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 Sir Lewis Bayly, Commander-in-Chief, Coast of Ireland

August 15th.1918.  

My dear Admiral,

          Your letter of the 12th.1 just received. I am trying to see what I can do for Mr.Hunt, but I am sorry to say for the present there is no legal way in which I can employ him. I am writing to the Secretary of the Navy2 and making an appeal to him to give me authority to enlist in our Reserves just such men as this who could be useful to us on this side, but up to the present time they have apparently been unwilling to do this.

          I think I told you in my last letter that the Naval Committee of Congress came back from Queenstown in a high state of enthusiasm over everything they had seen including the reception that you gave them. Mr.Butler3 was particularly enthusiastic and said that he would be very glad indeed to pay another visit to Queenstown, but that in all probability they would have to leave for home on a transport sailing from France.

          As for the seaplane ship VICTOR, I will take the matter up with the Admiralty tomorrow and let you know the result. You know that we are proposing to send a number of sea sleds to the coast of Ireland as they will not all be required in the North Sea.

          We are looking forward to your arrival here on the 20th, and I will be very glad to take dinner with you and go see “Nothing but the truth” at the Savoy. The seats were secured long ago. It goes without saying that I will be very glad indeed to have you take a look around our headquarters installation.

          We have here just now, probably the most influential of our legislators, namely, Congressman Sherley,4 who is the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee. He probably wields more power concerning questions of appropriations than any other man in the United States barring the President.5 He has had the nerve to authorize the expenditure of many hundreds of millions of dollars in advance of the approval by the House of Representatives. He is over here on a flying visit to see the financial dignitaries of Great Britain and France. I am having to dinner tomorrow night to meet him, Lord Milner, Lord Robert Cecil, Mr.Stanley Baldwin, M.P. and Mr.Edward C.Grenfell – just a small dinner so they will have an opportunity to talk shop to their heart’s content. The dinner had to be gotten up on such short notice that we could not get Sir Albert Stanley and Mr.Bonar Law,6 but Mr. Sherley is having a few hours conversation ith the latter this afternoon. Mr.Sherley leaves here on Saturday for France and will go home on a transport from there.

Always very sincerely yours,      

Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 47. Addressed below close: “Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly./Admiralty House ,/Queenstown.”

Footnote 2: Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels.

Footnote 3: Congressmen Thomas S. Butler from Pennsylvania.

Footnote 4: Congressmen J. Swager Sherley of Kentucky.

Footnote 5: President Woodrow Wilson.

Footnote 6: Lord Alfred Milner, Secretary of State for War; Lord Robert Cecil, Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Mr.Stanley Baldwin, Member of Parlaiment; Edward C.Grenfell, Director of the Bank of England; Sir Albert Stanley, president of the Board of Trade; and Andrew Bonar Law, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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