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Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels


1917                       MONDAY 31                   DECEMBER

Attorney General of Great Britain called.1 Very interesting man. Rodman2 well liked by English fleet. When he went on English Admirals3 ship, the Admiral said when they wished to confer, there would be no need for etiquette or writing. Rodman said “that suits me very well, for I am no pamphleteer myself.”

Conference at McAdoo’s office4 over freight situation, particularly as to coal. New England factories in great need of coal & must have water transportation.

Came home with Admiral Fletcher5 after talking work of War Industries Board & adjusting the differences between Navy & Board over tin. It turned out Navy was right and we were commended.6

Source Note: D, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diaries, Roll 1.

Footnote 1: Sir Frederick E. Smith, Attorney General of England and Wales, 1915-1919.

Footnote 2: RAdm. Hugh Rodman, Commander, Battleship Division Nine, Atlantic Fleet. Battleship Division Nine was a division of four (later five) dreadnaughts (New York, Delaware, Wyoming, and Florida; Texas joined 11 February 1917) detached from the Atlantic Fleet to serve as the American contribution to the British Grand Fleet. Upon joining the Grand Fleet, the division became officially known as the Sixth Battle Squadron and was based at Rosyth, Scotland; Nathan C. Twining, Information Bulletin, 8 December 1917, DNA, RG 45, Destroyer Ship Files, Jacob Jones.

Footnote 3: Adm. Sir David Beatty, Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet.

Footnote 4: Secretary of the Treasury, William G. McAdoo.

Footnote 5: RAdm. William B. Fletcher, formerly Commander, Patrol Squadrons Based on the French Coast. Due to an inability to manage effectively the patrol squadrons operating off France, marked by the sinking of Antilles on 17 October 1917, Fletcher had been removed from his command and recalled to Washington.

Footnote 6: During December 1917 there was much controversy about the War Industry Board’s attempts to fix the price of various metals, including lead, zinc, and tin so presumably this was a debate over the price at which purchasing tin would be set. Cuff, The War Industries Board, 128.