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Major General Tasker H. Bliss, Assistant Chief of Staff, Army, to Major General Henry P. McCain


August 2, 1917.    


     The instructions heretofore given under which the military attaches in Washington of certain allied governments have been furnished with advance information of sailings of individuals and organizations for service abroad are revoked. The instructions also under which The Adjutant General of the Army personnel to General Pershing are hereby revoked.1 Information of such sailings, actual or prospective, will be sent to the Adjutant General hereafter by confidential messenger for the Ports of Embarkation. When received they will be furnished by confidential messenger – a commissioned officer of the Adjutant General’s office – to an authorized officer of the Bureau of Operations of the Navy. It is then the exclusive business of the Navy to convey the information to the senior naval commander abroad who is charged with the further duty of informing General Pershing and our attache in London of such sailings.2 The Chief of the Embarkation Service will govern the communications of his office with the Navy by the same rule of confidential messenger service. The effect of these ruling is to prohibit all bureaus and agencies of the War Department sending information relative to the sailing of our personnel or our cargo ships for Europe and to confine the transmission of such information to one channel only, namely: the Navy. This prohibition extends to the giving out of such information to anyone in this country which, either in the course of duty or by accident, may come to the knowledge of any officer.

Tasker H. Bliss, Major General.

Acting Chief of Staff.  

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517, Box 8.

Footnote 1: Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Forces.

Footnote 2: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

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