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Commander Paul Foley and L. I. Thomas to Edward N. Hurley, Chairman, United States Shipping Board

Subject Copy.                               File No. <46-4-1>

Cablegram Sent 5 July <1918.> EWC

To Opnav, Washington.                       Serial No. 583.

Prep. by C-3                 Thomas.   D.R.

                                           Sig. Book.

583. Petroleum Mission 19 from Foley and Thomas for Hurley. At meeting of Inter-Allied Petroleum Conference held London June 25th question of delays to American tank steamers routed to French Channel and Bay ports was discussed. Following recommendation was adopted by Conference, Quote:

     (1).  All sailings from U.S.A. for France whether on French, American or British account to be cabled from the United States to the Ministry of Shipping and communicated to Colonel Dive1 and the United States Delegates. The information to include the name of the vessel, cargo, destination, date of sailing, and on whose account, that is, French, American or British. The Ministry of Shipping to inform Colonel Dive of the latest date for altering the destination of each steamer.

     (2).  The French Government to keep the Ministry of Shipping advised of the stocks and tankage position at the French ports and to decide at which port each steamer can best be accommodated.

     (3).  In the eventof diversion being necessary the Ministry of Shipping will make the necessary arrangements, and issue the orders for British Ships, and the American delegates in consultation with the Ministry of Shipping will take the necessary decisions as to American ships. The Ministry of Shipping will see that orders are conveyed to these ships through the most convenient channel in each case.

     (4).  A direct telephone line should be established between Director of Spirit and Fuel in the Ministrie de Revitaillment, 88 Rue de Grenelle, Paris and British Ministry of Shipping. This direct line will ensure the continuity and secrecy which are necessary to controlling the transport of petroleum by sea.

     (5).  The officers of the staff of the British Principal Naval Transport Officer France in the various French ports should be accredited officially and by name to Colonel Dive, Director of Spirit and Fuel, and to his representatives at the ports.

     (6).  No decision of any sort should be taken by any of the Governments concerned with regard to the matters detailed above on the suggestions of any interested party except after agreement between the duly qualified representatives of the Governments concerned.

     (7).  The Ministry of Shipping will similarly notify the French Government of all the ships coming from the East with petroleum products for France, Unquote.

          Recommend for time being adoption of Petroleum Conference recommendations. We are informed by British Ministry of Shipping they already receive telegraphic advice concerning sailings of American tankers but it is important this information should be cabled as soon as possible after departures from American ports. Following supplementary information should be also embodied in cable:

(1). Quantity and description of cargo loaded.

(2). For whose account, i.e. British, French or American, and name of consignee. 

(3). In case vessels bound for French Channel ports, estimated draft on arrival at same time instructing Masters to trim ship lowest possible draft while enroute.

          We request that you give us blanket authority so that we may authorize diversion of tankers from one French port to another when exigencies of situation demands. Where situation demands discharging any such steamers in U.K. involving exchange with Great Britain each case will be taken up with you on its own merit provided time permits without delaying steamer. 18405, 583.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. There is a heading at the top of the second page designating it “Page Two.” This copy is on a printed form, and the identifying information appears again at the top of the second page.

Footnote 1: Director of Spirit and Fuel, Ministrie de Revitaillment (Ministry of Refueling).

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