Herbert Hoover to Woodrow Wilson


Herbert Hoover to Woodrow Wilson


Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964




1919 March 24


Herbert Hoover writes to Woodrow Wilson about wheat distribution for relief efforts in Europe.


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


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924--Correspondence
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964--Correspondence





My dear Mr. President

The determination of the method of administration of the 1919 wheat crop requires an early dcecision. I have the feeling that with the completion of this harvest year, the great call for relief work in Europe will have been completed and before this time the Food Administration will have ceased legally to exist, except so far as it is necessary to carry on outstanding contracts in 1918 the 1918 wheat crop and in connection with sugar purchases. I believe that the completion of the harvest year therefore offers a proper opportunity for me to retire after four years of after 5 years of from public service, of which I am in great need for many reasons after four years.

The handling of the 1919 wheat crops, however, is a matter of extreme importance and I am convinced that the world demand for wheat would be such that if it is capably carryied out there need not necessarily be a single dollar lost to the Government. The only reason why, on present prospects, any loss should be incurred, would be amateur handling of a matter of extreme technical and financial complexity or, alternatively, of deliberate desire of the Government to subsidize the price of flour for economic reasons. The addition of this latter function woluld, in any event, be none that could only be carried out by the very highest experience and skill.

I wish to state to you am convinced that the only man in the nation today who is capable of carrying through this difficult operation is Mr. Julius Barnes, whom, as you know, has had charged of this work for the last two years. He has probably handled nearly two billions of dollars of government money has not cost the government a penny of loss and there nhas never been a suspicion of either incapacity or of bad faith in his division. His recent announcement that he felt that he would retire with the harvest year, has brought a storm of protest throughout the nation, both from the farming community and the trades, as they feel that his administration has been not only capable but just to all of the people concerned. I have also received urgent telegrams from some of the Senators all quarters many different quarters including even Senators urging that he should be continued as a matter of nationaol importance. Mr. Barnes has no principal politics otherwise than a consist of great personal devotion to yourself. I have inquired of him by cable whether he would be willing to ciontinue for another year to direct this matter and I believe he could be induced to accept it but with one reservation, that is, that he should be placed directly under yourself without the intervention of any other government department. He is that type of man who requires a considerable latitude, of action but would accept your of course entirely your direction.As the whole problem is one of our greatest national liquidation problems, I believe this that the same direct association with yorurself that I have enjoyed is of the utmost importance.

Faithfully yours,
Herbert C. Hoover


His Excellency,
The President of the United States,

Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924




Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964, “Herbert Hoover to Woodrow Wilson,” 1919 March 24, WWP19491, Hoover Institute at Stanford University Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.