Herbert Hoover to Woodrow Wilson


Herbert Hoover to Woodrow Wilson


Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964




1917 July 17


Herbert Hoover informs Woodrow Wilson that the current supply of wheat and corn is insufficient to meet the needs of the American people if the US continues to send it overseas. He suggests an embargo until the new harvest.


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




Dear Mr. President

I am very anxious to bring to your attention a very serious crisis that is daily gathering with respect to wheat and corn owing to the very considerable drain by the neutrals and the apparent holding of grain in the country by someone, possibly their agents.

We are faced with an actual shortage in liquid supplies of such dimensions as to seriously imperil the situation until the new harvest arrives. The flour mills in Minneapolis are practically all closed down owing to their inability to buy wheat, although statistical information shows over 3,000,000 bushels available in that territory. The price of wheat is rising steadily again. Furthermore, the drain of fodder material from the country is going on at a very rapid rate; prices have risen very largely in the past thirty days and one of the many results from this is the forcing of dairymen to sell their cattle for meat as they can no longer, at the ruling prices of dairy products, afford to purchase fodder materials on the present terms. In fact, we are today shipping fodder to European neutrals to maintain the cattle which furnish dairy products to the Germans while our rown cattle are being slaughtered because our dairymen can no longer maintain them.

Altogether, I feel greatly disturbed over the situation between now and the flow of the new harvest and there appears to me to be no remedy to our internal situation but immediate embargo. If this is followed by the passage of the Food Bill at an early date, we should be able to then procure liquidation of the held stocks. In any event, the embargo is the most critical portion of the operation.

I remain,

Your obedient servant,

Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924




Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964, “Herbert Hoover to Woodrow Wilson,” 1917 July 17, WWP19116, Hoover Institute at Stanford University Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.