Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Documentary Histories
Spanish-American War

Office of Naval Intelligence Memorandum

M E M O R A N D U M.

     The Naval Attaché at Paris1 has reported as follows from time to time concerning the discharge of special agent:

     September 29, 1898. “ I have the honor to confirm Department’s telegram of yesterday, as follows: ‘Close account all special agents. Inform Peace Commission of one available if they desire to employ agent.’ I have informed the Commission of the Department’s decision, and in obedience to the above order I will close the account with the special agent at Madrid - the only one remaining in service - * * * * * * * * * * * * ”.

     September 30, 1898.” * * * * * * * Concerning the settlement of accounts of the special agents ordered by the Department’s recent cablegram I will send it in as soon as I can procure the necessary receipts from the special agent in Madrid. * * * * * *. I am not able to report yet the decision of the Peace Commission as to retaining the special agent at Madrid. I was called before the Commission this morning to give my opinion as to the utility of keeping him there, and I will be informed of their decision in a day or two.”

     October 7, 1898. “Referring to the Department’s telegram of September 27th, concerning the settlement of the accounts of the special agents. I have the honor to report that, having informed the Peace Commission of its contents, they requested me to retain the agent at Madrid for a few days until they decided whether or not they would maintain him there.”

     October 14, 1898. “I received a telegram about the 28th of last month ordering me to settle the accounts of all the Special agents that have been in Spain. I communicated this at once to the Peace Commission and they requested me to wait some time until they decided to keep the Special agent who is now in Madrid. Their hesitation in the matter was due, I assume, to apprehension as to it ever being found out, but after consulting the Ambassador,2 who assured them that there was no danger, they finally requested me to keep him there and to conduct all the business with him. Until they had decided this I could not settle my accounts, but I will do so now as soon as the necessary receipt is received for the last payment to this agent.”

Source Note: TD, RG 45, Entry 464, box 165. Stamped “CONFIDENTIAL,” in the margins.

Footnote 1: Lt. William S. Sims.

Footnote 2: United States Ambassador to Spain Stewart L. Woodford.  

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