When Secretary of the Treasury Carter Glass (1866-1940) returned to the Senate in 1920, President Wilson appointed David F. Houston, his Secretary of Agriculture, to succeed him. Houston came to the Treasury as World War I ended and his brief tenure was marked by stormy controversies over federal monetary policies. As ex-official Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, he issued severe warnings and, increased rediscount rates in order to prevent the inflation that the European Allies were experiencing. Houston predicted a fall in U.S. prices, particularly of farm products, after the optimism of the Armistice wore off. He pushed for easier credit for farmers and urged them to produce less.
But when prices fell more dramatically than expected in 1920, farm spokesmen of deliberately wrecking agrarian prosperity unfairly accused Houston. Abroad, England and France were pushing to cancel their war debts. Houston, Congress, and the President, against cancellation, converted the short-term debts to long-term loans. Houston resigned at the end of Wilson's, term, after only a year in office.
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