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

Chronological Copy.                         File No.

Cablegram Sent  29 March <1918>  EWC

To  Opnav Washington                        Serial No. 5751

Prep. by Foley                C of S    D.R.

25 ADR.       


5751. Following for Hurley strictly confidential. Begins. We learn confidentially that Ministry of Shipping have prepared proposals as to Eastern reroutings which will be scrutinized by Sir Alfred Lewis of Furness Withy & Company1 and submitted to us about ten days hence. There is no indication any tanker tonnage will be diverted to Transatlantic thus effecting savings in tonnage indicated in our Statement file reference 127.2 On the contrary understand Authorities have decided to withdraw four British tankers now engaged in Transatlantic assigning them to Eastern service. This action, in conjunction with withdrawals from Atlantic service during August and September 1917, would appear inconsistent with repeated demands by Black for American tanker tonnage assistance.3 Our deduction of situation is there has been no effort whatever to curtail Eastern production but on contrary to stimulate same and provide whatever tonnage is necessary.4 Signed Foley and Thomas.         5751


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Sir Alfred Lewis was director of the Furness Withy Tansport Company, a major British shipping concern.

Footnote 3: Sir Frederick Black, British Director General of Munitions Supply.

Footnote 4: There was suspicion in the United States that the British were trying to protect their tanker fleet at the expense of the United States. See: Foley and Thomas to Hurley, 7 January 1918.

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