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United States Navy Bureau of Supplies and Accounts Intra-Bureau Memorandum

Intra-Bureau Order 261


(Bureau of Supplies and Accounts)

Washington, D.C.

31 January 1918

     1.  Commander Babcock1 very kindly addressed the S and A organization2 in Sanda Court3 29 January and his remarks were so impressive that Paymaster S. R. Fuller, Naval Reserve, in charge of the Steel Section of the Purchase Division, promptly issued the following memorandum for the Steel Section:

“Referring to Commander Babcock’s talk yesterday: It is apparent therefrom that our country is in a very serious situation, for our fortunes are bound up with those of England and France.

“There is no need to go over the words of the Commander. They were clear. But it is to be noted that Admiral Sims’ special message to S and A is:

First:  He has no complaint to make of S and A. He

says we have done our job well.

Second:   In reply to a question addressed to Commander

Babcock asking what can each of us do for Admiral   Sims, Commander Babcock replied in substance:

‘I believe you will do most for Admiral Sims if you accept without question that whatever you are told to do is right, and if you do each daily duty as quickly as it is humanly possible for you to do it after you have received your instructions.’

    “Let us follow Admiral Sims to the letter. In doing so, let us remember that the job of each one in the Steel Section must be done at his desk. There is no regular duty that anyone has away from his desk. It is noticeable of late that we all have contracted a habit to a greater or less extent of running around. (The Section Head is an offender with the rest.) This, we must all agree, is a waste of effort. Six people were away at one time today. Let us do our bit for Admiral Sims as follows:

               1st, Stick to our posts,

               2nd, Do our duty as fast as we can,

                    3rd, Leave nothing undone each day.”

     2.  Mr. Fuller has so clearly voiced the wishes of the Paymaster General with respect to complying promptly and efficiently with all requests from Admiral Sims that the above memorandum is issued as an intra-bureau order for the information and guidance of all officers and employees of S and A, in hope that each individual will follow the injun[c]tions made by Mr. Fuller, as follows:

               1st, “Stick to our posts,

               2nd, Do our duty as fast as we can,

                    3rd, Leave nothing undone each day.”


Source Note: Cy, DLC, William S. Sims Papers, Box 71. There is a number: “141” in the top right-hand corner.

Footnote 1: Cmdr. John V. Babcock was the personal aide to VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 2: That is, Supplies and Accounts.

Footnote 3: Presumably, the name of one of the buildings in London occupied by Sims’ staff.

Footnote 4: RAdm. Samuel McGowan, Paymaster General and Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts.

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