Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
1918 WEDNESDAY 9 January
Swanson, Gregory & I called to see W.W. about oil bill & he approved bill we had drawn for the Navy to take over all lands in oil reserve No 2 & to operate, paying to present claimants what is right, & if they decline compensation offered to offer them 75%, & if they decline permit them to go into the courts. We will oppose the jokers in the bill that passed the Senate. I am to see Ferris & ask to have Swanson amendment incorporated in the bill.
Before discussing oil, Swanson congratulated the President upon his message to Congress, & W W discussed various reasons that prompted him to state his war claims. “They never beat me to it if I see it first” quoting Johnston Cornish. I doubted his recommendation to let the Turks control Turkey in Europe. He said we could not undertake to dictate the form of government of any country or dismember. His autonomy in Austria-Hungary would permit the peoples to resolve their own government.
Talked to head of Servian mission. He did not like what W. W. said about Turkey and Austria. Doubted if Greeks would fight. He believes America should send troops to Salonica & war can be won there & not on Western front
Dinner at British Embassy to meet Lord Devonshire, Gov. Gen. of Canada Spring Rice greatly depressed.