Commander Paul Foley and L. I. Thomas to Edward N. Hurley, Chairman, United States Shipping Board
Cablegram Sent Jan. 22, 1918 MJK
To Opnav Washington. Serial No. 3200
Prep. by D.R.
3200. Following for Hurley. Begins. Referring paragraph 15 of our telegram 3039 we were asked this morning attend conference at Petroleum Executive over which Mr. Walter Long presides, he having decisive power. During this conference we emphatically maintained that British authorities could not consistently press points involving readjustment of American internal petroleum industry as outlined in Sir Frederick Black’s telegram of January 10th addressed to Shipping Board until they had first exhausted relief which discontinuance of Eastern naphtha importations other than toluol would certainly produce. Authorities admit justice of this contention and are now willing to be governed accordingly. Consequently commencing tomorrow conference proceeds with this end in view. Until this examination is concluded we strongly recommend no further concessions in tank tonnage for U. K. be made. Have seen Admiralty visible supply fuel oil statement for year 1918 from which it appears that working on present programme consisting of 86 tankers with cargo carrying capacity of 628,000 tons subdivided as follows:
16 tankers Persia to Mediterranean..112,500 tons
5 tankers Trinidad to U.K.......... 30,000 "
5 tankers Mexico to U. K........... 75,000 "
30 tankers North Atlantic to U.K....200,000 "
30 tankers Gulf to U. K.............210,500 "
plus local production 18,000 tons per month and double bottom shipments from East and West amounting to 104,000 tons per month, a mean of 385,000 tons of fuel oil monthly will be imported. Adding to this tankers assigned for fuel oil now under repair and new construction for 1918, and deducting losses for year estimated at 45,000 tons cargo carrying capacity monthly also working on increased consumption for fleet in home waters up to 315,000 tons monthly fuel oil the stocks on hand at end of 1918 are estimated to be 1,770,000 tons or about 5-1/2 months supply. Signed Foley and Thomas. 05023
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.