Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Our Allies Need Our Hogs, Wheat, Ships to Win War, 1917

“Hogs Vitally Necessary to Win War, Hoover Says,” from the Nov. 1, 1917, issue of The French Broad Hustler. The Hustler, Henderson County’s Leading Newspaper.

Every Hog of Greater Value Than a Shell in Winning War….Allies Must Have Supply of Wheat

Washington, Oct. 27—In a statement reviewing the world food situation, Food Administrator Hoover said the fight against the submarine would be won if the United States and Canada could stimulate production and effect economies so as to feed the allies from this continent without sending a ship farther afield than the American Atlantic seaboard.

Ships, wheat and hogs are the great needs emphasized by Mr. Hoover.

Pork Consumption Increased
He said deepest concern had been caused by the fact that in spite of high prices this country’s pork consumption had increased during the war until  production had been outstripped; a situation that must be changed.

“If we discontinue exports,” Mr. Hoover added, “we will move the German line from France to the Atlantic seaboard. Pork products have an influence in this present world situation wider than one would ordinarily attribute to them. The human body must have a certain amount of fat; we must increase production of hogs if we are to answer the world’s craving.

“The production of fats is today a critical necessity for the preservation of these people (the allies and the maintenance of their constancy in the war. Every pound of fat is as sure of service as is every bullet and every hog is of greater value to the winning of this war with a shell.”

Wheat for Allies
As to wheat the administrator said the allies’ deficiency of production is 196,000 bushels, with imports of 577,700,000 bushels required to maintain normal consumption. He estimated aggregate American, Canadian, Australian, Indian and Argentine export surplus at 770,000,000 bushels, but pointed out that lack of shipping made it necessary for this country and Canada to bear the burden of meeting the allies’ deficit.

“The problem is thus simply one of ships,” he said. “If ample shipping existed there would be no need for saving or increased production of wheat on the part of the American people.But if we can produce economies and stimulate production in the United States and Canada as well enable them to live without sending ship farther afield than our Atlantic seaboard, we can resist the submarine indefinitely.”

Placing the United States wheat exports surplus from this year’s crop at 80.000.000 bushels and Canada’s at 150,000,000 bushels, Mr. Hoover urged domestic economies to increase this country’s surplus to 150,000,000 bushels.

“If war continues this wheat will be vitally necessary, Mr. Hoover said, but if the war should come to an end, there will be no foreign market for at least 400,000,000 bushels. The government must then take over the wheat and probably find a market for it at a very great loss. I should anticipate that the government may lose from $300,000,000 to $500,000,000 on this wheat guaranty if peace arrives before the 1918 harvest is marketed.”

Guarantee Unnecessary
Mr. Hoover expressed the opinion that the fixed guarantee was necessary and that a reasonable profit guaranteed to the farmer would have been sufficient to stimulate production.

“However, the guarantee has been fixed,” he added. “It is an insurance against the submarine and any estimate of what it may cost we must leave to the future.”

Turning to the meat situation, the administrator said pork products were more vitallyneeded by the allies than beef.

“In the matter of beef,” he said, “the allies can support themselves without any consequential expansion of imports from the United States.”

In view of the European situation and the American shortage in hogs he pointed out that there would be a high average price for pork products and therefore it would be to the vital advantage of every farmer to raise hogs, adding: “We need a keep-a-pig movement in this country.”

By preventing undue increases in forage prices, Mr. Hoover promised that the food administration would co-operate in measures to stimulate livestock production. He also said further production of sheep for both meat and particularly for wool, exclusively used in uniforms, is needed.

“Our farmers,” he added, “would be wise to realize that for a considerable period after the war there will be a very poor export market for American bread grains, whereas there will be a wide demand for animal products.”

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