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Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

1918           TUESDAY 12               FEBRUARY

Lt. Comdr Babcock, aide for Sims,1 talked about Sims who is very popular in Great Britain. Said he had heard much talk here that Sims was pro-English, but it was true - Sims believed in trusting our allies & was really more devoted to the French than the English- He had instructed all naval officers not to criticize what they did not approve in English or French navies- A Pay Master told him he suspected English holding back truth about oil. Sims said “Accept their statement; if they are lying it will come out to their discredit”. Supposed French were not fully co-operating. Not a word from us- Strange the feeling between allied nations- One did not know what the other was doing & a great Eng. general had said “Before this war is over, we will be fighting among ourselves”


Lansing2 caused a laugh by reading a message from members of Russian Mission urging US Govmt not to recognize the Bolshevik Government until Trotsky paid the ten dollars he borrowed from Mr. Crane’s cook.3

Wm Bayard Hale4 wrote asking whether he should print the interview he had with German Emperor5 in 1908- Emperor praised Roosevelt6 and denounced England for trying to make trade agreements that would bottle up Germany

Baker read telegram from Pershing, Encouraging[.]7 Burleson8 predicted 3 years war

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

Footnote 1: Lt. Cmdr. John V. Babcock; VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 2: Secretary of State Robert Lansing. He must have done this in a meeting of President Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet.

Footnote 3: Leon Trotsky, who was then serving as People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs. Charles R. Crane had been a member of the American Mission to Russia that visited that country in 1917.

Footnote 4: Author and editor who had been active in the campaign of Woodrow Wilson in 1912.

Footnote 5: Wilhelm II.

Footnote 6: Former President Theodore Roosevelt.

Footnote 7: Secretary of War Newton D. Baker; commander of the American Expeditionary Force Gen. John J. Pershing.

Footnote 8: Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson.

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