Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Secretary of State William R. Day
John D. Long.
Washington June 20,1898.
In view of the departure of the Spanish squadron under Admiral Camara from Cadiz, and of the possibility that its destination may be Manila, the Department requests that the Department of State will instruct its agents, throughout the route to the East, via Suez, to throw every possible impediment in the way of coal and other necessaries being supplied to that squadron; and very especially that such agents object strongly to the authorities in neutral ports, against either furnishing coal, or permitting the act of coaling from transports within the waters under their jurisdiction; upon the plea that this is not a case of enabling a vessel to reach a home port, but aiding and abetting a formidable expedition, destined to act in remote quarters of the globe against a squadron and land forces of the United States.
The recent action of the French authorities in Martinique, and of the Dutch in Curacao, may be cited as sustaining the objections herein suggested.
Even should it appear to our agents aforementioned that the authorities at the ports where they are stationed will grant the Spanish ships permission to take coal, etc., it is still very important, by protests and other obstructive proceedings, to prolong the squadron’s stay in port as much as possible, as every day that it can be delayed in its progress towards Manila is of very great importance to the United States.
John D. Long
Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 29. Addressee: “The Honorable/The Secretary of State.” Printed on John D. Long’s stationery.