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Captain Walter S. Crosley, United States Naval Attaché in Madrid, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters


American Embassy        

Madrid July 27,18. 


Telegraphic Address

Alusna, Madrid

     Vice Admiral

          W. S. Sims, U. S. Navy,

               Commanding United States Naval

                    Forces Operating in European Waters

                         30 Grosvenor Gardens,

                              London, England

My dear Admiral:

          The following is inspired by an earnest desire that this office may do its part in the war.

          Spain is practically an ally of our enemy. To get proof of this that would even convince you is difficult and expensive.

          To get proof that will satisfy the pro-German Spanish officials is a heap more so.

          The files of this office are practically valueless. The reason is simple. There has never been enough money to get good stuff.

          My platform is, we must get data to:-

     (1)  Enable you to kill a submarine.

     (2)  Prove that our enemy violates the neutrality of Spain.

     (3)  Prove that Spanish officials help the enemy violate Spain’s neutrality.

     (4)  Help the War Trade Board by investigations.

     (5)  Help Committee on Public Information (as per orders)

     (6)  Make passport investigations (as per order), and

     (7)  Follow up what develops in (1) to (6) above.

          The files of this office are of value in proving that, for the last thirteen (13) months ( I have been here two-and-one-half months ) the Naval Attache here has been begging O. N. I. for financial help, and that it has not been sent.

          I wont ask you to read the cables and letters. There are many, and they should convince a stone man, a statue.

          They haven’t convinced the proper one to loosen up the purse strings, and this office is not performing its mission as expressed in my “platform” of seven planks as expressed above.

          What more can I do to help all hands. I am ordered by O. N. I.1 to discontinue cables!

          I get insulting letters initialed by a New York lawyer and by Decker!2

          Spain is on the map, and is harming us. Why not let an enthusiastic fellow try to stopsome of the harm?

          When will the war be over?

          Sincerely and respectfully,


                    Sgd – W. S. Crosley

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “1/5/C/H/J.” Document is from “Admiral Sims’/Personal File.” Dictated and transcribed: “WSC/IEG.”

Footnote 1: Office of Naval Intelligence.

Footnote 2: Capt. Benton C. Decker, Assistant Naval Attaché in Madrid.

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