Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1920, Volume I
The Secretary General of the Commission to Negotiate Peace ( Grew ) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 18.]
Sir: I have the honor to bring to the particular attention of the Department the enclosed report, forwarded herewith in triplicate, of Hon. Herbert Hoover, Director General of Relief, to the Supreme Council, summarizing the work of his organization.
I have [etc.]
The Director General of Relief ( Hoover ) to the President of the Supreme Council
Sir: As I was appointed by the Heads of State on behalf of the Allied and Associated Governments as Director General of Relief [Page 236] for the period of the Armistice, it seems appropriate that in bringing this office to a close I should submit the following brief report to the Supreme Council of the operations co-ordinated by my direction since the Armistice and in co-operation with the Supreme Economic Council.
The tables attached hereto show that a total of 3,955,110 tons of foodstuffs and clothing of the value of $968,338,222, from the various Allied and Associated Governments were distributed between December 1st, 1918, and August 31st, 1919, in the following proportions:
|Country||Total tons||Approximate value|
|Russian Prisoners in Germany||2,685||1,112,350|
Of the above, approximately $605,000,000 of foodstuffs have been furnished on credits, $340,000,000 has been paid for in cash, $22,000,000 given in charity. The probability of repayment of the credits extended is solely a factor of the recuperation of Europe. The approximate distribution of the above contributions, from the different Allied and Associated Governments, is shown in the attached tables.
In addition to the above, a large amount of exchanges in potatoes, grain, meat, etc. have been arranged between interior countries in Central and Eastern Europe by my organization, amounting to somewhat over 300,000 tons of foodstuffs.[Page 237]
American Food Shipments to Allies.
During the cereal year (ending August 31st last) the total food shipments to France, Italy and the United Kingdom from the American area, under the control of the United States Food Administration, amount to approximately 12,500,000 tons, of a value of approximately $2,250,000,000 the largest part of which was supplied upon credits from the United States Treasury. During the same period the shipments to European Neutrals aggregated approximately 2,000,000 tons of a value of about $300,000,000. The aggregate American shipments of food to Europe during the period, on all accounts including relief, amounts to approximately 17,500,000 tons, as compared with an average of about 6,500,000 tons per annum pre-war.
Under the authority of the Supreme War Council, with the cooperation of the Communications Section, extensive measures were taken in February last in the rehabilitation of railway traffics in Central and Eastern Europe. Through a large directing staff and the supply of a large quantity of materials, these railways, disintegrated by war use and by political changes at the Armistice, have been sufficiently co-ordinated and rehabilitated to maintain the movement of the basic necessities of life throughout this area.
The rivers Elbe, Danube, and Vistula have been opened for traffic under the authority given by your Council.
In order to successfully cope with the movement of supplies and control of railways, and to rehabilitate economic life generally, it has been necessary to organize telegraphic communication through Central and Eastern Europe. Some 10,000 kilometres of telegraph lines have been ceded by the various Governments to my organization and placed under my operation as a telegraphic unit.
Acting under the authority of your Council, I set up an administration with view to securing the better production and distribution of coal in Central and Eastern Europe. Through agreements perfected between the various Governments concerned, coal supplies were maintained to those areas where it would otherwise have broken down. The distribution of many million tons of coal has thus been regulated. These agreements came to an effective termination at the signing of the German Peace Treaty, owing to the new political arrangements set up. An attempt to rehabilitate the situation has been made through your approval of my recommendation for the institution of the European Coal Commission.[Page 238]
Special Feeding of Children.
The special care of undernourished children has been set up as an independent and charitable organization and is now caring for approximately three and one-half million undernourished children in Central and Eastern Europe and is being supported by public charity and governmental subsidies from various quarters. As this administration has been based upon voluntary service and charity, the better-to-do for the poor, it has contributed very greatly to soften class conflict throughout this area in addition to its primary function of preservation of child life.
The result of these operations has been to carry Europe (except Russia) through the greatest famine since the Thirty Years War without appreciable loss of life, although necessarily with some privation. With the arrival of the European harvest and, therefore, of supplies for some period in advance, and with the ratification of peace and therefore the rehabilitation of communications and of commercial life, the necessity for relief measures on so wide a scale has expired. The supply and communications problem of the forthcoming twelve months in Europe is a problem of the establishment of credits and the maintenance of peace. The coal problem is one of extended exertion and cessation of political controversy upon the part of the people in Europe. The various newly established governments have developed organization to a degree capable of undertaking their own economic problems, except the provision of credits, and it is vital that the initiative of all these governments should be called into being in undertaking their own burdens.
I wish to express my personal gratitude for the support I have received from your body and from the whole of the officials of the Allied Governments and of the eighteen other governments with whom my organization has had to deal. Without this unity of support and co-ordination of economic effort, the maintenance of stability in Europe pending the peace negotiations would have been impossible, and the suffering and loss of human life would have been of incalculable measure.