CHAPTER 43
FINANCING THE COMMISSION

Our financial problems in the fourth year did not prove difficult as far as American subsidies were concerned. In November, 1917, I obtained an increase in our Congressional appropriations to $9,000,000 monthly for Belgium and $6,000,000 for the North of France. However, since the law provided that these funds had to be spent solely in the United States, we were constantly troubled by the problem of securing British and French funds sufficient to cover purchases of food in Holland and payments for neutral and Belgian shipping. At the beginning of the fourth year, we were in debt to the Banque Belge in London for more than £1,700,000.

In the meantime, Chevrillon was energetically working on the French Government for help and arranged a meeting for Poland and Shaler with French officials in Paris. At this conference the French Government agreed to contribute its share if Britain would do likewise. The gist of Poland's report to me was:

LONDON, 7 December 1917

My DEAR HOOVER:

Shaler and I returned yesterday . . . we were successful in accomplishing every object of the journey.

The first and most important was to provide for the financing of the European expenditure along the lines indicated by your telegrams. Soundings of the British made it apparent that we could expect nothing from them until France had declared herself. . . . We . . . had a preliminary meeting with your friend Monsieur Homberg, who . . . presented to Minister Klotz a memorandum which had been drawn up. The Minister

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