Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

 

CABLEGRAM SENT.            - August 22, 1917.

To Opnav, Washington.                                         Serial No. 331

Via N B C D                                                               File No. 22/2/7

 

Replying Opnav two hundred and nine (Stop) Refer to cable 12001/14018 from office Naval Intelligence to Naval ATTACHE1 (STOP) SIMILAR INFORMATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED THROUGH EMBASSY HERE AND PARIS (STOP) IT IS POSSIBLE THAT DIPLOMATIC CONSULAR AND OTHER GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES OUTSIDE ARMY AND NAVY MAY IN FUTURE OBTAIN MILITARY INFORMATION OF EXTREME AND IMMEDIATE IMPORTANCE PROVIDING IT CAN BE UTILISED IN TIME (STOP) ALL SUCH SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABROAD IN ANY GOVERNMENT SERVICE COULD BE COORDINATED AND INSTRUCTED TO ADVANTAGES AS AN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (STOP) THE FIRST STEP WOULD BE TO SUPPLY THEM WITH PROPER SECRET CODES SAFE FROM ENEMY INTERCEPTION (STOP) AN OFFICER ON MY STAFF IS NOW COORDINATING AS FAR AS POSSIBLE WITH SECRET SERVICE HERE2 (STOP) HE SHOULD HAVE INFORMATION OF ANY U.S. SECRET SERVICE ACTIVITIES ABROAD (STOP) REQUEST THAT FUTURE INFORMATION CONCERNING ENEMY BE ADDRESSED TO ME AND NOT NAVAL ATTACHE (STOP) ALSO REQUEST THAT FUTURE ENEMY INFORMATION FROM GOVERNMENT SOURCES ABROAD BE SENT THROUGH THIS OFFICE OR EMBASSY HERE OR ELSE THAT THE INFORMATION  BE SENT HERE AS WELL AS TO WASHINGTON IN ORDER THAT IT MAY BE USED IN TIME (STOP) 18322.

          SIMS

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: See: Josephus Daniels to Sims, 18 August 1917. Captain William D. MacDougall served as the United States Naval Attaché at London.

Footnote 2: Cmdr. John V. Babcock.

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