Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
MAY FRIDAY 4 1917
Representative of Flint & Co. called about buying destroyers from Argentina. I told them they must guarantee they are in good condition. They cabled to Argentina.
Spear came to see about submarines & wished to build on their plans rather than Gov. plan. Taylor rather recommended & Benson assented. Hard question to decide.
Meeting of cabinet. President talked about the sub-marine task. He returns to his original idea that merchant ships should be convoyed by naval ships, but expressed his view, as he said, without confidence as he is no expert. He also outlined his views as to changing course & ports on trip to England of our ships. Discussed sub-marines. Redfield thought a net could be stretched across the North Sea—250 miles—a net 5 mi. long had been used in Alaska and will take to Admiral De Chair about it.
Stop enlisting. Editor Fort Worth (Texas) wrote that his son enlisted, went to Chicago to Training Station, very cold & change in climate made him ill, & he died. Not a harsh word in letter or paper, but protested against Southern boys being sent to Chicago. He thought they ought to be sent to stations on the Gulf. I directed Palmer to prepare places at Charleston & Pensocola.
Source Note: D, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diary, Roll 1.