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Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Lieutenant Commander Charles R. Train, United States Naval Attaché in Rome


                       CABLEGRAM RECEIVED.       Oct. 5, 1917.

Origin: Opnav, Washington                         Ser. No. 589

Via     N C B D 13                              Date No. 12004

Copies to C.of S.; J.V.B.             Action refd to C.of S.1


589. For Alusna, Rome, Italy.

Replying his 16001 Period In accordance with our No. 2652 to Admiral Sims3 the Naval Attache s in Europe are instructed to Communicate direct with him, or if communicating direct with us, to furnish Sims at same time with copies upon matters of military importance or pertaining to movements or operations of vessels. Your cable referred to involving a policy which pertains to the movements of merchant vessels stop It is the policy of this office in co-operating with the Allies not to accede to the wishes of the individual masters of merchant vessels or their representative companies to sail singly and at will solely in endeavoring to expedite shipments but we prefer to conform to safer quote <methods> of convoy which has been inaugurated for purpose of safeguarding ships and supplies to accede to your cable is to act counter to our present policy in this matter and counter to wishes of Commanding Officer our Forces in European Waters. To expedite shipping from Gibraltar you should communicate with Captain H.B.Wilson|4| now based there and be guided by what is considered best practice as determined by co-operating Naval Authority.          12004.

Admiral Benson. 5:30 AM



Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. Identification numbers in upper-right corner: “C/4/1/5/I” in columnar fashion.

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining was Sims’ Chief of Staff and Cmdr. John V. Babcock was an aide on Sims’ staff.

Footnote 2: The document numbered 16001 has not been found. For Opnav 265, see: Benson to Sims, 28 August 1917.

Footnote 3: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 4: RAdm. Henry B. Wilson, Commander, Gibraltar Patrol.

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