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British Admiralty to Commodore Guy R. Gaunt, British Naval Attaché in Washington


TELEGRAM.                                               No.      

From                                                      Date 1-6-17 [6 June 1917]

To   Commodore Gaunt Washington


Steamer Waimate being 7 days overdue at Panama from Auckland and suspicious motor sailing vessel reported by Egyptian Transport as seen on 27 May in Lat 3- 48N Long 82°W may have some connection.

It is very improbable that trade across Pacific would be attacked except near ends of route owing to ships being spread off peace time routes.1

Represent to U.S Naval Authorities and suggest very advisable to send squadron to search Gulf of Panama & western approaches to it.2

Lancaster left Callao [Peru] 27 May for San Diego.

Arcoa recently searched Galapagos Islands nothing suspicious found due Iquique [Chile] 5th June.

Otranto Abita working south of Valparaiso...

Source Note: C, UK-KeNA, Adm. 137/656. At the end is a list of those to whom it the copy was sent including: “1L/1 SL/DOD/DID/DTD” The abbreviations stand for First Lord of the Admiralty (Sir Eric Campbell Geddes), First Sea Lord (Adm. Sir John R. Jellicoe), Director, Operations Division (VAdm. Henry F. Oliver), Director of Intelligence Division (Capt. William E. Hall), and Director, Trade Division.

Footnote 1: For more on the difficulties associated with patrolling the Pacific and protecting shipping from enemy attacks, see: Harris Laning to William F. Fullam, 25 May 1917.

Footnote 2: Although the British Admiralty’s concerns about the SS Waimate were not unfounded, the ship was ultimately located and arrived safely at London (albeit two weeks late) on 16 July 1917. UK-KeNA, BT 26/640/113. The reasons for its delayed arrival at Panama are not known.

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