Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
1918 WEDNESDAY 3 APRIL
War Council met with President. First took up question of getting men to France. Hurley reported could send over 90,000 a month but this would require reduction of imports and in Japan and Brazilian trade. President said “Tell Great Britain how many men we can send not taking out Japan & Brazil tonnage and then ask England and France to furnish ships for balance.
John Skelton Williams brought up buying coal for RR’s at less figure than public pays-said operators were making unconscionable big profits, but were willing to continue practice of selling to RR cheaper if cars are furnished. Garfield opposed drop in price & said RR should pay same as public & Navy, & the practice of furnishing 100% cars to certain RR’s was indefensible. Williams said G’s prop. made giving 40 mil dollars to operators & no benefit to anybody else. I asked why not commandeer? W W said the RR did not belong to the Governt & we could not commandeer.
WW – Not let cars go to certain mines but divide in zones & require better prices for RR because coal to them is essential to keep all industries going.
Dinner at Gen McCawleys
Source Note: D, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diaries, Roll 1.