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Captain Frank H. Schofield, Planning Section, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters


U.S.S. MELVILLE, Flagship.

Telephone, Victoria 9110           30, Grosvenor Gardens,

Cable Address, “Simsadus               London, S.W.1.

Reference No.

From: Capt: Schofield.             April 27th, 1918.



          The question of the transportation of American troops in slow convoys of 11-1/2 knots, was mentioned at the conference this morning. The 1st Sea Lord was much disturbed by a telegram from Mr. Guthrie1 transmitting a dispatch from Mr. Graham Thompson (?)2 regarding the American attitude which so far as I could gather seemed to require that the Admiralty give some definite guarantee of the safety of troops in such convoys. The statement received was that no such guarantee could be given; that the only protection that could be afforded to the slow convoys was the protection accorded to cargo convoys. Admiral Duff3 stated that it was his opinion that this protection was not adequate for troop convoys, but that the matter was one for the War Cabinet to decide.

          The 1st Sea Lord was of the opinion that Mr. Graham Thompson (?) had disobeyed the orders he had received from the 1st Sea Lord and Admiral Duff. Admiral Duff did not think that this was the case but that Mr. Graham Thompson (?) had mixed matters up in the escort question without authority. The matter rested there with the decision that the whole question would be taken up with you on your return which I stated would be about Monday.4


Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 23. Document reference: “1/3/C/J.” Document is from: “ADMIRAL SIMS’ PERSONAL FILE.”

Footnote 1: First Sea Lord Adm. Sir Rosslyn Wemyss; Sir Connop Guthrie, the creator of the British Ministry of Shipping (and its first Director from 1916 to 1918), served as the Special Representative of the British Shipping Controller in America.

Footnote 2: Sir Graeme Thomson, Director, Directorate of Shipping, Ministry of Shipping.

Footnote 3: VAdm. Sire Alexander L. Duff, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff.

Footnote 4: Sims was in Paris at this time for a meeting of the Allied Naval Council. For more on his trip see: Sims to Anne Hitchcock Sims, 28 April 1918.

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