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Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Secretary of War Newton D. Baker



Sept. 22, 1917.


From: Secretary of the Navy.

To  : Secretary of War.

Subject:    Information Concerning Movements of Troop Ships and

Time of Arrival.

     The Commander of U.S.Naval Forces Operating in European Waters1 has recommended to the Department that, in order to insure the safety of troop ships, all cable messages concerning the movements of government vessels to European waters should be forwarded by the Navy Department only, and that all other agencies of the Government should exercise the greatest care to refrain from sending any information from which the probable time of arrival in European Waters of troops or stores could be learned by the enemy or its engents [i.e., agents].

     Great case [i.e., care] has been taken to insure the secrecy of the communications between the Navy Department and its representatives in European waters; and, by limiting all information concerning the movements of ships to one channel, it will be easier to locate possible leaks. I am of the opinion that it is of the greatest importance that all departments of the Government studiou<s>ly comply with the recommendation outline in paragraph one. The Navy Department will, when necessary, be glad to transmit in code any information that the War Department may desire to send by cable concerning the probable movements of troop ships.

     It is requested that this Department be informed of what action will be taken by the War Department in this matter.2

/s/ Josephus Daniels.        

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. These is a notation in the top right of the page: “(Filed Ops CFR S-31-41).

Footnote 1: VAdm. William S. Sims.

Footnote 2: Baker’s reply has not been found.

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