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Captain David W. Todd, Director, Naval Communications, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Chronological Copy.                          File No. <8-2-6>

Cablegram Received  July: <25, 1918.> 09126  TOH

Origin Opnav Washington (D.N.C.)                   Ser. No. 9047

        C-1    26 July

29 ARD


9047. 1239. Advices received French Cable Company New York1 refused United States and French Government trans-Atlantic business and divert to Commercial Cable Company.2 Presume because charter permits these messages free. Understand French cable via St. Pierre3 not worked greatest efficiency due reduced apparatus and general lack funds. What is situation and remedy. Until German cable East Azores Islands is repaired arrange instructions to French cable representative New York to accept Government messages New York to Azores Islands and there transfer to direct British cable to Lisbon Portugal. Hard to get action or information from French cable representative New York. Cannot another trans-Atlantic route be built up from Azores Islands via Lisbon Portugal or St. Vincent for emergency. Would there be serious objection if this Government removed German cable from French cable officer New York and operatedit.4 22125  9047


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The date is handwritten but is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the text.

Footnote 1: Presumably, Todd is referring to the La Compagnie Française du Télégraphe du Paris à New York, which, merged to form the Compagnie Française des Câbles Télégraphiques.

Footnote 2: The Commercial Cable Company was an American cable company based in New York.

Footnote 3: St. Pierre et Miquelon, situated off Newfound. That cable was laid in 1879. Ibid.

Footnote 4: On Todd’s proposal for the U.S. Navy to control the trans-Atlantic cable industry, see: Todd to Josephus Daniels, 15 July 1918.

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