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Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

1918          WEDNESDAY 6             MARCH

Went to see Martin and Sherley1 about new building for Navy Department. Clark (Frank)2 had written it could be built for $1.50 sq. foot. concrete. We asked for $300. We had made tentative contract for 10% on 5 mil building not to exceed $250,000 fee. Telegraphed Clarks man asking him to come on if he could do it at suggestion of Swanson3 Martin & Sherley. The latter said he would assume no responsibility. Wished to retire as soon as war is over. “You are surrounded by trained men who help you—I by selfish politicians who always want something.”

Council met with Baruch, new chm. War Industries Board,4Hoover, Garfield, Hurley.5 Baruch said England had only one month supply of nitrates. France and Italy none. Serious situation. Sent for Gen. March6 just returned from France. He thought no lack of finished product. Inter Allied War Council feared could not hold line unless we send 90,000 men per month. He would telegraph Pershing7 & get fact about need of nitrates & whether 2 months waiting would seriously affect them.

Put Annapolis, Newport, Mare Island and other training stations under dry law.8

Source Note: D, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diaries, Roll 1.

Footnote 1: Thomas S. Martin, a medical advisor on the Advisory Commission of the Council of National Defense, and Rep. J. Swagar Sherley, D-Kentucky, Chairman, House Appropriations Committee.

Footnote 2: Rep. Frank Clark, D-Florida.

Footnote 3: Sen. Claude A. Swanson, D-Virginia, Chairman, Senate Naval Affairs Committee.

Footnote 4: Bernard M. Baruch, a member of the Advisory Commission of the Council of National Defense, and chairman of its Committee on Raw Materials, Minerals, and Metals, had just been named head of the War Industries Board in January.

Footnote 5: Herbert Hoover, United States Food Administrator, Harry A. Garfield, United States Fuel Administrator, and Edward N. Hurley, Chairman, United States Shipping Board, and President, Emergency Fleet Corporation.

Footnote 6: Gen. Peyton C. March, Acting Army Chief of Staff.

Footnote 7: Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Force.

Footnote 8: Daniels was a teetotaler and advocate of prohibition. Daniels, Cabinet Diaries: 136-137.

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