Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations
Date 23 Dec 1918 Y-53 File No. <55-5-2A>
Sent omitted Serial No. MISSION 116
Recd. 955 AM 22 Dec Cipher 43 ARD
From Opnav To Simsadus For Amnavpar Paris <For Benson,>
C O N F I D E N T I A L
No. MISSION 116
In conference plan<ning> section office of Naval operations, paper has been drawn upon disposition of enemy vessels of war which have been surrendered or will be surrendered to the U.S. and the Allies in which following conclusions were reached QUOTE
1. Sinking would be uneconomical and inadvisable,
2. Scrapping of a part of the vessels to be determined upon would be more economical and generally approved provided a League of Nations is not established,
3. Distribution introduces problems contrary to generally accepted policies as thus far enunciated,
4. Sale introduces problems similar to third above,
5. Return to Germany seems inadvisable considering the number of vessels of war already left in the control of Germany,
6. Turning of vessels of war over to League <of Nations> Navy organized according to tentative plans discussed by Office of Naval Operations or according to other plans seems to be the most satisfactory disposition of the vessels of the Central Powers now surrendered, or otherwise under control of the United States and the Allied Forces.
It is therefore recommended that the vessels be turned over to the League of Nations, or in default of such disposition, being scrapped and the proceeds to be distributed prorata, according to the allowed indemnity. UNQUOTE Complete papers will be forwarded by mail. 17021 116
N.B. This message has been sent to Paris.