Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
DECEMBER TUESDAY 4 1917
Pres. spoke to Congress. No tickets for wives of cabinet officers. Sinnot sent one to my wife & Ethel took her place. She was in Savannah speaking on Y.W.C.A.
W W looked serious, confident, compelling. He had given much thought to his message-read it deliberately & calmly, letting its logic and strength make all the impression. It was received with marked approval & evoked enthusiasm. After delivery we discussed it at cabinet meeting-all gave warm commendation. W W seemed relieved & was plainly pleased at its reception.
Because of Roberts College & such institutions he hoped we would not have to declare war upon Turkey, but must be prepared for any eventualities. He wished a plebiscite on Alsace & Lorrain[e], Suggested that many who had owned & still owned land should be entitled to vote. Not certain all wish to go to France. Children still speak German. Wished to let world know we stand for no such treaties as would call for land or money beyond repairing Belgium and Northern France.
More rooms needed by Departments.
Spent evening reading spotted record of E. D. Ryan whom Vance McCormick and Mitchell wished made Admiral I had almost promised to do it, but could not after reading
Represt-of Chili [Chile] here to buy RR engines & cars. Can we trade & get ships from Chili.