First Sea Lord Admiral Sir John R. Jellicoe, to Admiral Sir Dudley R. S. De Chair
To N. A., Washington Date 25.5.17 [25 May 1917]
For Admiral de Chair. 42. Please ask Mr.Balfour to represent to U.S.Govt. the grave situation with which H.M.Govt. are faced as regards shortage of Tankers
The shortage is in danger of imperilling the activity of the Fleet. The only immediate relief possible is to purchase or charter immediately in United States the greatest possible number of such vessels. Royden we understand arrives about 2nd.June with full particulars and with instructions to press for assistance. Admiralty think it of importance that Mr.Balfour before he leaves America should urge our requirements to the utmost on United States Govt.
Source Note: Cy, UK-KeNA, Adm. 137/655. There is a columnar list at the bottom of the cable copy giving who in the British Admiralty received this cable. That list includes: “1st.S.L/4th.S.L/M (with papers)”: the First Sea Lord; the Fourth Sea Lord (RAdm. Sir Lionel Halsey); “M” was presumably Mobilization Division of the British Admiralty.