• Herbert Hoover Makes Appointment to Department of Commerce

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    HERBERT CLARK HOOVER (August, 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was the 31st President of the United States.  Hoover was raised as a Quaker. He served as the Secretary of Commerce under Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s, promoting partnerships between government and business.  Hoover easily won the Republican nomination in the presidential race of 1928.

    He believed strongly in the Efficiency Movement, which held that the government and the economy were riddled with inefficiency and waste and could be improved by experts who could identify and solve problems. He also believed in the importance of volunteerism and the role of individuals in society and the economy. Hoover donated his presidential salary.  The Wall Street Crash of 1929 struck less than eight months after he was elected.  The economy eventually plummeted and unemployment reached 25%, setting the stage for his defeat in 1932.

    CARROLL W. DOTEN was a Professor of Economics and Statistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when Hoover was Secretary of Commerce.  Hoover appointed Doten to the Advisory Committee on Statistics to the Department of Commerce.

    One-page, 8” x 10”, March 16, 1921, Hoover writes as Secretary of Commerce to Doten:

    “I wish to confirm your appointment as a member of the Advisory Committee on Statistics to the Department of Commerce.

    “While it is the understanding that this is a voluntary service, I will arrange to have you reimbursed for such travelling and secretarial expenses as may be necessary. I have asked Messrs. Wm. S. Rossiter, Edwin F. Gay, Walter F. Willcox, Wesley C. Mitchell, Edwin R.A. Seligman and Allyn A. Young to serve on the committee and I would suggest that you choose your own chairman.

    “One of the most urgent services that I desire from the committee is an investigation of the statistical work of the Department outside the Census Bureau, particularly in the investigation of methods for determining import and export statistics.

    “Yours faithfully,

    “Herbert Hoover”

    Light toning, folds. Else excellent.

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