Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, and Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
Date 16 Nov 1918 Y-12 File No. <55-1-5R>
Sent 1155 PM 16 Nov Serial No. 5236
Recd. 1105 PM 17 Nov Cipher 58
From Opnav Washington To Simsadus
SWO 10 Nov R/T to Paris as 156
S E C R E T
For Benson and Sims. Saturday report.
Battleship Force under Vice Admiral Grant went out for exercise target practice during past week.
Nothing of any especial nature happening during the week.
Plan for return of troop transports by establishing lanes lightships swept channel etcetera approved.
In it will be adopted suggestions of Commander of Forces in European waters so far as pertaining to details in European waters.
Plan for demobilization made by Committees this side complete but waiting for receipt of your plan.
Plan for demobilization submitted by Commander Forces in European Waters being studied by Bureau and cable indicating joint views of all Bureaus will soon be submitted
be on all yards and industrial establishments put on 8 hour basis.
Where necessary to expedite work the plan is adopted of working shifts in same manner as was done before the war.
It is estimated by so doing will really get better results at less cost.
Priority on repairs has been shifted.
It is now given to transports N.O.T.S. ships cargo vessels and then small craft.
Priority in building has been shifted.
Now given first to Battleships Auxiliaries and later
than to small craft.
Sweeping continuing, several more mines discovered.
In indicating to Shipping Board policy to be followed with regard to gun emplacement in Merchant vessels, following adopted:
Wherever expenses can be reduced by continuing emplacement such will be done<;> wherever expense is increased no emplacement put in with regard to certain ships destined to be convoy leader wherever gun emplacement could be worked in the fabric of the hull such was to be done in the ships designated.
Censorship lifted on shipping news but not taken off radio yet.
Coastwise steamers sailing direct.
Work of taking off Armed Guard and guns will start shortly but will be a slow process, will begin with coastwise first.
Plan for later place distribution of submarines and other Naval vessels being prepared with my authority[.] labor strikes in Cuba but danger of trouble now over.
Admiral Anderson in Havana Cuba conferring with American Minister but now returning to Key West, Florida.
Mexican situation as usual.
Siberia as usual.
South America influenza getting better.
Selection Board to meet in December. Members not chosen yet.
Chief Bureau of Navigation not chosen yet.
With regard to State Dep’t using our boxes Mr Lansing very much opposed to our personnel going with it, desires we turn over boxes without personnel says State Dep’t will use Army code if we will not turn over boxes without personnel.
Am advising Secretary let them use War Dep’t code if they so desire rather than compromise our Navy Code.
War Trade Board informed that ban previously laid on sailing vessels lifted.
Delay to reply about Wilson, G<eh>rardi [i.e., Gherardi], and Knapp due to fact that Navigation agreed to release these messages which I did through them, found later
than <that> one of them had not been sent.
This about all the information 19016 5236
R E T R A N S M I T