Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

1917           TUESDAY 30          OCTOBER

Went to capital to take part in departure over Bankhead good road through the South.

W W took up the General Board's & the Admiralty's plan of barrage across North Sea.1 I told W W it was very difficult, but was the only plan possible to shut off the submarines. It might cut off 1/2 & that would be important. Very costly & very difficult, but all things are possible.

Talk with Arthur Pollen, who urged that I or some man in authority go to England and France and keep the Admiralty busy on plans to win the war. He seemed pessimistic-

Lord Reading, Chief Justice of England,2 called to say good-bye before his departure for home to be present at the conference & give his country benefit of all he had learned here. He was downcast over Italian news & looked for a long war.

At night had long conference with Pratt and Belknap over the North Sea Barrage.3 Will put Belknap in charge & told him to use all diligence & he would have the whole Dept. back of him.

Long talk with Baruch4—not satisfied with progress of War Industries Board.

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

Footnote 1: President Woodrow Wilson.

Footnote 2: Sir Rufus Isaacs, Chief Justice of England and Wales.

Footnote 3: Capt. William V. Pratt and Cmdr. Reginald R. Belknap.

Footnote 4: Chairman of the War Industries Board, Bernard M. Baruch.

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