Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
CABLEGRAM SENT 28th July 1917.
To Secnav, Washington Serial No. 150
Via Admiralty “Q”
Number one hundred and fifty. Reference your fifty-six and my letter regarding troop convoys (stop) Please note my urgent recommendations that procedure contained in my letter be restricted only to Government troop and troop supply ships bound for France and not individual commercial ships carrying small units and bound for England or other countries (stop) Such latter vessels should be routed by British shipping officers the same as for all British vessels proceeding independently (stop) The system I recommended should not be communicated to shipping officers at various ports but should be confined solely to one or two officers in the Department (stop) A message was received by Admiralty concerning Philadelphia which apparently referred to system recommended for troop convoys and which was therefore not understood (stop) If cables are to be exchanged with any source but me concerning the system its primary object of secrecy will be destroyed.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, agreed with Sims’ request, sending him a cable to this effect; see, Benson to Sims, 1 August 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.