Commodore Guy R. Gaunt, British Naval Attaché at Washington, D. C., to British Admiralty
COPY OF TELEGRAM. 652 IN
From Commodore Gaunt DATE 7.2.18.
Washington. SENT 11.35pm &
To-- Admiralty. RECD. 10.15 am.
652. Pog. Admiral Benson discussed at length situation as regards Azores, Cape Verde and Canary Islands. The (group omitted) was not official in any way but I thought that you should know his views as the matter will probably come up again. When in Paris he asked Portuguese Prime Minister to allow Azores to be used as an American advanced base, landing sufficient troops and guns to maintain it. He could not get a definite reply then so on his return had matter taken up through diplomatic channels. Reply has been received that Portugal will land her own infantry. R A ?Dunn has already arrived at Azores with a few (?group omitted) and 7 inch guns. Admiral Benson thinks he has been allowed to land them. Admiral Benson is not at all satisfied with Portuguese answer and is seriously considering taking up matter again diplomaticallypressing that Great Britain should (group omitted) to bear to obtain permission for his scheme to be carried out.
Source Note: Cy, UK-KeNA, ADM 137/708. There is a distribution list following the text in columnar fashion: “1st L/Nav Sec/1st S L/D O D (F)/D I D/Head of M.” In order those are: First Lord of the Admiralty [Sir Eric C. Geddes]; Secretary of the Admiralty [Sir Oswyn A.R. Murray]; First Sea Lord [Adm. Sir Rosslyn E. Weymss]; Director Operations Division, Foreign [Capt. Charles P.R. Coode]; Director, Intelligence Division [RAdm. William R. Hall]; possibly, Head of Foreign Intelligence (Ml1c) Sir Mansfield G. Smith-Cumming.