Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

COPY/EC

Translation

I L 561

From:          Vice Admiral Sims for Admiral Mayo

To  :          Opnav.

#455 International Naval Conference met today with representatives France, Italy, Russia, japan, England and United States present and will continue tomorrow period Believe that European nations represented desire discuss general distribution of supplies and materials in general to be furnished by United States period Will endeavor avoid formal discussion this subject in conference but will explain to representatives separately that information at hand is entirely unofficial and that I am unable to state definitely what may be expected from the United States period Request information whether United States will in case there appears reasonable prospects success supply twelve oldest battleships and eight oldest cruisers out of total of forty battleships and forty-five cruisers to be sunk together with number large hulks and barges in blocking German channels period Personally believe nothing will come of this proposition as consider full examination of difficulties will show impossibility of success period In view of fact that United States not at war with Austria have requested United States representative excused from assignment to committee for purpose consideration of details of arrangements for convoy in Mediterranean Sea period British assembly of mines delays by lack of fitters and inquiry made whether United States could furnish two or three hundred mechanics for such work period Conference opinion that increased vigilance should be exercised to prevent establishment bases for submarine cruisers along coast of North and South America and Atlantic Islands.1 04005,

Mayo          

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference below cable: “OP-19 See IL-398.”

Footnote 1: For more on the conference, see: Mayo to Benson, 6 September 1917, and  Mayo to Daniels, 11 October 1917.

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