Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
1917 MONDAY 2 JULY
Naval officer from Italy called and talked interestingly about aeroplanes_Said his country had the largest in the world and one would arrive shortly and he would fly to W from New York
Lord Northcliffe called & had a special telegram from Lloyd George: “Must have 200,000 tons of oil Situation most serious and lack of tonnage required to bring the oil fuel here from U.S. threatens to lead to immobilization of the Fleet.In fact mobilization will be stopped unless the 200,000 tons referred to are not received by the end of August, and even then a further 100,000 tons will be essential before the end of September. Please do everything possible to secure this supply, since failure to do so will render our naval supremacy itself insecure and will create a position of the utmost danger. I presume that what is needed is strong executive action in the commandeering of American tonnage, which the trading interests concerned appear to be reluctant to divert. I leave this matter, which is quite apart from the general question of the control of oil tonnage and the International Oil Board, entirely in your hands and rely on you to see it through”. I promised to take action & put Benson to work to find tankage.
Went to the theater with boys. Pouring rain.
Source Note: D, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diary, Roll 1.