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Secretary of the Admiralty Sir W. Graham Greene to Admiralty Departments




     Admiral Sims, of the United States Navy, having been appointed to represent the American Navy Department in London,1 it has been decided that he should be placed in a confidential position in regard to the Admiralty Departments dealing with war operations,2 and arrangements are being made to provide him with a room at the Admiralty, (Room 63, Old Building).3

     In view of the importance of obtaining every possible assistance from the United States in connection with submarine warfare and other important war operations, all information that may be of use to the United States Navy should be communicated by the Departments concerned with operational matters to Admiral Sims, it being understood that the First Sea Lord4 is to be consulted should there be any doubt as to the expediency of communicating any particular item of secret information.

     Questions of supply or enquiries as to materiel will be dealt with in the first instance through the Secretary,5 as laid down in Office Memorandum of 11th January, 1916, a copy of which is attached.6 Matters of detail arising out of approved arrangements may be dealt with directly between the Admiralty Department concerned and Admiral Sims.7

W Graham Greene

20th April, 1917.

Source Note: DS, UK-KeNA, Adm. 137/1426.

Footnote 1: On the appointment of RAdm. William S. Sims to be the United States Navy’s liaison with the Royal Navy, see: On Instructions Given Rear Admiral William S. Sims Concerning his being the United States Navy’s Liaison with the British Admiralty, 28 March 1917. At the top of a draft of this memorandum someone has written: “to be marked to Heads of Depts personally.”

Footnote 2: This was a reversal of the British policy not to share sensitive information with the United States Navy. See Cecil A. Spring-Rice to Arthur J. Balfour, 31 January 1917. UK-KeNA, Adm. 137/1436.

Footnote 3: The “Old” Admiralty building (today known officially as the Ripley Building) was part of the Admiralty complex, which lies between Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade and The Mall, and included five inter-connected buildings.

Footnote 4: Adm. Sir John R. Jellicoe.

Footnote 5: Sir W. Graham Greene.

Footnote 6: The 1916 memorandum is no longer attached to the 1917 memorandum.

Footnote 7: In a draft of this memorandum, the final paragraph read: “The decision with regard to the U.S.Naval Attaché [Capt. William D. MacDougall] should be modified accordingly, as the two officers must necessarily be treated as on the same footing.” However, that language was crossed through and the wording as it appears above substituted.

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