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 23 February 1918. ROC
To Opnav, Washington. 4304
4304. Your 2682. At January meeting of Allied Naval Council it was decided to make provision for extending the ocean convoy system to those areas where cruiser submarines may operate. Proposed extensions not to be brought into operation until necessity arises and only in areas where enemy activity is known to exist. It was decided that not only cruisers but older types of battleships are suitable as ocean escorts. It was agreed that each nation should supply the names of cruisers and battleships that should be allocated for ocean escorts. The British Admiralty are considering in detail the arrangements necessary to establish ocean convoy system throughout world and number of ocean escorts required. In arranging distribution consideration to be given to home bases in order to facilitate supplies, overhaul, etc.
The foregoing refers only to extensions of convoy system to area where cruiser submarines may operate and is independent of inquiry in my cable three three two nine to establish extra convoy from United States direct to French Atlantic ports. For this latter purpose French Ministry offer for immediate use with French crews four cruisers now in the West Indies namely GLOIRE, MARSEILLAISE, AMIRAL <OUBE> and DUPETIT-THOUARS. Cruisers MONTCAIN and CONDE in reserve could be commissioned with American crews. Details of material condition and complement coming by mail from Paris and will be forwarded. Request to be informed how many battleships could be assigned for escort duty based on home ports in order to release British cruisers for escort duty in other areas
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.