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, R.N., Commander, Southern Ireland

August 2nd.1918.

Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, R.N.

     Admiralty House,

          Queenstown [Ireland].

My dear Admiral,

          As you know by this time the Naval Committee will leave here on Sunday night1 to spend a couple of days at Queenstown. I thought you might like to know something about Mr .Paget2 the Chairman and also Mr. Butler,3 who is the Senior Republican Congressman of the Committee

          Mr .Paget is a man whom I find very sympathetic as the Frenchmen say. He is, to me, a fatherly sort of an individual though he is only three years older than I am. He has the reputation for entire earnestness and honesty in politics and he has the interests of the Navy very much at heart.

          While he is what you would call a plain man, personally I like him very much. I have seen a good deal of him when I have had hearings before the Naval Committee. This is also true of a number of the others.

          Mr .Butler, the senior Republican, is a different type of man altogether. He is a small chap of a rather nervous disposition, but very much of a gentleman, and he is equally in earnest not only for the Navy of the United States but for the Allied Cause.

          In the rest of the Committee there are men from all over the United States, some of them from a certain distance back in the woods, but I am sure I may say that they are an earnest and an honest set of men. They are very much pleased with everything they have seen over here. They understand thoroughly the great debt that the Allies owe to the British Navy during this war. I believe they realise how small a material part our Navy has played though they quite believe that in proportion to numbers they have done good work.

          So many things have been criticised and laid to the blame of the Democratic Party4 that the whole party is very gratefulto the Navy for having acquired a little praise. The Naval Committee being largely responsible for the creation of the Navy, or rather for its expansion, are particularly pleased over the Navy’s present standing in public opinion Their disposition is to find things to commend.

          I believe this group of men will interest you.

                   Very sincerely yours,

Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 47.

Footnote 1: That is, 4 August 1918.

Footnote 2: Lemuel P. Padgett from Tennessee.

Footnote 3: Thomas S. Butler from Pennsylvania. He was the father of the noted Marine Gen. Smedley D. Butler.

Footnote 4: The Democratic Party was the majority party in Congress in 1918.

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