Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Bainbridge Colby, United States Shipping Board, to First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Eric Geddes

Chronological Copy.

Cablegram Received 06108 MJK

Origin    Opnav Washington. <January 7, 1918.> Ser. No. 2019

     CS1 6-1-18

18 ADR                    VERY SECRET

Simsadus.

2019. For Sir Eric Geddes, Admiralty Quote In order to impress on Committee on Commerce of U.S. Senate the necessity of speeding up and increasing our ship building program I placed before it in Secret Session certain figures from table 11 contained in document entitled Quote Memorandum for Information of American Mission of U.S. of America Government and <S>hipping Board2 Unquote Which was furnished by Sir A. Ian Anderson with your approval. Members of committee were much impressed by seriousness of situation as shown by these figures. Certain members felt strongly that publicity for at least a portion of these figures would have been most beneficial effect in arousing the country and particularly labor to the necessity for maximum effort. I informed them these figures were supplied under seal of absolute secrecy. The Senate Committee asked me to communicate with you and request re-examination of grounds for continued secrecy in light of practical value of facts in obtaining Congressional sanction for larger building program. I therefore ask you to consider question of secrecy a-new and advise if you can relax in whole or part the secrecy under which information was furnished. If the considerations here urged do not in your opinion warrant any change of your policy do you think use of figures in secret session of Senate would be permissable <permissible>. Signed Bainbridge Colby.Shipping Board, Unquote. 10007.

Benson.      

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ chief of staff.

Footnote 2: This document has not been found.

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