A serious Herbert Hoover - a man whose reputation the Secret Elites vigorously defended.Herbert Hoover’s reputation could not have survived the war years without protection from his Secret Elite masters. Once he had been presented as the humanitarian face of the so-called relief programme, and his status transformed from unscrupulous and crooked mining-engineer to quasi-diplomat, he had access to the inner chambers of the American, British and German governments. Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB) records show that  between 1914-1916 he had discussions with Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey [1], Prime Minister Henry Asquith [2] and Chancellor Lloyd George, [3] yet interestingly they blank him entirely from their official memoirs. Why? US President Woodrow Wilson and various Secretaries of State discussed policy with Hoover, as did German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmerman [4] and Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg. [5] The Kings of Spain and Belgium and countless senior diplomats across Europe knew Hoover personally, yet their reticence on the subject of Belgian Relief speaks volumes

Critics were silenced, rebutted or otherwise dissuaded in order to protect his  reputation as the ‘great humanitarian’. The greater Hoover’s success at the CRB in prolonging the war, the stronger the Secret Elite’s cordon of protection was drawn around him. Almost everyone who spoke out or questioned him was crushed or discredited, beaten into submission or forced to retract their claims in the face of violent threats and legal retribution. It was as if his past history had never happened. Officially.

Sir Sidney Rowlatt - a reliable establishment figure.

Convinced that Belgian Relief was  damaging the British war effort as early as April 1915, the Admiralty in London, asked naval intelligence to investigate Hoover’s background. Allegations were made that he was ‘untrustworthy, had sinister business connections with German mining corporations’, and that ‘his foodstuffs had passed into German hands.’ [6] His activities were subjected to a formal investigation headed by Sir Sidney Rowlatt who duly whitewashed his findings and gave his formal stamp of approval to the Foreign Office. Loyal member of the British establishment, Rowlatt was later responsible for the repressive Rowlatt Act in India which led to serious unrest in the Punjab and the shocking Amritsar Massacre in 1919. [7]

Hoover steadfastly lied about his business connections. Initially, he claimed to have resigned from his mining company directorships because the relief programme left him no time for private business. [8] He is famously quoted as saying, ‘let the fortune go to hell’, [9] yet records from Skinner’s Mining Manual show that he served on thirteen boards of directors in 1914 and on sixteen in 1915. By 1916 he not only remained on thirteen boards but was chairman of one and joint manager of both the Burma Corporation and Zinc Corporation. [10] His companies returned immense dividends during the war largely through the unprecedented increase in demand for metals and munitions. When rumours of his impropriety in the dealings of the Zinc Corporation surfaced in 1916, law suits followed. He approached the Foreign Office to directly intervene on his behalf, on the grounds that his work with the CRB was too important to the war effort. At his behest, the Ambassadors from Belgium and France wrote to the Foreign Office to stress Hoover’s vital role in Belgian Relief. The Foreign Office advised Hoover’s solicitor that, if ‘The Court’ sought their opinion about the importance of his work, they would willingly reply. The British establishment knew how to protect its assets.

In legal proceedings taken against his Burma Corporation, he attempted to pervert the course of justice by claiming to have previously resigned from the company. His ‘resignation’ was a sham, a temporary convenience to avoid court proceedings. Back on the Board of the Burma Corporation, Hoover brokered a deal in December 1917 with the head of the CRB office in New York and Ernest Oppenheimer to develop gold mines in the Rand. He organised the finance chiefly through the CRB’s bankers, J P Morgan & Company and Morgan’s Guaranty Trust Company of New York. Thus the Anglo-American Corporation of South Africa was born, a mining giant in its field from day one. [11]

Morgan Guaranty New YorkConsider these connections. Hoover used the CRB banking agencies [12] to  broker a deal that rewarded him with a huge shareholding (plus options) which reaped him yet another fortune. Who was greasing whose palm?  Hoover’s access to ‘insider-knowledge’ brought him an enormous stroke of ‘good fortune’. Like Lord Rothschild some time before, he liquidated almost all of his direct Russian holdings in late 1916, just in time to avoid the consequent take-overs obligated by the Russian Revolution. Every one of his former Russian enterprises was confiscated. [13], and other unfortunates had to bear the consequent loss. Lies and evasion, deceit and malpractice were laced into Hoover’s mentality. Yet his illegal business practices were successfully covered up by his Secret Elite minders.

At the end of the war Herbert Hoover was given one final task in Europe by the Secret Elite. Their role in causing the war and supplying the German army during the conflict had to be kept buried. Any evidence of CRB impropriety, of its complicity with the German government of occupation in Belgium and of its role in prolonging the war would have been ruinous. Hoover faced a massive undertaking. With registered offices in New York, London, Brussels, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Paris, Lille and Buenos Aires, [14] official documentation for purchasing agents, shipping agents, insurance brokers, bankers and auditors, statisticians and clothing buyers, the CRB had left in its wake a multiple tonnage of bank transactions, ledger entries, accounts, deposits and records of international exchange. The list was potentially endless, at least, theoretically, because no independent records ever saw the light of day. They were systematically taken after the war by Hoover’s agents and shipped to the west coat of America. Ponder long and hard on this fact; the evidence was physically removed from its point of origin. It was to be as if the illegal importations to Germany and the malpractices of Belgian bankers and speculators had never happened.

Professor Ephraim Adams (right) leans against the first shipment of documents.

We do not know what has since been destroyed or what languishes in the darker recesses of the Hoover Institute at Stanford, but a very determined and successful attempt was made to rewrite history while presenting Hoover as a great saviour of humanity. Our research proves that, in reality, he was a ruthless opportunist – a liar and cheat who browbeat, bad-mouthed and took advantage of the weak while greatly increasing his personal fortune throughout the war. And, had there been no CRB to supply Germany, the war would have ended as early as the Spring of 1915. Millions died while he and other millionaires thrived.

Bad as Hoover’s manipulation and removal of the CRB’s records was, it is of relatively minor importance compared to the outrageous theft of the historical record from all across Europe. In 1919 he was given this important task as the Secret Elite set about removing documentary evidence pertaining to the origins of the war. Once more he had to be re-invented. The ‘great humanitarian’ became a ‘lover of books and of history’ who wished to collect manuscripts and reports relating to the causes of the war because they would otherwise ‘easily deteriorate and disappear’. [15] Hoover certainly made sure that anything incriminating ‘disappeared’.

On the basis that his involvement was kept ‘entirely confidential’, Ephraim Adams, professor of history at Stanford University, a close friend of Hoover’s from their student days, went to Paris in April 1919 to coordinate a great heist of documentary evidence, official and unofficial, and dress it in a cloak of academic respectability. Adams resolved to keep a diary, but stopped after a week on the spurious excuse that he was making too many contacts and the work was a too interesting ‘to suffer interruption by recording them.’ [16] The task had to be undertaken immediately. Speed was of the essence. Adams was in Paris by 11 June with no plan of action, other than follow Hoover’s instructions that all the documentation was sent to Stanford University in California. It was about as distant a destination from the European theatre as could be imagined.

Émile Francqui Chairman of the Societe Generale, the Belgian Bank enriched by his connection to Belgian Relief.

Nothing was too unimportant. Decisions about relevance would be left to a later date. Two years later Adams still hadn’t even begun the process of creating a catalogue on the rather spurious basis that doing so too early led to ‘disappointment and vexation’. [17] In Belgium, for example, access to government records was facilitated by ‘M. Emile Francqui, mining engineer and a banker of world reputation’. [18] Of course it was. Who else knew where all the important evidence was buried? Francqui, whose all-powerful Belgian bank, the Societe Generale ended the war cash rich and thriving beyond its dreams, [19] was the one man who knew exactly what had to be buried deep for all time.

Why have historians and investigative journalists failed to unmask this charade? Hoover and Francqui orchestrated the removal of documents that enabled the myth of Belgian Relief to flourish while masking its sinister role.

Hoover had many powerful friends. He persuaded General John Pershing to release fifteen history professors and students serving in various ranks of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe and sent them, in uniform, to the countries his agency was feeding. With food in one hand and reassurance in the other, these agents faced little resistance in their quest.  They were primarily interested in material relating to the war’s origins and the workings of the Commission for Relief of Belgium. They made the right contacts, ‘snooped’ around for archives and found so many that Hoover ‘was soon shipping them back to the US as ballast in the empty food boats’. [20] He recruited an additional 1,000 agents whose first haul amounted to 375,000 volumes of the ‘Secret War Documents’ of European governments. [21] Hoover allegedly donated a $50,000 ‘gift’ for the task. It would only have paid for around seventy of these agents for a year. It has not been possible for us to discover from what source the remaining nine-hundred men were paid.

Hoover’s backers claimed that there would only be ten years within which the most valuable material could be ‘acquired’. According to Ephraim Adams, Hoover himself estimated that the process of ‘collecting’ would go on for twenty-five years [22] but it could take ‘a thousand years’ to catalogue the material. The collection was accelerated to a ‘frenzied pace ’. [23] How convenient. The official propaganda insisted that the work was urgent, but it would take a millennium to catalogue. They were stealing history.

Hoover was the US Secretary of State for Commerce from 1921 and as a fitting reward for all of his sterling efforts on behalf of the Secret Elite, he became their chosen candidate in the US presidential election of 1928. His critics in America were systematically harassed or squashed. Books that exposed his malpractices were removed from shelves and whole editions pulped. Hoover had long employed sophisticated public relations to curry favour with the media. Pliant biographers and party hacks were supplemented by use of the FBI to perform background checks on would-be unsolicited authors. [24]

Walter Liggett, the crusading journalist and editor who bravely exposed Hoover's dirty background.

A campaign of determined denigration was launched against the crusading journalist Walter Liggett, whose well researched book, The Rise of Herbert Hoover stands testament to Hoover as a criminal businessman and opportunist, who strove to manipulate and remove the records of his past wrong-doing. [25] Liggett, a fearless reporter and newspaper editor who represented the best of American investigative journalism, was later gunned down for exposing syndicated crime. [26]

Tracy Kittredge, a loyal insider who worked with the CRB in Belgium, wrote a very comprehensive  history of the Commission for Relief in Belgium – now entitled the Primary Source Edition – in 1919. [27] Hoover didn’t like its content, so it remained unpublished. In 1942 he claimed that Kittredge’s work  was deemed ‘inaccurate and unreliable’ and was not be shown to anyone without clarification. [28] Hoover did not explain what the inaccuracies were, but we suspect that Kittredge’s criticism of Francqui and the bad blood between both the CRB and the CNSA was the cause. He ordered an associate to collect and destroy all copies of the unpublished work which had progressed as far as a bound proof. Fortunately for researchers, a few survived the cull. [29] Even when faced with official records from those who were there, the Secret Elite endorsed the party line; nothing irregular had ever happened. Any view to the contrary had to be suppressed.

Barrels of fat delivered to Rotterdam which Hamill claimed was being sent to Germany to prolong the war.

The biography which most disturbed Hoover was John Hamill’s The Strange Career of Mr Hoover Under Two Flags. [30] It was a hugely controversial expose which resulted in an outpouring of indignation from the Hoover lobby who damned the book as a complete fabrication. Shortly after its launch, Hoover’s legal team reported that Hamill had signed a one hundred and eighty-four page repudiation, admitting ‘false conclusions’. Interestingly Hamill refused in court to admit that his work was entirely false and only went as far as to say that ‘my interpretations were in error in some instances.’ [31] It has since been suggested that Hoover’s own agent, George Barr Baker, wrote the repudiation using strong-arm tactics and thuggery. That is the same George Barr Baker who penned articles published in the New York Times about starving Belgian children, and visited the Pope as the CRB envoy. [32]

Hamill’s conclusion chimes absolutely with ours: ‘The whole scheme of Belgian Relief was planned for the purpose of securing the enormous food supplies of Belgium for Germany. The Belgian Relief …. was the cause of the prolongation of the dreadful war, with all its horrors and miseries, and the loss of millions of lives, including our more than 126,000 brave American boys (not to mention the wounded and crippled).’ [33] It was, and the extent to which the Anglo-American establishment went to cover all traces of its complicity, remains awesome.

And who today has heard of the Commission for Relief in Belgium? Where does it sit in the role of honour for World War 1? No-where. It has been systematically buried; as if it never happened at all. But there was one major political consequence.

On 4 March 1929 the great Belgian Relief ‘humanitarian’ was sworn is as President of the United States of America.

[1] George I Gay and H H Fisher, Public Relations of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, Document 18, p. 19.
[2] George H Nash, Herbert Hoover, The Humanitarian, 1914-1917, pp. 69-70.
[3] George I Gay and H H Fisher, Public Relations of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, Document 147 , p. 266.
[4] Ibid., Document 134, pp. 241-2.
[5] Ibid., Document 140, pp. 252-255.
[6] Nash, Herbert Hoover, p. 176.
[7] For further information on the Massacre at Amritsar in 1919, known also as the Jallianvala Bagh Massacre, see; http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/jbagh.html
[8] Nash, Herbert Hoover, p. 270.
[9] Walter Liggett, The Rise of Herbert Hoover, p. 209.
[10] Ibid., pp. 210-211.
[11] http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Anglo_American_Corp._of_South_Africa_Limited.aspx
[12] The Commission for the Relief in Belgium, Balance Sheet and Accounts, published 1921 p. 86
http://libcudl.colorado.edu/wwi/pdf/i71185215.pdf
[13] Nash, Herbert Hoover, p. 274.
[14] The Commission for the Relief in Belgium, Balance Sheet and Accounts, published 1921.
[15] Cissie Dore Hill, Collecting the Twentieth Century, p. 1 at http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/8041
[16] Ephraim Adams, The Hoover War Collection at Stanford University, California; a report and an analysis, (1921), p. 7. https://archive.org/details/cu31924031034360
[17] Ibid.
[18] Adams, The Hoover War Collection , (1921), p. 36.
[19] After 1918, the Societe Generale continued its expansion, founding Banque Générale du Luxembourg. Banque Belge pour L’Etranger also grew, opening new branches in New York, Istanbul, and Hong Kong, among other cities. In addition, SG had banking interests in Portugal, Spain, and much of Eastern Europe. The year before its 100th anniversary, in 1922, the bank’s books showed credits amounting to BFr 4.1 billion and debits of BFr 2.1 billion. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/generale-bank-générale-de-banque-history/
[20] WhittakerChambers, Hoover Library http://whittakerchambers.org/articles/time-a/hoover-library/%5D
[21] New York Times, 5 February 1921.
[22] Adams, The Hoover War Collection, p. 5.
[23] Hill, Collecting the Twentieth Century, p. 1 at http://www.hoover.org/ publications/hoover-digest/article/8041
[24] Roseanne Sizer, Herbert Hoover and the Smear Books, 1930-32, State Historical Society of Iowa, Vol. 47, (Speing 1984) no. 4, p. 347.
[25] Walter Liggett’s The Rise of Herbert Hoover was published in 1932 by the H W Fly company. it can be read on; https://archive.org/details/riseofherberthoo011467mbp
[26] Stopping The Presses, the Murder of Walter Liggett by Martha Liggett Woodbury, his daughter, is an excellent expose of the corruption and sleeze in the USA in the 1920s and 30s and details the victimisation and persecution of a respected journalist who unmasked, amongst other crooks, Herbert Clark Hoover.
[27] Tracy Barrett Kittredge was a member of the Commission for Relief in Belgium from 1914-1917. The Guide to the Hoover Institution Archives includes his correspondence, reports, writing and newspaper clippings, but makes no mention of the book which Hoover ordered to be pulped. See Charles G Palm and Dale Reed, Guide to the Hoover Institution, p. 126.
[28] G Nash, Herbert Hoover, The Humanitarian, pp. 449-50.
[29] A copy held in the Library of the Free University of Brussels contains a note to the reader in French. It states that ‘the work is both a rare book and a document of real historical interest’. First printed in London in 1920 under the auspices of the Belgian-American Educational Foundation, the note states that Mr Kittrege’s writings included some criticism of ‘certain Belgian persons’ so it was decided, in the interest of good Belgian-American, ‘metre au pilon’ literally, to pound it to dust. The note is dated July, 1964.
[30] John Hamill’s The Strange Career of Mr Hoover under Two Flags, was published by W. Faro in 1931.
[31] New York Times, 5 January, 1933.
[32] New York Times, 21 December, 1916.
[33] Hamill, The Strange Career, p. 306.