CHAPTER 50
WINDING UP THE DELIVERY OF SUPPLIES

On March 26, 1919, the C.R.B. formally advised Franequi that it would retire from purchase and transport of supplies to Belgium as of April 30:

PARIS, 26 MARCH 1919

MY DEAR FRANCQUI:

Apropos of the discussions we have had, I think we are in agreement that the time has arrived when we should undertake a further step in the demobilization of the C.R.B. and the Comité National. . . . it would seem to me desirable from the point of view of transportation of Belgian imports that the C.R.B. fleet should be placed in control of the Belgian authorities or Belgian merchants in such a manner as to allow . . . [it more] mobility in handling . . . [general imports] and exports. . . .

In order to carry this out, I understand that it is agreed that the Belgian Government will take over the outstanding charters of all steamers which arrive in New York after April 30th. . . .

It is desirable, I think, from the point of view of the American Treasury and the Belgian Government, that the C.R.B. should remain active for a certain further period which we may determine from time to time. . . .

There is one particular in this connection that I wish made emphatic: In any arrangements that the Belgian Government may set up to carry on this work, there must be no feeling on their part that they are under any obligation whatever to do business with men formerly associated with the C.R.B. Some of these men may be useful from their previous experience with Belgium, but I do not for one moment countenance any man trading on his association to obtain business ends.

HERBERT TOOVER

-403-

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An American Epic - Vol. 1
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