapter vi. back to text

363. This liquidation account was closed with a statement and check covering balance of $36,683.34 acknowledged by the United States Treasury 23rd August 1922. back to text

364. See Documents 310 to 313, chapter vi. back to text

365. See Document 527. back to text

366. The gifts to educational institutions and to the Fondation Universitaire were actually paid in Belgian francs. Exchange ratios used in preparing this table were £ =- $4.85 = Frs. 25.40. back to text

367. Fondation Universitaire, Edouard Willems, Secretary, 11 Rue d'Egmont, Brussels, Belgium. See annual reports of the Fondation Universitaire. back to text

368. C.R.B. Educational Foundation, Inc., Perrin C. Galpin, Secretary, 42 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Large gifts from capital for endowment and building purposes have been made to Belgian educational institutions, notably for the Universities of Brussels and Louvain. At present, November 1927, the capital of the C.R.B. Educational Foundation is $3,159,930.92. The printed Annual Reports of the Foundation present details regarding educational activities. back to text

Chapter XIV

369. The editors are indebted to John P. Gregg, who has been kind enough to read over the manuscript of this chapter and whose suggestions have been valuable. back to text

370. Government subsidies to the C.R.B. amounted to $700,540,443.38. See chapter iv, p. 216; chapter xiii, p. 183. back to text

371. See chapter xiii. back to text

372. Article 232. See Document 535. back to text

373. France, Frs. 1,993,300,000; Great Britain, £78,400,000; and United States, $171,800,000. World Peace Foundation Pamphlets, Vol. VIII, p. 271. The exact amount owing by Belgium to the United States was $171,780,000. See Document 636. back to text

374. The Commission for Relief in Belgium, Balance Sheets and Accounts. .... September 1920. The distribution between the British and French Treasuries of these advances for Belgian account, as here shown, is unofficial. The United States amount is inclusive of the United States Treasury monthly subsidy to the C.R.B. for Belgian account of October 1918. back to text

375. C.R.B. records indicate that there were small advances from British Government Departments after the 11th November 1918. These were probably included in pre-Armistice loans to Belgium when the total amount involved was determined in the Belgian-British Agreement which was concluded in June 1919. back to text

376. Combined Annual Reports, "Report for the Fiscal Year 1925," pp. 33, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, and 42. The annual reports of the commission are also included in the annual reports of the Secretary of the Treasury. back to text

377. 66th Congress, 3d Session. Senate Document No. 413. back to text

378. Statement of Germany's Obligations, Reparation Commission IV, 1923, p. 21. The amount in gold marks represents the total of bonds which Germany was obligated to issue on account of Allied loans to Belgium before the 11th November 1918. back to text

379. World Peace Foundation Pamphlets, Vol. VIII, pp. 280-281. back to text

380. United States Treasury advances to the C.R.B. for Belgian account after October 1918 were $106,632,260.44, of which $1,990,137.83 (unused for the purposes advanced) was returned to the Treasury in reduction of Belgian loans. See chapter xiii, Documents 519, 520, 521, 523. back to text

381. See Document 540. A debt of the Belgian Congo Colony to Great Britain of £3,500,000 extending back to 1916 was funded at the same time (31st December 1925) as this Reconstruction Credit. back to text

382. Annuaire Statistique de la Belgique, Vol. 50, p. 141; Vol. 51, p. 139; Bulletin de Statistique et de Législation Comparée, Vol. 100, p. 486; Vol. 101, p. 1251. back to text

383. Combined Annual Reports, "Report for the Fiscal Year 1925," p. 42. back to text

384. The Commission for Relief in Belgium, Balance Sheets and Accounts, ... September 1920. The C.R.B. returned $17,246,490.00 (unused for the purpose advanced) to the United States Treasury in reduction of loans to France. See chapter xiii, Document 522. back to text

385. January 1929. back to text

386. Combined Annual Reports, "Report for the Fiscal Year 1925," pp. 44, 45, 46, and 47. back to text

387. Combined Annual Reports, "Report for the Fiscal Year 1926," pp. 75, 76. back to text

388. Cmd. 2692, London, 1926. back to text

389. Interest rates subsequent to the 28th February 1918 were uniformly 5 per cent. The World War Foreign Debt Commission, Combined Annual Reports, p. 332. back to text

390. Article 4 "The Belgian War Debt," is quoted in Document 538. The proportions due France and Great Britain, on account of pre-Armistice loans to Belgium, are paid directly to these governments. back to text

391. The figures here given for Belgian and French debts prior to funding, as funded, and the present value of annual payments are taken from the World War Foreign Debt Commission, Combined Annual Reports, p. 443. back to text

392.The amount of pre-Armistice indebtedness ($171,780,000) is funded without interest. In funding the post-Armistice indebtedness ($246,000,000) a graduated rate of interest payment is provided for the first 10 years so that at the beginning of the eleventh year a rate of 3% per cent shall apply throughout the remainder of the period of payments. Ibid., p. 179. back to text

393. These advances were: pre-armistice $153,000,000; post-Armistice $104,642,122.60; total $257,642,122.60. back to text

394. For a discussion of concessions granted by the United States in the funding arrangements with various Allied Governments, see Bank of Manhattan Company, The A B C's of Foreign Debts. back to text

Chapter XV

395. In his first appeal Hoover laid down a definite program. The required relief imports were estimated at 80,000 tons per month costing about $5,000,000. Hoover recognized that this amount could not be secured each month from gifts, and he therefore turned to other sources for half the required sums. Later, as, is shown below, when the food needs were being largely met from other sources, the Commission asked for gift clothing. back to text

396. One of Hoover's first acts after the formation of the Commission was to secure the services of a firm of accountants of high standing. The records of the Commission show in detail the disposition of all funds and materials received from whatever source. back to text

397. The organization which was so effective in caring for Belgian refugees in England was the War Refugees Committee. This charitable committee acted in co-operation with the British Government. See Report of the War Refugees Committee, August 1916. back to text

398. Mr. Edgar encountered some delay in securing a boat, but his appeal for gift flour or funds was a complete success. The S.S. "Southpoint" with 6,000 tons of gift flour reached Belgium in February 1915. See comprehensive reports of "The Millers' Belgian Relief Movement," the Northwestern Miller, Minneapolis, Minn. back to text

399. In October Mr. Theodore Waters of the Christian Herald went to London and interviewed Ambassador Page and Mr. Hoover as to the best means of applying the money subscribed by readers of the periodical. As a result of these discussions Mr. Waters recommended that the contributions be turned over to the newly organized Commission for Relief in Belgium and this was immediately done. back to text

400. Consisted of donations from relief committees in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario. This and subsequent Canadian Belgian relief activities are described in the report Relief Work for Victims of the War in Belgium, 5th February 1915, H. Prud'homme, Honorary Treasurer, Montreal. back to text

401. Published in the New York Tribune on the 7th October 1914. Philip Patchin, an American correspondent, cabled this and several later important dispatches concerning Shaler's mission to London to purchase food for Brussels. back to text

402. Extract from New York Herald, 15th October 1914. back to text

403. New York Times, 18th October 1914. This statement, as well as the previous one, was despatched by Ben S. Allen, one of the representatives of the Associated Press in London. Allen had secured permission of Melville Stone, head of the Associated Press, to concentrate on the Belgian cause, and for over two years his almost daily dispatches in the American press rendered invaluable service to Belgium. back to text

404. From an article in the New York Sun, 23d October 1914, entitled "Looks to America to Feed Belgium." See Document 16, chapter i. back to text

405. The following is a tabulation of C.R.B. cargoes which were identified as "State Ships." They were either fully loaded with gifts in kind or such space as remained was loaded with food purchased by the Commission. back to text

406. The first substantial sums turned over to Hoover by the Belgian Government were applied by him in part for the payment of freight. See chapter iv. Actually all freight and insurance was paid by the Commission. Thus funds subscribed for this purpose by the Rockefeller Foundation, and by individuals for "The Millers' Belgian Relief Movement" and the Philadelphia gift cargoes, were converted into food. back to text

407. Until December 1914 most American railroad companies carried Belgian gifts free of charge. The principal express companies not only posted placards in 35,000 of their offices throughout the country giving detailed instructions concerning the shipment of packages to the Commission's collecting centers but also granted the Commission a reduction of two-thirds in the usual tariff. Postmaster General Burleson permitted a similar placard to be posted in 65,000 postoffices covering parcel post gifts. back to text

408. Document 553. back to text

409. Mr. Irwin had been in Belgium during the first days of the German invasion and in London with Hoover in October 1914. On his return to America he took over the management of the Press Department, working in close co-operation with William A. M. Goode, who was engaged in similar work with Hoover in London. back to text

410. The following periodicals were among those which gave generous space to relief in the early days: Bookman, Christian Herald, Collier's, Dun's Review, Independent, Ladies' Home Journal, Leslie's Weekly, Life, Literary Digest, Outlook, Town Topics, World's Work. back to text

411. Among those contributing were: Anthony Hope, John Galsworthy, Arnold Bennett, May Sinclair, A. E. W. Mason, George Bernard Shaw, Beatrice Harraden, Father Bernard Vaughan, Mrs. Humphrey Ward, Marie Corelli, Compton Mackenzie, Thomas Hardy. A number of these stories were reprinted in booklet form under the title The Need of Belgium. back to text

412.. Document 554. Mr. Edward W. Bok had cabled Ambassador Page broaching the possibility of securing such a letter. The idea was enthusiastically followed up by Hoover and his associates in London. In addition to his many journeys between Brussels and London on Legation and Commission business, Hugh Gibson made a special trip on the 29th October 1914 to Belgian Army Headquarters where the King and Queen were. He not only secured the King's message to America (see Document 553) for the Commission, but actually wrote out the appeal to the women of America which the Queen signed. See Hugh Gibson, A Journal from Our Legation in Belgium. back to text

413. A total of $114,527.58 was subscribed by the 27th April 1915 when this first appeal on the part of the Literary Digest for Belgium closed. As will be seen, Mr. Cuddihy and Messrs. Funk and Wagnalls Company again put their resources back of the C.R.B. in 1916-17, in this instance for the children of Belgium. back to text

414. New York Times, 1st November 1914. back to text

415. Similar telegrams were sent to the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin. back to text

416. Sent to the governors of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming. back to text

417. Minister of Interior of Belgian Government then at Havre. M. Berryer after an interview with Hoover in London sent this dispatch to strengthen the previously cabled instructions to the Belgian Minister. back to text

418. D. S. Chamberlain, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Belgian Relief Association of Iowa. back to text

419. This is an early instance of voluntary service, concessions, and special privileges granted the Relief Commission by individuals and by railway, steamship, telegraph, insurance, and brokerage companies all over the world. back to text

420. This letter is given in full as Document 26, chapter ii. back to text

421. The Commission was prompt to advise the collecting committees in the United States, Canada, Argentine, Australasia, etc., of the arrival an distribution of gift cargoes or part cargoes collected by them. back to text

422. The S.S. "Tremorvah" from Halifax in November was followed by gift cargoes from Canada on the S.S's. "Doric," "Calcutta," "Trenglos," "St. Cecilia," "Gothland," to the total value of $1,500,000. back to text

423. Organized under high patronage under the active direction of the Duke of Norfolk and Shirley Benn, M.P. (later Sir Shirley Benn), with W. A. M. Goode (later Sir William Goode) as Honorary Secretary. back to text

424. In 1918, when the Commission appealed for clothing in America, the British Committee asked for clothing also with excellent results. back to text

425. The tables at the end of this chapter include a summary of collections by the National Committee for Relief in Belgium. Complete details with list of contributing areas are given in Sir William Goode, K.B.E., The National Committee for Relief in Belgium 1915-1919. back to text

426. The Italian committee which was shortly organized was called "Comitato Nazionale Italiano per i soccorsi alle vittime della guerra nel Belgio," with Onorato Caetani, Duke of Sermoneta, as active president. back to text

427. The Argentine Belgian Relief Committee was officially organized in February 1915 with Casimiro de Bruyn as vice-chairman and treasurer. In addition to charitable collection by the committee the Argentine Government made a substantial contribution, bringing the total to over $200,000, including 9,000 tons of maize. back to text

428. This first direct appeal by the Commission to Australasia was widely published in these countries beginning with the 22d February 1915. back to text

429. See chapter iv. The first monthly subsidy was received in March 1915. back to text

430. No such misunderstanding existed elsewhere, as the Commission had just been successful in inspiring the formation of the National Committee for Relief in Belgium and the support from British Empire sources was immediate and generous. back to text

431. On the 7th May 1915. back to text

432. See chapter xii. back to text

433. The Rockefeller Foundation donations in the emergency of the first months were nearly $1,000,000 in relief supplies. As will be seen their generous co-operation with the Commission continued throughout the war, taking the form of large cash contributions to special public appeals of the Commission. back to text

434. J. B. White and Millard Hunsiker, who had assisted Hoover in London from the beginning, made trips to America in the summer of 1915. back to text

435. This trip to America was the only occasion during the first year of the Commission's life when Hoover was not engaged in negotiations of one sort or another which vitally affected the continuance of relief and which necessitated his presence in London, Belgium, or Berlin. back to text

436. Document 581. back to text

437. Over $700,000 in cash was received by the Commission before January 1915. Individual donations ranging from $100 to $5,000 were numerous and there were two donations of $10,000 each, both from women. back to text

438. See Document 582. back to text

439. This was typed by the President himself. See Joseph P. Tumulty, Woodrow Wilson as I Knew Him, p. 76; also letter itself reproduced in New York Times version of Tumulty's book, 16th November 1921, as one of President Wilson's rare efforts at publicity. back to text

440. Several of those invited by President Wilson to serve on the Presidential Committee found it impossible to comply and others were added, so that the committee when completed consisted of: Alexander J. Hemphill, John Beaver White, S. Reading Bertron, C. A. Coffin, R. Fulton Cutting, Elbert H. Gary, Henry L. Stimson, Oscar S. Straus, Frank Trumbull, Frank A. Vanderlip, Herbert S. Eldridge. Mr. Pierre Mali, Belgian Consul-General in New York, was invited to be present at all meetings. The Presidential Committee gave active assistance to the benevolent work of the C.R.B., and with but few exceptions its personnel remained as at first constituted. Mr. Herbert S. Eldridge died in December 1915, very soon after being named a member; in August 1916 Mr. W. L. Honnold and Captain J. F. Lucey were elected to membership; and in August 1918 Mr. Julius H. Barnes and Mr. E. G. Broenniman were added. back to text

441. Chapter iv. back to text

442. Chapter v. back to text

443. Dr. William Palmer Lucas, appointed by the C.R.B. to investigate, made his report after three months' stay in Belgium in the summer of 1916. back to text

444. As far back as November 1914 Hoover had thought of securing the support of the Vatican. He had sounded out the matter through Signor Gelasio Caetani, active in the Italian committee for Belgian relief. At that time the Vatican was very favorably disposed to the work but feared that any special public expression of appreciation might be construed as a political opinion. In 1916 George Barr Baker of the Commission's New York office, through the medium of Signor Cortesi, was granted an audience with Benedict XV, when he presented Hoover's plea for the children of Belgium and received the assurances of the Vatican's support. back to text

445. To Mrs. A. H. Scribner of New York and Mrs. Bayard Henry of Philadelphia is due credit for the enthusiasm with which the idea spread in their localities. back to text

446. A newly formed C.R.B. committee in Greater New York, organized with the assistance of Miss Florence Wardwell, pledged itself for the support of 500,000 children of the provinces of Liège, Limbourg, Luxembourg, and Namur; a Belgian Children's Relief Committee of Pennsylvania adopted Antwerp Province; the New England Belgian Relief Fund under took to supply an extra daily meal to 20,000 children of Louvain; similar committees in Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio adopted other Belgian communes. back to text

447. Document 586. back to text

448. Document 587. It is interesting to record that the returns, which were generous, came from everywhere, but a large proportion were gifts of mine workers from Alaska to Chile. back to text

449. This Committee, one of the first formed in the United States to help the Belgians and also among the last to disband, was composed largely of publishers. Its contributions were: 1914, over $43,000; 1915, $55,000 for the purchase of shoes; 1916, nearly $100,000 for Belgian children; and in 1917 and 1918-19 again, its collections approaching $100,000 for these years were applied to special relief through the Commission's "Brussels Office Relief Fund." Percy S. Bullen was active in the Committee's formation and throughout its five years of life, and Henry Clews was treasurer. back to text

450. Established in March 1916 as the result of an offer by W. Cameron Forbes of Boston of $5,000 to Hoover, and continued until 1919 by added contributions from the Forbes family. back to text

451. Sir William Goode, K.B.E., The National Committee for Relief in Belgium, p. 1. back to text

452. Chapter iv, Documents 155 to 162. back to text

453. Chapter v, Documents 227 to 242. back to text

454. Chapter xii. back to text

455. Document 589. back to text

456. Some of the groups which interested themselves in special phases of Belgian relief until the end of the war were the California Committee, the New England Committee, the Pennsylvania Committee of Women, the Philippine Islands Children's Fund, the Dollar Christmas Fund, Relief Work for Victims of the War (Canadian), the Spokane Committee, the Tennessee Committee, the Nevada Committee, the Washington State Committee, the Cleveland Fund, the Westchester County Committee, etc. back to text

457. As a forerunner of the clothing campaign in the following year the Commission in the summer and fall of 1917 secured considerable discarded clothing from the cantonments. In this the Commission had the co-operation of the Secretary of War and these gifts of the newly drafted men were packed and sent to Belgium. back to text

458. It was impossible to count the items which went to make up the contents of these 9,100 tons of bales of gift clothing, but the following tabulation is the Commission's careful estimate:

Blankets and quilts


New garments


Second-hand garments


Shoes (pairs)


Socks and stockings (pairs)


back to text

459. See chapter vi. For a description of the method of relief administration in Northern France see Appendix I. back to text

460. Read on the occasion of the Second Annual Meeting of the National Committee on the 15th June 1917 when its active operations for contributions for general relief were suspended. back to text

461. On the same date the Commission requested the National Committee to support special charities in Belgium . These requests were granted, with the result that both appeals received splendid support throughout the United Kingdom. back to text

462. William Bingham, 2nd, gave $12,000 for the Brussels Relief Fund; Theodore Roosevelt sent $1,000 of the Nobel Peace Prize to Hoover for Belgian relief. back to text

Chapter XVI

463. This task of the Provisioning Department included the maintenance of importations of food, clothing, and miscellaneous supplies, as well as the control of native produce. See chapters iii and viii. back to text

464. Appendix 1. The work of the Comité National in the care of the destitute is fully described in A. Henry, Le ravitaillement de la Belgique, chap. xiii. See also E. Mahaim, Le secours chômage en Belgique pendant l'occupation allemande. back to text

465. Normal exchange transactions were impossible, and this currency could not be exported. back to text

466. In this manner the Belgians themselves contributed to the support of the destitute. With this margin the "retail" prices in Belgium and Northern France remained the lowest in the world throughout the war. This was due largely to the volunteer service of the Commission's membership and to the special concessions granted by railways, shipping, insurance, and mercantile concerns. back to text

467. Profits of the Provisioning Department outside of Belgium and France resulted in part from transactions in England and France when the unrestricted submarine warfare temporarily blocked importations to Belgium. At that time the Commission sold a number of its cargoes on government orders as Rotterdam was inaccessible. See Document 237, chapter v. back to text

468. Except gifts of clothing and certain special funds contributed during the last months of relief operations for child welfare in the devastated regions. See chapters vi and xv. back to text

469. See chapter xv. back to text

470. Document 13, chapter i. back to text

471. Professor Angell spent the first six months of 1916 in Belgium as a C.R.B. representative, and during this time, at Hoover's request, he investigated the distribution of benevolence. back to text

472. Given in full in The Commission for Relief in Belgium, Special Departmental Reports. back to text

473. Importations by the Commission were distressingly small in the early part of 1917, due to the submarine campaign. See chapter v. back to text

474. The central establishment had distributed 18,900,000 garments for men, women, and children by the end of 1918. See Annuaire Statistique de la Belgique et du Congo Belge 1915-19. In 1919 the Commission imported over 9,000 tons of used clothing into Belgium. See chapter xv. back to text

475. The part played by the Belgian women in the distribution of charity is described by Mrs. Charlotte Kellogg in Women of Belgium. back to text

476. See chapter ix. back to text

477. See chapter x. back to text

478. The number of applicants given for the date of the 25th October 1913 in the Annuaire Statistique de la Belgique et du Congo belge 1915-1919, published by the Belgian Ministry of the Interior and Health are: Soupes populaires, 2,452,738; Repas scolaires, 252,213; Cantines maternelles, 44,004; Enfants débiles, 140,914; Tuberculeux, 77,677; Restaurants économiques, 221,921; Gouttes de lait, 74,268. back to text

479. Chapter iii, Documents 111 to 114. back to text

480. Chapter vi, Documents 306 to 313; chapter xiii, Documents 524 to 526. back to text

Chapter XVII

481. The C.R.B. archives do not contain certain documents in the original language. This is due to the fact that many of the official communications were addressed to the diplomatic patrons who retained the originals for their records and furnished the Commission with translations. back to text

482. Document 491, chapter xii, British Foreign Office to French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22d March 1917. back to text

483. Documents concerning German policy toward the Relief are incomplete without reference to Hoover's memoranda of conferences in Berlin in February 1915 (Documents 133 to 142, chapter iv). These personal assurances from the highest authorities were invaluable to Hoover in interpreting the intentions behind the formal declarations issued through the German Foreign Office. back to text

484. The important alteration in this guarantee from those previously given by the Governor-General is brought out in chapter viii, Documents 319 and 320. back to text

485. Transmitted by Rotterdam office to London, February 4, 1917. back to text

486. The conditions were not acceptable to the British Foreign Office. These cargoes were eventually sold in England on Government orders. See chapter v, Documents 234 to 237. back to text

487. See chapter ii, Documents 43 to 45. back to text

488. An account of the duties and activities of the C.R.B. district representatives in the North of France is given in Document 315, chapter vii. back to text

489. The German text of this agreement is given under serial [94] following. Document 283, chapter vi, is an English translation. back to text

Appendix I

490. The total cost of overhead and administration of the C.R.B. including a large burden of the cost of administration of associated appeal committees all over the world was considerably less than one-half of one per cent (actually 0.43%). back to text

491. Certain special funds were collected for the relief of special classes, mainly undernourished children, and the C.R.B. distributed large quantities of gift clothing to relieve the distressing lack of textiles of all sorts in Northern France. back to text

492. For detailed analyses see Documents 597, 598, and 599, chapter xv. back to text

493. Practically all the currencies of the world entered into the financial accounting of the Commission. In order to simplify the bookkeeping the following exchange ratios were maintained during the active period of the Commission, realized differences being charged to an exchange account:

$4.85 = El = Frs. 25.40 = Fls. 12.03
back to text

494. Including the tonnage and value of gifts in kind as well as purchases. back to text

495. Cargoes were fully insured and the forced sales of provisions were profitable so that there was no loss of funds to relief. back to text

496. Much discussion took place as to the effect, upon the population, of bread produced from this percentage of milling but investigation did not definitely establish deleterious results. Wide differences of opinion also existed both in Belgium and abroad as to the economics of importing wheat flour rather than wheat. In certain sections milling facilities were not available, and therefore no objection was raised against importing white flour. On the other hand, certain sections were destitute of foodstuffs for cattle and preferred to receive wheat in order that they might have the by-products. The employment given to Belgian mills and their workmen and the useful production of fodder were factors which had to be weighed. Maize mills at Louvain and Boom milled 2,000 tons of maize flour per month and produced large quantities of hominy, cerealine, and oil cake. back to text

497. A different system was proposed by the Commission and was adopted in several provinces and districts. Under this the local committees delivered the flour to bakers under contract which provided that 135 kilos of good bread must be produced from 100 kilos of flour, weighing taking place at a specified time after baking. The bakers in this case delivered bread to a depot in quantities sufficient to serve the inhabitants of the area. In this way there was a better check on both quantity and quality. back to text

498. Total benevolent expenditures through the separate central organizations were:

C.R.B .

$ 71,805,495.37

Comité National


Comité Français


back to text

499. Detailed analyses of benevolent expenditures through the C.R.B., Comité National, and Comité Françals are given in chapter xvi, pp. 352-354. back to text

500. See chapter xiii, p. 212. back to text

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