PUBLIC RELATIONS

OF

THE COMMISSION FOR RELIEF IN BELGIUM

DOCUMENTS

By

GEORGE I. GAY
Commission for Relief in Belgium

with the collaboration of

H. H. FISHER
Stanford University

IN TWO VOLUMES

STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
STANFORD UNIVERSITY, CALIFORNIA

1929

 

PREFACE

An official of the British Foreign Office once described the Commission for Relief in Belgium as a piratical state organized for benevolence. This description, however extravagant in certain particulars, has the virtue of suggesting the attributes of an organization without precedent in international relations. It is a fact that the Commission performed functions and enjoyed prerogatives which usually appertain to state rather than to private institutions. It had, for example, its own flag; it made contracts and informal treaties with belligerent governments; its ships were granted privileges accorded to no other flag; its representatives in regions of military occupation enjoyed powers and immunities of great significance. The Commission itself was neutral as between the opposing lines, but in the pursuit of its duties it waged frequent controversy with both belligerents, and it received aid and essential co-operation from both. Its contacts, however, were by no means restricted to the European scene of war; they extended westward to North and South America, southward to the tip of Africa, and eastward to India and Australasia.

By virtue of these privileges, duties, and connections, the C.R.B. was in one sense an international public body under the patronage of diplomatic officers of the neutral states of the United States, Spain, and the Netherlands. Actually it was a private organization, without incorporation or well-defined legal status, to which the governments engaged in war on the western front entrusted responsibilities which no government or public body could discharge. The chairman of the Commission, Herbert Hoover, and those associated with him in its direction, were private citizens of the United States; they looked first to their countrymen for moral and material support; they received the valued counsel and co-operation of American diplomatic representatives in belligerent states; and the American people generally looked upon the C.R.B. as an American enterprise. The American Government, however, was in no sense responsible for the acts of the Commission, nor were the Spanish and Dutch Governments, nor the Governments of Belgium and France, of Great Britain and the British Dominions, whose citizens participated in varying degrees in the Commission's work.

Inversely the Commission was not exclusively accountable to any single government or state, but in a different measure to many of them. To the Western Allies it was accountable for the fulfillment of German guarantees respecting relief and for the protection and equitable use of imported and native supplies; to the Germans, for the exclusive employment for the benefit of Belgian and French civilians of its many special privileges. To the people of Belgium and Northern France, whom the fortunes of war had deprived of the protection of their Governments, the Commission was a volunteer champion striving with all its power and with the indispensable collaboration of the Belgian Comité National and the Comité Français to succor and defend them. To the Belgian, French, British, and later the United States Governments which furnished subventions for relief, and to the millions of individuals of all corners of the world who contributed money, goods, or services, the Commission was answerable for the honest and efficient use of the resources placed at its disposal---resources which in money and goods alone amounted to nearly a billion dollars, a sum about equivalent to the net debt of the United States in the years prior to the war.

This brief statement of responsibilities by no means covers the entire field of the Commission's obligations, but it indicates the complexity and variety of its. public relations. Because of this complexity and because the primary purpose of this book is to present materials for the history of the C.R.B. and of Belgian and French relief, it has seemed advisable to arrange the documents in groups representing important phases of the undertaking rather than in straight chronological order. This arrangement makes cross references numerous and repetition inevitable, since certain events affected several phases of the Commission's activities and many documents deal with more than one subject; but it has the advantage of permitting the documents to stand by themselves with a minimum of editorial comment. Moreover such comment as is made is not interpretative but supplementary and explanatory.

It would be very difficult to determine which of the Commission's many-sided activities was the most important. This has not been attempted, and the order in which the chapters are placed has no special significance. In general, however, the chapters of Volume I deal with activities which were begun in the early days of relief and carried on until the end of the war, while those of Volume II concern activities of later origin and briefer duration. Exceptions to this general statement are in the first volume, chapter i, "The Origin of the C.R.B.," which covers a period of only a few weeks, and in the second volume, chapter xv, "The Mobilization of Public Support," and chapter xvi, "The Care of the Destitute," which concern phases of the Commission's work important throughout its entire history. These two subjects, however, fall only partially within the scope of this work since they relate in a considerable measure to administrative matters. For this reason they are less fully presented than other aspects of relief of no greater importance. Chapter xiv, "Intergovernment Settlement of Relief Subsidies," deals with events subsequent to the Commission's liquidation, and the documents quoted are not from the C.R.B. archives but are extracts of international treaties and agreements regarding intergovernment debts. These agreements regulate, among larger items, the settlements of subsidies administered by the C.R.B., and the C.R.B., in the person of its chairman. participated in the settlements which involved United States loans. The final chapter. "German Guarantees and Declarations," is, so to speak, a recapitulation of the more important German pronouncements relating to relief.

It has not been possible, in the selection of these documents, to confine them strictly to the subject of public relations. Many of the papers relate in greater or less degree to problems of administration; but these incidental references do not, in any sense, cover the administrative and operative side of the Commission's activities. Because these matters are so important and because of the many references to them, a brief summary of the administrative structure of the C.R.B. has been added as an appendix to Volume II. Another appendix consists of a chronological list of the documents.

The editors desire to acknowledge their great indebtedness to the Directors and staff of the Hoover War Library in whose custody the archives of the Commission have been placed; to Miss Agnes W. Schultze, who has reorganized these archives and has given invaluable aid in searching for and verification of documents; to Mr. Perrin C. Galpin, Secretary of the C.R.B. Educational Foundation, who has been kind enough to read the entire proof and has made many valuable suggestions; to Messrs. Tracy B. Kittredge, Joseph C. Green, William. A. Percy, and many other C.R.B. members who do not appear as authors of any of the documents here presented but whose studies of the Commission's work have been of great service; to Miss Nettie O. Wolfley, for her painstaking assistance in the preparation of the manuscript for the printer, and to the Stanford University Press for its generous co-operation.

G. I. G.
H. H. F.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, CALIFORNIA
January 1929

 

CONTENTS

VOLUME I

CHAPTER I.
THE ORIGIN OF THE C.R.B

1. Preliminaries of Organization. September 1914

Belgian Volunteer Committees---The Comité Central---Shaler's Mission to London---Page and Hoover and the British Negotiations---The American Relief Committee Enlisted for Belgium---American-Belgian Conference in London---The C.R.B. and the Comité National.

2. The Diplomatic Background. September-October 1914

The First Guarantee of the German Authorities in Belgium---Correspondence with the British, German, Belgian and American Foreign Offices---Formal Approval of Relief under Neutral Auspices.

3. Progress in Relief Organization. October-November 1914

Hoover's Analysis and Proposals---The Diplomatic Patrons and Officers of the C.R.B.---The Accomplishments of the First Months of Activity---Recognition of the C.R.B. by the British and German Governments---Unification of the Collaborating Belgian Relief Committees in the Comité National.

 

CHAPTER II.
THE ORGANIZATION OF RELIEF ADMINISTRATION

1. First Measures. November 1914

The Establishment of C.R.B. in Holland---Arrangements with the Dutch Government for Transshipment of Supplies---Confused and Desperate Situation in Belgium---Hoover's Plan for Correlating the Activities of the London, Rotterdam and Brussels Offices---Progress of C.R.B. in America---Relief Contributions from Canada and the United States.

2. The C.R.B. in Belgium. November 1914-January 1915

The C.R.B. Brussels Office Plan of Administration---The Need of American Delegates---The Duties of the C.R.B. Provincial Delegates.

3. The C.R.B. and the German General Government. February-March 1915

The Commission's Responsibilities and German Restrictions---Passport Difficulties---British Protests---Hoover's Appeals to the Governor-General and to Berlin.

4. The German Authorities and Relief Control. June-July 1915

Von Bissing's Restrictions of the Activities of the C.N.---German Participation in Work of Sub-Committees---The Question of Aid to the Unemployed---Hoover's Explanation of the C.R.B.'s Position---Sir Edward Grey's Statement of Conditions for the Continuance of Relief---German Acceptance of Conditions---Restatement of Guarantees and Assurances.

5. Adjustment of Functions of C.R.B and C.N. July 1915

Résumé of the Position of the Commission in July 1915---Definition of Administrative Relations of the C.R.B. and the C.N.

6. The Vermittlungsstelle. November-December 1915

German Agencies with Authority in Relief Affairs---Competition between the Civil and Political Departments of the General Government---Espionage Charges---Gibson's Protest at the Treatment of the Commission---Hoover's Discussion with Members of the General Staff---Von Bissing Sets Up the Vermittlungsstelle.

7. Inspection and Control. January-February 1916

Reported Leakages of Relief Supplies to Germany---British Restrictions and Threats to Stop Relief---Reorganization of Department of Inspection and Control---Definition of the Functions of This Department.

8. Responsibilities and Duties of the Commission Redefined. February-December 1916

Hoover Suggests Turning Over the C.R.B.'s Functions to the C.N.---Francqui's Statement of the C.N.'s Dependence on the C.R.B.---British Refusal to Permit the Transfer of Responsibility for Relief---Letters of Sir Edward Grey and Lord Eustace Percy Stating the Position of the British Government---Final Memorandum Agreement Relating to the Objectives and Responsibilities of the C.R.B. and the C.N.

 

CHAPTER III.
PROGRAM OF IMPORTATIONS

1. The First Year. November 1914-October 1915

An Estimate of Belgium's Food Requirements---Difficulties in Meeting Requirements---Lack of Funds---Scarcity of Ships---Utilization of Gifts, Personal Credit and Emergency Loans---Rapid Increase in Belgian Needs The Relief of Northern France---Program to the 1915 Harvest---The First Year's Accomplishment.

2. The Second Year. November 1915-October 1916

Program for the Winter 1915-16---Alleged Violation of Agreements by the Germans---British Blockade Policy---Foreign Office Restriction on the Commission's Imports---The Beginning of the "Permitted Program"---Hoover's Review of the Needs of Belgium and Northern France---Exports from Belgium---British Stipulations Regarding Use of Native Produce---The Commission's Program Reduced---British Prohibition of Clothing Imports---Hoover's Advocacy of an Increased Program---German Agreement to Forbid Exports of Native Produce---British Authorization of Increased Program---Clothing Imports Permitted---The Second Year's Accomplishment.

3. The Third Year. November 1916-October 1917

Hoover's Recommendation---British Authorization of New Program---The Commission's Position at End of 1916---Beginning of the Unrestricted Submarine Campaign---Disastrous Effect on Commission's Program---German Food Requisitions in Belgium---Resumption of Minimum Program---Summary of Imports.

4. The Fourth Year. November 1917-October 1918

Increased Food Requirements of the Occupied Territories---Effect of Shipping and Food Shortage on Relief---The Ration Program for 1917-18---Relations with the Supreme War Council and Other Inter-Allied Bodies---Priority for Belgian and French Relief---Arrangements with the Allied Maritime Transport Council and the United States Shipping Board---Summary of the Fourth Year's Imports---Clothing and Other Supplies.

5. Importations during German Evacuation. October-November 1918

The Commission's Plan of Relief during Evacuation---Continuation of Commission's Activities in Evacuated Regions Requested by French and Belgian Governments---Maintenance of Lines of Relief Communications---Bases at Dunkirk, Lille, and Antwerp.

6. Rehabilitation. November 1918-August 1919

Return of the C.R.B. American Delegates to Belgium and Northern France---Aid to Returning Population in Northern France---Hoover's Program for Continued Aid to Belgium---Wilson's Approval of Hoover's Belgian and General European Relief Proposals---Increased Imports---Withdrawal of C.R.B. as Belgian and French Governments Take Over its Responsibilities.

7. Summary of Commission's Importations. 1914-1919

Annual Imports and Costs-Summary of Commodities Imported.

 

CHAPTER IV.
GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES

1. Early Negotiations for Government Support. November 1914-January 1915

The Inadequacy of Contributions and Other Relief Funds---Estimated Monthly Requirement of £1,000,000---Hoover's Request for Government Subsidy to Pay for Transportation of Gifts in Kind---Grey's Statement of British Position---German Requisitions of Belgian Produce---The Project of Paying Pensioners of the Belgian Government through the C.R.B.---British Refusal to Authorize the C.R.B.'s Exchange Operations Because of Germany's Money Levies in Belgium---Grey's Revised Statement of British Conditions---Lloyd George's Objections Overcome and Exchange Operations Authorized---Subsidies Withheld Subject to Discontinuation of German Levies on Belgian Communities.

2. Hoover's Negotiations in Berlin. February 1915

Hoover's Decision to Appeal to Highest German Authorities---Measures for Mobilizing Public Opinion in Support of the C.R.B.'s Proposals---Conversations in Berlin with Zimmermann and Helfferich---German Refusal to Discontinue Indemnities---Alternative Plan of Financing Relief by an American Loan---Hoover's Interviews with Warburg, Ballin, Jagow and Bethmann-Hollweg---Confirmation of Previous Guarantees.

3. Allied Decision to Subsidize Relief. February 1915

British Restate Position on Relief Subvention and German Indemnities in Belgium-Hoover's Conference with Lloyd George---Lloyd George Overcomes Cabinet Opposition to Subventions---British and French Budgetary Allowance to the Belgian Government Including £1,000,000 Monthly for "Mr. Hoover's Fund."

4. Income and Expenditure. March 1915-March 1917

C.R.B. Income from All Sources, Spring 1915---Additional Funds from France for French Relief---Successful Negotiations for the Protection of the 1915 Belgian Harvest Assure Continued Subsidies---Rising Costs Bring New Financial Troubles---French Subvention Increased in September 1915---Alleged German Attempts to Control Relief Delay Increase of Belgian Subsidies---September 1916 Increases in Subventions for Belgium and Northern France Income Inadequate to Meet Rising Costs and Growing Needs.

5. The Relief Loan Plan. October 1916-February 1917.

Original Proposal for Relief Loan for Northern France---Project Expanded as Relief Commission Loan for both Belgium and France---American Bankers Ready to Act---Project Delayed by Franco-British Financial Negotiations---The Submarine Campaign---Loan Plan Abandoned.

6. The United States Government and Relief Finance. April 1917-March 1919

America in the War---Credits for the Allies---The United States Treasury Becomes the Source for Relief Subventions---American Funds Not Available for Expenditures in Europe---Character of C.R.B. European Disbursements---A Bank Overdraft of £700,000---C.R.B. Relations with the Commission Internationale de Ravitaillement---Liquidation of C.R.B. European Expenditures through British Government Departments---Increased American Subsidies in November 1917---Funds for Rehabilitation.

 

CHAPTER V.
SHIPS

1. The C.R.B. Flag. November-December 1914

British Permits---German Guarantees of Immunity to Relief Ships---Berlin Consents to Use of Non-neutral Vessels---North Sea Risks and British Government Insurance---German Safe-Conduct Passes.

2. The German "War Zone" of 1915. February-April 1915

British Ports and English Channel Closed to the C.R.B.---Effect of the Declaration on the Commission's Purchases in London---Difficulties over Cargoes Bought Afloat, over Bunkering, and British Inspection---The Commission's Protests---Berlin Permits Relief Ships to Traverse the War Zone---Identification Marks and Flags.

3. A Relief Fleet. March 1915---May 1917

Scarcity of Ships and Prohibitive Charter Rates---Hoover's Plan to Use Interned German Vessels---British and German Qualified Consent-Plan Blocked by French Opposition---Shortage of Ships More Acute---French Ask Hoover to Revive the Plan---German Refusal to Reopen the Question---Other Schemes to Secure Relief Ships---A Ship-owning Company---United States Naval Colliers---Belgian-owned Vessels---Acquisition of Twenty Vessels under the Belgian Flag---Inadequacy of This Fleet and Scarcity of Neutral Charters---C.R.B. Project to Buy Vessels.

4. Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. February-April 1917

C.R.B. Shipping Losses in 1916---Allied Requisitions of Ships---The German Submarine Declaration---Withdrawal of Neutral Vessels from C.R.B. Service---Routes to Rotterdam Closed----C.R.B. Cargoes Unloaded in England---Northern Route for Relief Ships Established (March 1917)---Inspection and Bunkering---C.R.B. Forced to Sell Supplies Blockaded in England---Losses of C.R.B. Ships.

5. The Shipping Crisis. May-November 1917

Allied Losses, February-September---Disastrous Effect on C.R.B. Program---Belgium and Northern France on Starvation Rations---Hoover's Efforts to Secure Neutral Ships---Norwegian Cargoes---A Message to King Albert---Struggles of the C.R.B. London Office---The Inter-Allied Chartering Executive---The Allied Maritime Transport Council---The Allies Adopt the Principle of Priority for the C.R.B. Program.

6. Shipping Problems of 1918

The Convoy System---Submarine Losses Checked---Effect of A.E.F. Tonnage Requirements---The Allied Maritime Transport Council and the United States Shipping Board---The "Fifty-Fifty" Agreement---Summary of C.R.B. Shipping Losses and Accomplishment.

 

CHAPTER VI.
NORTHERN FRANCE

1. Conditions and Early Negotiations. November1914--March 1915

Need of French Relief Recognized---Military and Diplomatic Complications---Aid for French Refugees---Maubeuge and Givet-Fumay Provisioned with Belgium---C.R.B. Relief Proposals Not Encouraged at Paris---A Commercial Proposition---Hoover's Appeal to Poincaré---Ribot's Guarded Statement---Alternative Plans.

2. Fundamental Guarantees. March-April 1915

Finances---Indirect French Support Assured---First Advances through the Belgian Treasury---Approval of French Relief by Berlin---Agreements between German Military Authorities and the Commission---The Comité d'Alimentation du Nord de la France.

3. Administration. April 1915-February 1914

Difficulties of Organization-The Status of French Citizens---The Question of Forced Labor---The C.R.B. Program of Finance, Distribution and Accounting---The Question of Local Produce Subsidies Increased---Franco-British Approval of the Commission's Program and Methods---Hoover's Efforts at Paris and Chantilly to Secure More Direct French Support---The Lille Deportations.

4. Supplementary Program for the Cities. March 1916-April 1917

Needs of the Industrial Regions---The Commission's Supplementary Program---New Committees Subsidized by France---The Comité Hollandais---Hoover's Conferences in Paris with French and British Authorities---Distribution of Supplementary Supplies by the C.R.B.---Program for 1916-17---Increasing Needs-Additional Purchases in Holland.

5. From Relief to Reconstruction. 1917-1919

Effects of American Declaration of War and the U-Boat Campaign---Dutch Delegates---Reorganization of the Comité Français---German Evacuation of Northern France---The Comité Général des Régions Libérées---The C.R.B. Organization in Devastated Areas.

6. The Destitute

Entire Population Rationed---The Commission's Financial Reserve---Its Distribution for Care of Destitute---Gift Clothing and Special Charity---The Final Accounting---Child Health---The Comité d'Assistance des Régions Libérées.

 

CHAPTER VII.
THE AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVES

1. The American Delegate in Belgium

The Délégué Américain---First Delegates-Duties in the Early Period---Unofficial Service---Duties in the Later Period-Inspection and Control---Reports to Brussels Office---Inventories and Special Investigations---Contacts with Brussels Headquarters---Brussels Conferences---Provincial Committee Meetings---Support of Belgian Morale.

2. The American Delegate in Northern France

Two Million People in the Army Zone---A German Accompanying Officer---French Committees---In the Name of France---The German Army---The American and His German Officer---Duties of the Representative---Abroad in the District---Charleville and Brussels---The Rôle of the German Officer---Six Districts---A Day on the Road---Questions of Power---The Front Line of Relief.

 

CHAPTER VIII.
HARVESTS

PART I.
THE OCCUPATION ZONE

1. The Belgian Harvest of 1914. November 1914---March 1915

German Requisitions and Allied Support of Relief---Von der Goltz Declaration---Hoover Seeks Berlin's Confirmation---Zimmermann's Inclusive Assurance to Gerard---Von Bissing Statement That Requisitions of Foodstuffs Will Be Prohibited---Zimmermann Reservations---Value of Guarantees Jeopardized---Hoover's Visit to Berlin---The Position of Berlin Clarified---Von Bissing's Confirmation of Previous Guarantees---British Qualified Acceptance of German Assurances.

2. The Belgian Harvest of 1915. March-July 1915

The Protection of Crops and the Continuation of Relief---Hoover's Appeal to Berlin---The British Ultimatum---Francqui's Statement on the British Position---Threat of Discontinuance of Relief on August 15---Brussels Negotiations---Von Bissing's Agreement to Preserve the 1915 Crop for the Belgians on Condition of Continued Allied Support---British and German Conditions Met---General Guarantee of 29th July 1915---German Decrees Relating to the 1915 Harvest.

3. The Extension of Protection of Native Produce. July 1915-March 1918

The Question of Fodder---British Objection to German Fodder Requisitions---Restrictions on the Commission's Imports---Other Matters at Issue---The Effect of the Broad German Guarantee of the 14th April 1916---Relaxation of British Restrictions---German Crop Decrees of 1916, 1917, and 1918.

PART II.
THE ARMY ZONES

4. The Belgian Etapes. September-October 1915

The Situation in East and West Flanders---The C.R.B. and the German General Staff---Entire Harvest Requisitioned by the Army---The Army Agrees to Supply a Daily Ration of 120 Grams of Wheat per Person.

5. Northern France. August-November 1915

Early Discussions at Charleville---Von Kessler's Assurances of the German Intention to Issue Part of the Crop to the Civilians-Kellogg's Negotiations---Declaration of the Intendant General Regarding the Daily Ration of 100 Grams---The Potato Ration-Methods of Payment for Rations.

6. The Harvest of 1916. February-September 1916

The Paris Cabinet's Attitude Respecting the Produce in the French Regions---The Allies Demand the Reservation of All the Products of the Soil---Negotiations in Berlin---Von Kessler-Kellogg Agreement Regarding the 1916 Harvest-Daily Ration of 200 Grams of Native Flour---Allied Acceptance of the Commission's Agreement with the General Staff.

7. The Harvests of 1917 and 1918

Discussion of 1917 crop by C.R.B., C.H.N., and C.F. and the General Staff-Effect of Military Operations on Production-Authorized Daily Ration of 150 Grams---The 1918 Agreement-Further Reductions to 75 Grams---Situation Changed by German Evacuation of the Old Army Zones.

8. Local and Imported Bread Grains. 1914-1918

Table Showing Bread Grains Locally Produced and Imported for Each Year 1914-1918.

 

VOLUME II

CHAPTER IX.
REVIVAL OF BELGIAN INDUSTRY

1. Unemployment and Destitution. July-August 1915.

The Extent of Unemployment---Its Effect on Relief---The Dutch Proposal for a Neutral Industrial Commission---The C.R.B.'s Relation to the Dutch Plan

2. The Proposed Comité Industriel. September 1915--January 1916

British Veto of the Dutch Plan---A New Proposal: the Comité Industriel---German Opposition to C.R.B. Participation---Objections to Alternative Plans---Proposed German Guarantees---Articles of Association and Regulations of the Comité Industriel---Hostility of the French General Staff to the Whole Idea of Belgian Industrial Revival---German Approval Withheld

3. Failure of Subsequent Negotiations. April 1916---January 1917

Relaxation of Restrictions on Belgian Exports in 1915---The Disposal of the Proceeds of these Exports---Conflicting Regulations of the British and Germans---Hoover's Compromise Proposal---Francqui's Presentation of the Plan to the Germans---Its rejection by them---Other Issues Involved

 

CHAPTER X.
FORCED LABOR AND DEPORTATIONS

1. Belgian Workers and German Employment. November 1914--March 1916

Provisions to Secure Voluntary Workers on German Projects---The Attempt to Exert Pressure on Workers through the Relief Organization---Labor in "the Public Interest"---The Imprisonment of the Masters and Workers of the Lessines Quarries---British Protest against German Policy---The Efforts to Coerce Railway Workers---Deportation Proposals

2. The Deportation of Belgians. October 1916--September 1918.

The Shortage of German Man Power---Ludendorff Requests More Belgian Workers---The Reichstag's Auxiliary Service Act---Deportations and Relief Guarantees ---Protest by the United States Government---The German Explanation---C.R.B. Reports on Deportations from Antwerp, Court-St. Etienne and Wavre---The Commission Protests Seizures of Relief Personnel---Renewed Protests by the United States---Allied Warning of Impending Breakdown of Relief---Further Reports and Protests---Forced Labor on Military Works (1918)

3. The Deportations in Northern France. April-May 1916

The General Staff's Plan to Remove Workers from Lille, Roubaix, and Tourcoing to Agricultural Districts---Harsh Methods by the Troops---Poland's Personal Intervention with the General Staff---Suspension of Deportations---Wellington's Account---Hoover's Statement to Lansing

 

CHAPTER XI.
POLAND

1. The Origin of the Polish Relief Project. February-December 1915

Negotiations of the Rockefeller Foundation with the German Authorities---The Proposed International Commission for Relief in Poland---Breakdown of Negotiations---Military Operations and Devastation in Poland in the Summer of 1915---Polish Appeal to the C.R.B.---Kellogg's Investigation and Report---Hoover's Discussions with the German General Staff---Petitions of Polish Societies of Warsaw and the United States---Hoover Asks for Allied Sanction and Support of Polish Relief

2. The Commission's Negotiations with the British and German Governments. January-August 1916

Polish-American Societies and the British Foreign Office---The British Conditions---Hoover's Request for German Guarantees and his Plan of Relief---British Conditions---Eastern Poland, Serbia, Albania and Montenegro---German Counter Proposal and British Rejection---The Appeal of the United States to the Belligerents---Refusal of British and Germans to Make Concessions---Breakdown of Negotiations

3. Subsequent Polish Relief Measures. November 1917.

Destitution and Distress in Poland---Funds of Polish and Jewish Societies for Relief---Effect of the Allied Blockade on the Transmission of Funds---Plans to Transmit Funds through the Commission---British and German Opposition to the Plan and its Abandonment

 

CHAPTER XII.
AMERICA IN THE WAR

1. The Diplomatic Crises. May 1915--February 1917

The "Lusitania" Crisis---Tentative Plans for Relief in Case of American Diplomatic Break with Germany---Dutch to Replace Americans in Belgium---Germans Announce Unrestricted U-Boat Campaign--The United States Breaks Relations with Germany---Position of the C.R.B.---German Declaration on the Status of C.R.B. Representatives---The Commission Announces the Necessity of Withdrawal

2. Between Peace and War. February-March 1917

Statements of British and French Authorities on Commission's Work---German Concessions---Hoover's Interventions to Continue Operations---The Spanish Proposal to Replace Americans in the C.R.B.---The Belgians Request and the Germans Approve Continuation of American Management of Relief---The Zimmermann Note and the "Laconia"---Hoover's Proposal for Continuing External Operations of C.R.B. with Spanish and Dutch Representatives in Belgium---Proposed Inter-Allied Committee Abandoned---British and Belgian Approval of Hoover's Plan

3. The American Declaration of War and the Reorganization of Relief. April--July 1917

The Declaration of War and the Withdrawal of American Delegates---Position of British and French Governments---Negotiations with Spanish, Dutch, and Swiss ---Appointment of the Comité Hispano-Néerlandais---Relations with C.R.B.---Approval of the British, French, Belgian and German Governments

4. The C.R.B. and United States War Administration. January-October 1918

Problems of Finance, Shipping and Food-Hoover's C.R.B. Activities in Washington---The Grain Corporation and the C.R.B.---The Defeat of Proposals to Curtail the Relief Program---Utilization of Swedish Shipping---Relief Purchases in America by the Food Administration Grain Corporation

 

CHAPTER XIII.
LIQUIDATION OF THE C.R.B.

1. Problems of Liquidation

Conditions after the Armistice---French and Belgians Request the C.R.B. to Continue its Operations---Return Of Commission's Representatives to Belgium and Northern France---Preparations for Liquidation---Magnitude of the Task---Summary of Gross Operations of Provisioning and Benevolent Departments---Summary of Funds Received and Funds Disbursed

2. Procedure of Liquidation

The Commission's Financial Responsibility and Accounting Methods---Belgian and French Approval of Form of Final Accounts and Methods of Closing Them ---Working Capital and Benevolent Funds---Working Capital Amounting to $17,246,490 for France and $1,512,901.66 for Belgium Returned by C.R.B. to U.S. Treasury in Reduction of Relief Subsidies---Balance of French Benevolent Funds Turned over to the Comité d'Assistance des Régions Libérées

3. The Belgian Educational Foundations

Larger Benevolent Balances Due Belgium-Hoover's Proposal (1916) to Utilize Probable Balances for Education---Renewal of this Proposal (1919) and Belgian Approval---Donations to Belgian Educational Establishments---The Foundation Universitaire---The C.R.B. Educational Foundation-Recapitulation of Liquidation Settlements---Statement by Auditors of C.R.B. Accounts on Methods of Accounting and Value of Services Given by Hoover and Others without Remuneration

 

CHAPTER XIV.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL SETTLEMENT OF RELIEF SUBSIDIES

1. The Belgian War Debt

Total of Belgian War Debts to France, Great Britain, and the United States---Relief Subsidies Advanced by These Governments---German Responsibility for Belgian War Debt According to the Treaty of Versailles---The Effect of America's Failure to Ratify the Treaty on the Settlement of the Belgian Debt to the United States---The Debt Negotiations and Settlement

2. Post-Armistice Loans to Belgium

Extent of American Post-Armistice Loans to Belgium ---Sixty Per Cent for Relief and Reconstruction---The British Reconstruction Loan---French Advances and Settlement---Terms of the Belgian-American Settlement ---Terms of the Belgian-British Settlement

3. Loans to France

Amount of Subsidies for French Relief from French, British, and United States Governments---The War Loans---Failure of First French-American Debt Negotiations---Agreement Signed April 29, 1926, but Not Ratified---Terms of the French-British Settlement Not Ratified

4. Relief Subsidies and United States Debt Settlement Concessions

Interest on Liberty Loans and War Debts---Comparison of Amount of Concessions to Belgium in Debt Settlement and American Relief Subsidies---Concessions to France and Relief Advances

 

CHAPTER XV.
THE MOBILIZATION OF PUBLIC SUPPORT

1. The First Appeals for Belgium. August-October 1914

The Refugees from Belgium---The Belgian Relief Fund ---The Millers' Belgian Relief Movement---The "Christian Herald Fund"---Canadian Gifts in Kind---The Rockefeller Foundation---Establishment of the C.R.B. as Authorized Channel of Relief

2. The organization of American Support. October 1914--February 1915

The Committees of the States---The C.R.B. New York Office---Transportation of Gifts in Kind---The Press Department and Co-operation of American Periodicals ---"Famous Authors' Service"---The "Queen of the Belgians Fund" of The Ladies' Home Journal---The Literary Digest's "Belgian Flour Fund"---Hoover's Personal Appeals to Friends and Business Associates

3. Public Support from the British Empire and Elsewhere. 1914-1918

Early Contributions from Great Britain and the Dominions---The National Committee for Relief in Belgium (British)---Establishment of Committees in Italy and the Argentine and Elsewhere---Summary of Collections of the National Committee

4. The Reorganization of American Support. May--August 1915

Effect of Government Subsidies on American Support---The Slackening of Contributions---The "Lusitania" Crisis---Hoover's Plan of Reorganization of American Committees

5. Warm Clothing for the Belgians. September 1915--April 1916

Preparations for the Clothing Appeal---President Wilson's Support---The New York Committee of the C.R.B.---Gifts in Cash and Kind---The Rockefeller Foundation ---The D.A.R.---The Allied Bazaar---The Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America

6. The Commission's Appeal for Belgian Children. 1916-1917

Disease and Undernutrition among Children---Dr. Lucas' Survey---Appeal for Funds for Supplementary Rations for Children---Support of the Vatican---"Adoption" of Belgian Communities by C.R.B. Committees in America---The Literary Digest's Second Campaign---"The Belgian Kiddies, Ltd." of the American Institute of Mining Engineers---"The Rocky Mountain Club---Hoover Fund for Belgian Relief"---"The Dollar Christmas Fund"---"The Forbes Fund----The Harkness and Other Donations----Activities of the British National Committee

7. Clothing and Special Charities. 1917-1918

The Effect of United States Treasury Advances on Relief Finance---The Clothing Collections of March and September 1918---Collaboration of the American Red Cross---The National Committee's Clothing Drive---Renewed Support of Special Charities (1918)

8. Summary of Cash Donations and Gifts in Kind. 1914-1919

Total Donations---Origin by Countries---Contributions through the London Office of the C.R.B.---Contributions through the National Committee for Relief in Belgium ---Contributions through the New York Office of the C.R.B

 

CHAPTER XVI.
THE CARE OF THE DESTITUTE

1. Sources of Support

The Provisioning and Benevolent Departments---Contributions from the Public---State Aid in Belgium---General Rationing in Northern France and Special Benevolence---Origin of Funds Disbursed for the Care of the Destitute

2. Care of the Destitute in Belgium. 1914-1917

Economic and Social Effects of the Invasion---Pre-War Belgian Benevolent Institutions---Relief Classification of the Population---Relief Organization for Benevolence---Division of Relief Measures between Public Charity and Governmental Subsidy---Public Charity Distribution through Communal Charity Committees---Public Charity Distribution through Special Committees---Relief and Financial Measures Conducted with Belgian Government Subsidies

3. Care of the Destitute in Northern France. 1915-1917

Population---The Army Zone---Extent of Destitution---Administrative Organization of the Relief---Clothing

4. After 1917 and Summary

Increase of Destitution in Belgium, 1917-18---Special Relief after the Armistice---Analysis of Benevolent Expenditures by Country, 1914-1919

 

CHAPTER XVII.
GERMAN GUARANTEES AND DECLARATIONS

1. Guarantees Affecting the Relief as a Whole. 1914-1918.

Berlin Government Assurances of Approval of the General Principle of Relief---Confirmation by the Imperial Government of Agreements and Undertakings of the General Government in Belgium and Army Headquarters in Northern France---Guarantees and Orders Covering the Movement of C.R.B. Ships, Safe-Conduct Passes, Routes, and Markings of Relief Vessels

2. Guarantees in the General Government Zone in Belgium. 1914-1918

Guarantees, Undertakings, and Declarations by the General Government Respecting Immunity of Imported Supplies---The Reservation of Local Crops for the Civil Population---Privileges of C.R.B. and C.N. Organizations and Personnel---Handling and Distribution Regulations Covering Customs Duties, Canal Boats and Tugs, Freight Charges, etc.---Guarantees Affecting Clothing and Textiles, Fertilizers, Seeds, etc

3. Guarantees in the Army Zones of Belgium and the North of France 1914-1918

C.R.B. Agreements with the Army Commands and General Head-Quarters Respecting Relief Operations in the Belgian Etape and Northern France---Rationing of Native Wheat, Rye, and Potatoes from Each Year's Crop---Special Guarantees Regarding Seeds, Vegetables, Milk Herds, Textiles, etc.

 

APPENDIX I.
The Administrative Structure of the C.R.B.

 

APPENDIX II.
Chronological List of Documents

 

 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

 1 LETTER, 25 FEBRUARY 1916, AMBASSADOR PAGE TO HOOVER
 2 NOTE, 22 OCTOBER 1914, FRANCQUI TO HOOVER
 3 CERTIFICATE, 2 NOVEMBER 1914, WHITLOCK AND VILLALOBAR, CONFIRMING BELGIUM'S REQUIREMENTS
 4a
 4b
HOOVER'S MEMORANDA, 11-12 FEBRUARY 1915, OF CONFERENCES WITH GERMAN OFFICIALS IN BRUSSELS
 5a
 5b
HOOVER'S MEMORANDA,
 6 LETTER, 8 MARCH 1915, SIR EDWARD GREY TO HOOVER
 7 GERMAN SAFE CONDUCT PASS, 2 FEBRUARY 1917, FOR C.R.B. STEAMER "FEISTEIN"
 8 MAP OF NORTH SEA AND ATLANTIC SHOWING DANGER ZONES
 9 MAP OF RELIEF AREA OF BELGIUM AND NORTHERN FRANCE
10 HOOVER'S MEMORANDA ON INSPECTION TRIP THROUGH NORTHERN FRANCE IN MARCH 1916
11 LETTER, 11 NOVEMBER 1914, VAN DYKE TO HOOVER
12 LETTER, 1 JUNE 1915, HOOVER TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE COMMISSION'S ROTTERDAM OFFICE
13 LETTER, 18 JULY 1916, AMBASSADOR GERARD To HOOVER..
14 LETTER, 3 JULY 1916, AMBASSADOR CAMBON To HOOVER
15 LETTER, 5 FEBRUARY 1916, SIR EDWARD GREY To HOOVER
16 LETTER, 18 MAY 1915, HOOVER TO YOUNG
17 LETTER, 20 FEBRUARY 1915, PRESIDENT WILSON To HOOVER.
18 LETTER, 2 FEBRUARY 1915, WHITLOCK To HOOVER
19 LETTER, 4 NOVEMBER 1915, FRANKLIN LANE To HOOVER
20 LETTER, 14 AUGUST 1917, CARDINAL MERCIER To HOOVER
21 LETTER, 12 APRIL 1918, WHITLOCK To HOOVER
22 GERMAN GUARANTEE, 16 OCTOBER 1914, SIGNED BY GOVERNOR GENERAL VON DER GOLTZ
23 GERMAN SAFE CONDUCT PASS, 10 JANUARY 1918, FOR C.R.B. STEAMER "FRIDLAND"
24 MAP OF BELGIUM AND NORTHERN FRANCE SHOWING GEOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS AND DISTRIBUTING SYSTEM DURING RELIEF PERIOD


Chapter I