Herbert Hoover to Woodrow Wilson

Identifier

WWP19518

Source

Hoover-Wilson Correspondence, Hoover Institution, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford, California

Publisher

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum

Language

English

Text

Dear Mr President

In overhauling the methods of purchase of foodstuffs by the various government agencies which are made through the Food Administration co-ordination of Allied and USnited States agencies purchases I find that in certain trades the practice still exists in effect of purchase upon a cost plus basis by our own government agencies- While it has been abolished by Moreover confusion exists as result of our fixing absolute prices for civilian and Allied purchases in the same trades.

Some time ago a Comittee appointed by you of Mr Houston Mr Wilson Mr Taussig Gov Fort and myself to determine policies in certain pha neat phazes of these operations recommended to you that price fixing functions should be handled by the Price Fixing Board Committee of the War Industries Board. Mr Baruch felt that this would overload his Committee and you will recollect that the matter was dropped. We have tried to get along but so many phazes develop that need correction that I would I am anxious we should now set up a Food Administration Price Determining Committee to have the following functions.

(a) To determine prices at which food commodities outside of cereals should be purchased by Army Navy and Allies and where these prices purchases are so large as to involve determination domination of civilian prices to fix these also.

(b) To determine the method of purchase of these agenciesThe reason for excluding cereals is that by using the Grain Corporation as a reservoir and reselling to the parties we have no need for further action in these particularsThere are many vital interests involved besides the governmental and Allied buyers for because of these price determination effect.

a. These farmers prices effect the farmer
b. They effect the civilian consumer
c. They ”the Army
d. The Navy
e The Allies
f. The manufacturer.
g. Labor.

At the present moment the Food Administration has to represent all of these except the Army and navy and we find ourselves thrown into the position of morally by the buyers of this group into of the position of having to represent the sellers instead of being the impartial umpire as we should be.

Therefore I wish to recommend to you that we parallel the War Industries Board Price Fixing Committee by selecting a board under an independent Ch all members except Army and Navy as follows

1. An independent Chairman from the Food Administration.

2. A representative of Labor who also can represent the civilian consumer.

3. A representative from our Mr. Houston and my Agricultural Advisory Board representing the farmer.

4. A representative from the Food Administration Co-ordination of Purchase division representing the Allies. (I do not accept the principle that the Allies should be directly represented)

5 One gentleman of food manufacturing experience but who is independent of interest.

6. The Army.

7. The Navy.

This board so far as these functions are concerned would superceed the present interdepartmental Food Purchase Board of your but whose other functions would continue. I would be glad to have your views in the matter. Such

Original Format

Letter

Files

http://resources.presidentwilson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/D09038.pdf

Citation

Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964, “Herbert Hoover to Woodrow Wilson,” 1917 January 1, WWP19518, Hoover Institute at Stanford University Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.

Transcribe This Item

  1. http://resources.presidentwilson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/D09038.pdf