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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to All United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters



U.S.S. MELVILLE, Flagship,

London, England.

22nd February 1918.


From:  Force Commander.

To  :  All Forces.

Subject:  Economy in Food Consumption.

     1.   The Allies have taken steps to reduce food consumption where it may be accomplished without detriment to the health and efficiency of their naval and military forces, and of those who are engaged in munition work and other essential activities.

     2.   Our people at home are voluntarily limiting themselves in the consumption of meat, bread, sugar etc., and it is probable that a rationing scheme may soon have to be adopted for the purpose of securing an adequate supply of these and other staples for our Oversea Forces, and for the armies and navies of our Allies.

     3.   Not only is there a nearly universal shortage of food throughout the world, caused primarily by increased consumption and decreased production, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to distribute it equitably.

     4.   As this condition must necessarily become more acute, at least until next year’s crops are available, it is absolutely necessary that there should be the least possible amount of waste, and that consumption be limited to the lowest practicable minimum.

     5.   The Force Commander has no authority to change the character or reduce the volume of the ration allowed by Statute Law, but it would give him much satisfaction to know that individual units had voluntarily done so, and that the Commander of each individual unit and station of the Force made it his personal business to see that all possible waste was obviated, and that the Navy was not behind our families at home in the voluntary effort to husband the limited foodstuffs available, in order that our Allies may be as well provided as ourselves.

     6.   The Force Commander will be very glad to have detailed accounts of the amounts and nature of food economies that have been effected, and the manner and methods by which they have been accomplished.

WM. S. SIMS.           

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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