Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Cablegram Sent 14 December 1917.
To Opnav, Washington.......Serial No. 2136....
2136. Following announcement agreed to by Admiral Benson2 will be released to press for publication morning papers Saturday December 15th: Quote:
NAVAL ALLIED COUNCIL.
NOTE TO BE COMMUNICATED TO THE PRESS.
At a conference held at the Ministry of Marine at Paris3 on Thursday and Friday,29th and 30th November, presided over by Monsieur Leygues, Minister of Marine, and the following delegates being present:
For France – M.Jules cels, Sous-Secretaire d’ Etat de la Marine.
Vice-Admiral de Bon, Chief of the General Staff.
For England – Sir Eric Geddes, First Lord of the Admiralty.
Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, First Sea Lord.
For the United States – Admiral Benson, Director of the Bureau of Operations.
Vice-Admiral Sims, Comanding the American Naval Forces in European Waters.
For Italy – Vice-Admiral Cusani Visconti, Sous-Chef d’Etat-Major-General.
For Japan – Rear-Admiral Funakoshi,4
is has been decided to create a Naval Allied Council in order to ensure the closest touch and complete co-operation betwen <between> the Allied Fleets. The task of the Council will be to watch of the general conduct of the Naval war and to ensure the co-ordination over effort at sea as well as the development of all scientific operations connected with the conduct of the war. The Council will make all the necessary recommendations to enable the Government to make decisions. It will keep itself informed as to the execution of plans decided upon. The members of the Council will report to their respective Governments as may be necessary. The individual responsibility of the Chiefs of Staffs, and the Commander-in-Chief at sea, towards their Governments as regards operation in hand, as well as the strategical and tactical disposition of the forces placed under their command remains unchanged. It has been decided that the Council should consist of the Minister of Marine of the nations represented and of the Chiefs of the Naval Staffs.
As the meeting
og <of> the Council will be <of> necessity be held in Europe, the Chief of the General Naval Staffs of the United States and of Japan will be represented by Flag Officers nominated by their respective Governments.
The Allied Naval Council will be provided with a permanent Secretariat<e> whose business it will be to collect and collate all necessary information,etc. The Council will meet as often as may be thought necessary under the presidency of the Minister of Marine of the country in which the meeting is held.
The various Admiralties will furnish the Council with the information which is necessary for the work to be carried out.5 Unquote.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “ROC File No. 52-1-1/1/3/J.”
Footnote 1: Cmdr. John V. Babcock and Capt. Nathan C. Twining.
Footnote 2: Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations.
Footnote 3: Minister of Marine at Paris George Leygues.
Footnote 4: Jules Cels, Sous-Secretaire d’ Etat de la Marine; VAdm. Ferdinand de Bon, Chief of the General Staff; Sir Eric Geddes, First Lord of the Admiralty; Adm. Sir John R. Jellicoe, First Sea Lord; VAdm. Lorenzo Cusani Visconti, Sous-Chef d’Etat-Major-General. RAdm. Fajishiro Funakoshi, Imperial Japanese Navy.
Footnote 5: The Allied Naval Council was created in December 1917, to negotiate the conduct of the naval war, ensure coordination of forces, and direct emerging scientific research. The Spectator (London), 22 December 1917, p. 1.