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Rear Admiral Samuel McGowan, Paymaster General and Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Intra-Bureau Order Number 216

Intra-Bureau Order 216




29 August 1917

     1. Admiral Sims, in his letter 29 of 14 July 1917,1 states in paragraph 5 that:

     “It is also very necessary that I should have a general idea in advance of the cargo being sent over by supply ships such as the CELTIC.2 Our Parent ships obtain fresh provisions from shore as much as possible reserving the cargoes in their cold storage. It is necessary therefore that they make room in their cold storage for receipt of cargoes from supply ships in order that the supply ships may not be unduly detained.

     “Information is just coming through this morning in Navy Secret Code concerning the CELTIC’s cargo. This will be too late to serve the purpose for which it was needed, as the CELTIC is due to arrive in the course of the next few days. I assume from certain unofficial information received that the CELTIC will have supplies for the yachts based in France, in addition to the MELVILLE and DIXIE,3 and have taken steps to provide escort if such proves to be the case.”

     2. The foregoing shows the necessity for cabling promptly to Admiral Sims (Via Operations) all information concerning cargoes of provisions and fuel or shipments of supplies and materials.

     3. When a request – either by cable or by letter – is received from Admiral Sims, it will be promptly acknowledged by the Division handling the request, with a statement of intended action. The necessary instructions will then be issued to the shipping or loading point and a report will be obtained from the yard concerned when the original request has been filled or complied with. Thereupon, a letter will be at once sent to the Chief of Naval Operations quoting a proposed cablegram to Admiral Sims, setting forth in as much detail as practicable all data necessary, such as the hour and date of his original cablegram or letter, action taken, items shipped (grouped under general heads), how shipment was made and when the vessel sailed – or, if the date of departure be not known as in the case of a naval vessel, Operations should be requested to fill in the sailing date.

     4.  The foregoing applies to:

Supply Division: Re: cablegram for supplies, materials and shipments in general.

Fuel and Transportation:  Re: loadings of oil or coal in either naval or chartered vessels.

First Division:  Re: requests for shipments of clothing, provisions or canteen stores and loadings of supply ships.

     5. The foregoing has reference to requests from Admiral Sims which can be acted upon by B and A; if, however, the request is one which requires reference to another bureau or bureaus to supply information not available here, Admiral Sims will be informed of the reference and if possible as to the action to be taken.

     6. Admiral Sims also points out the necessity for all information concerning movements of naval supplies being sent to or through him only. Therefore, request or cable grams from abroad signed by any other than Admiral Sims will be acted upon in the manner hereinbefore outlined and in accordance with the instructions contained in Intra-Bureau Order 201; but the reply will be sent to Admiral Sims through Operations.


Source Note: DS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 9. There is an identifying number in the top right-hand corner: “141.” The order is typed on printed stationary. The second, third, and fourth lines are printed.

Footnote 1: This letter has not been found.

Footnote 2: Celtic was a stores ship.

Footnote 3: Melville and Dixie were destroyer tenders stationed at Queenstown.