Title: European Technical Advisers Records,
Date (inclusive): 1918-1923
Collection number: XX006
European Technical Advisers
69 manuscript boxes.
(28.7 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Correspondence, reports, statistics, and financial records, relating to railway operation, fuel production, and other aspects
of economic reconstruction in Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.
Collection open for research.
For copyright status, please contact
the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], European Technical Advisers Records, [Box no.], Hoover Institution
United States--Foreign relations.
The European Technical Advisers was a private American advisory organization created in the spring and summer of 1919 by Herbert
Hoover, head of the American Relief Administration, in response to concerns that post-peace treaty demobilization of the Central
European network of military advisers would leave a serious vacuum in the coordination of highly-complicated economic and
technical functions. Technological novelty, governmental disorganization and international antagonisms, as well as wartime
disruption of industrial infrastructures, were major problems threatening the rapid re-establishment of economic stability
in the area.
Mr. Hoover suggested the establishment of a consulting organization in each country, supported by the funds of the respective
governments (usually taken from reparations remittances). The technical advisers were agents of the countries in which they
worked; however, their efforts were supported by offices in New York and Paris, staffed by American Relief Administration
(A.R.A.) personnel, and supervised by a Board of Trustees. Mr. Hoover was the first Chairman of the Board, but upon his becoming
Commerce Secretary in the Harding Administration, this function was divided between W.B. Poland and Edgar Rickard. Colonel
James A. Logan, Jr. headed the Paris agency, which served as an important liasion between the technical advisers, the A.R.A.,
the Reparations Commission and other Allied authorities headquartered in Paris.
The technical advisers were primarily responsible for generating reports and recommendations, but they often served important
executive functions as well, particularly in negotiating with other countries and in conferring with officials and businessmen.
Theoretically, each mission had a technical adviser, a food adviser and a financial adviser; in actuality, the focus was on
mining, manufacturing, transportation, and industry. Of prime importance was the condition of the railways: the technical
advisers worked on problems relating to procurement of adequate rolling stock, transportation of food and fuel, incorporation
of regional networks, and evaluation of tariffs, import and export licensing, rates, administrative organization, and schedules.
The advisers also dealt with similar problems relating to the production and distribution of coal and oil, as well as other
commodities (textiles, timber, sugar, grain); their coordinative efforts also greatly aided the A.R.A. in providing relief
aid within these areas. After two years, sufficient progress had been made to allow the official termination of the missions
in late 1921-early 1922.