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.field, of WiUiams College—was to establish a price which the Government would pay for wheat for itself and its Allies. The Government being the largest purchaser, this would tend to set the standard price. Similar committees were to fix prices for other necessities. The President announced the recommendation of the wheat committee:]
Washington, August 30, 1917.
Section 11 of the food act provides, among other things, for the purchase and sale of wheat and flour by the Government, and appropriates money for the purpose. The purchase of wheat and flour for our allies, and to a considerable degree for neutral countries also, has been placed under the control of the Food Administration. I have appointed a committee to determine a fair price to be paid in Government purchases. The price now recommended by that committee—$2.20 per bushel at Chicago for the basic grade— will be rigidly adhered to by the Food Administration.
It is the hope and expectation of the Food Administration, and my own also, that this step will at once stabilize and keep within moderate bounds the price of wheat for all transactions throughout the present crop year, and in consequence the prices of flour and bread also. The food act has given large powers for the control of storage and exchange operations, and these powers will be fully exercised. An inevitable consequence will be that financial dealings can not follow their usual course. Whatever the advantages and disadvantages of the ordinary machinery of trade, it can not function well under such disturbed and abnormal conditions as now exist. In its place the Food Administration now fixes for its purchases a fair price, as recommended unanimously by a committee representative of all interests and all sections, and believes that thereby it will eliminate speculation, make possible the conduct of every operation in the full light of day, maintain the publicly stated price for all, and, through economies made possible by stabilization and control, better the position of consumers also.
Mr. Hoover, at his express wish, has taken no part in the deliberations of the committee on whose recommendation I determine the Government's fair price, nor has he in any way intimated an opinion regarding that price.
The President's Message To The National Army
[On September 5, the 687,000 young men in the National Army— chosen by lot from among the ten million registered on June 5— were to begin to move toward their training camps.]
Washington, D. C, Sept. 3, 1917. To the Soldiers of the National Army:
You are undertaking a great duty. The heart of the whole country is with you.
Everything that you do will be watched with the deepest interest and with the deepest solicitude, not only by those who are near and dear to you, but by the whole nation besides. For this great war draws us all together, makes us all comrades and brothers, as all true Americans felt themselves to be when we first made good our national independence.
The eyes of all the world will be upon you, because you are in some special sense the soldiers of freedom. Let it be your pride, therefore, to show all men everywhere not only what good soldiers you are, but also what good men you are, keeping yourselves fit and straight in everything and pure and clean through and through.
Let us set for ourselves a standard so high that it will be a glory to live up to it, and then let us live up to it and add a new laurel to the crown of America.
My affectionate confidence goes with you in every battle and every test. God keep and guide you!
Appeal To School Children To Serve The Country In Red Cross Activities, September 15, 1917
To the School Children of the United States:
The President of the United States is also President of the American Red Cross. It is from these offices joined in one that I write you a word of greeting at this time, when so many of you are beginning the school year.
The American Red Cross has just prepared a Junior Membership with School Activities, in which every pupil in the United States can find a chance to serve our country. The school is the natural centre of your life. Through it you can best work in the great cause of freedom to which we have all pledged ourselves.
Our Junior Red Cross will bring to you opportunities of service to your community and to other communities all over the world and guide your service with high and religious ideals. It will teach you how to save in order that suffering children elsewhere may have the chance to live. It will teach you how to prepare some of the supplies which wounded soldiers and homeless families lack. It will send to you through the Red Cross Bulletins the thrilling stories of relief and rescue. And, best of all, more perfectly than through any of your other school lessons, you will learn by doing those kind things under your teacher's direction to be the future good citizens of this great country which we all love.
And I commend to all school teachers in the country the simple plan which the American Red Cross has worked out to provide for your cooperation, knowing as I do that school children will give their best service under the direct guidance and instruction of their teachers. Is not this perhaps the chance for which you have been looking to give your time and efforts in some measure to meet our national needs? Woodrow Wilson.
Appointment Of Commission To Adjust Labor Disputes.. September 19, 1917
[editorial Note: Strikes at large copper mines in Montana and Arizona had continued through several months, endangering the supply for munitions; and a more recent strike of iron and steel workers on the Pacific Coast was halting the great shipbuilding program of the Administration. These strikes involved wage adjustments chiefly.]
(A Memorandum for the Secretary of Labor)
I am very much interested in the labor situation in the mountain region and on the Pacific Coast. I have listened with attention and concern to the numerous charges of misconduct and injustice that representatives both of employers and of employees have made against each other. I am not so much concerned, however, with the manner in which they have treated each other in the past as I am desirous of seeing some kind of a working arrangement arrived at for the future, particularly during the period of the war, on a basis that will be fair to all parties concerned.
To assist in the accomplishment of that purpose I have decided to appoint a commission to visit the localities where disagreements have been most frequent as my personal representatives. The commission will consist of William B. Wilson, Secretary of Labor; Colonel J. L. Spangler of Pennsylvania, Verner Z. Reed of Colorado, John H. Walker of Illinois, and E. P. Marsh of Washington. Felix Frankfurter of New York will act as Secretary of the commission.
It will be the duty of the commission to visit in each instance the Governor of the State, advising him that they are there as the personal representatives of the President, with a view to lending sympathetic counsel and aid to the State government in the development of a better understanding between laborers and employers, and also themselves to deal with employers and employees in a conciliatory spirit, seek to compose differences and allay misunderstanding, and in any way that may be open to them to show the active interest of the National Government in furthering arrangements just to both sides.
Wherever it is deemed advisable, conferences of employers and employees should be called with the purpose of working out a mutual understanding between them which will insure the continued operation of the industry on conditions acceptable to both sides. The commission should also endeavor to learn the real causes for any discontent which may exist on either side, not by the formal process of public hearings, but by getting into touch with workmen and employers by the more informal process of personal conversation.
I would be pleased to have the commission report to me from time to time such information as may require immediate attention.
President Wilson Commends The Work Of Congress, October 6, 1917
[The new Congress had been called into special session on April 9, to receive the President's war message. It had passed the war resolution, created a system for raising a large army by selective conscription, framed a revenue bill of huge proportions, and adopted other legislation relating to the war.]
The Sixty-fifth Congress, now adjourning, deserves the gratitude and appreciation of a people whose will and purpose I believe it has faithfully expressed. One cannot examine the record of its action without being impressed by its completeness, its courage, and its full comprehension of a great task. The needs of the Army and the Navy have