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Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

1917           TUESDAY 30          OCTOBER

Went to capital to take part in departure over Bankhead good road through the South.

W W took up the General Board's & the Admiralty's plan of barrage across North Sea.1 I told W W it was very difficult, but was the only plan possible to shut off the submarines. It might cut off 1/2 & that would be important. Very costly & very difficult, but all things are possible.

Talk with Arthur Pollen, who urged that I or some man in authority go to England and France and keep the Admiralty busy on plans to win the war. He seemed pessimistic-

Lord Reading, Chief Justice of England,2 called to say good-bye before his departure for home to be present at the conference & give his country benefit of all he had learned here. He was downcast over Italian news & looked for a long war.

At night had long conference with Pratt and Belknap over the North Sea Barrage.3 Will put Belknap in charge & told him to use all diligence & he would have the whole Dept. back of him.

Long talk with Baruch4—not satisfied with progress of War Industries Board.

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

Footnote 1: President Woodrow Wilson.

Footnote 2: Sir Rufus Isaacs, Chief Justice of England and Wales.

Footnote 3: Capt. William V. Pratt and Cmdr. Reginald R. Belknap.

Footnote 4: Chairman of the War Industries Board, Bernard M. Baruch.