Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

 

[Extract]

NOVEMBER                    MONDAY 26                     1917

. . . .Went to see the President.1 I had 2 cablegrams from Benson[.]2 One recommended that our admiral in Europe accept position as honorary member of the British Admiralty. Very confidential & wished nothing said because if agreeable to us Geddes3 would see the King4 before it would be done[;] an emphatic No.

     Also Benson telegraphed plan of a Naval War Council-5 W W said the Military Council’s plans would be changed to some extent and he suggested no action as to Naval Council be taken until changes were made known.

     He said if Congress authorized acceptance by naval officers of honors &c from Great Britain he would veto the bill. It would cause them to be trying to secure foreign favor & would be un-American[.]6

. . . .Pres. looked weary--war-worn & said rather quizzically: “My mother did not raise her boy to be a War President-but it is a liberal education[.”]

Source Note: D, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diaries, Roll 1.

Footnote 1: Woodrow Wilson. Later in this entry, Daniels called him “W W.”

Footnote 2: Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations.

Footnote 3: First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Eric Geddes.

Footnote 4: King George V of England.

Footnote 5: For more on this proposed council, see: William S. Sims to William V. Pratt, 21 November 1917.

Footnote 6: For more on this, see: Sims to Benson, 9 October 1917.

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