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Commander Paul Foley and L. I. Thomas, to Edward N. Hurley, Chairman, United States Shipping Board, and Mark L. Requa, General Director, Oil Division, U.S. Fuel Administration

Subject Copy.                 File No. <46-4-1>

Cablegram Sent 2 Sept. EWC

To   Opnav, Washington.            Serial No. 3943

Prep. by LIT & PF.       ET. D.R.


3943 Petroleum Mission 39 from Foley and Thomas for Hurley, Shipping Control Committee and Requa, with copy for Sir Frederick Black. In consultation with British Ministry of Shipping we have prepared statement of tonnage necessary to meet Allied petroleum requirements, including American Military and Naval Forces operating in Europe, for last six months of 1918. See our telegram No. 371 showing quantities and revised sources of origin. Calculations made or ascertained length of voyages, otherwise at 200 miles per day. Year assumed to be 310 days thus allowing 55 days, say 15 percent, for tankers inefficiency as a result of repairs, docking, etc. One percent per month has been allowed to cover sinkings resulting from war operations and marine risk. All tonnage figures expressed in tons cargo carrying capacity. American tonnage reduced from deadweight to cargo carrying capacity by deducting 10 percent. British cargo capacity determined by adding 25 percent to gross tonnage.

          Paragraph one. After deducting 108,000 tons of fuel oil produced locally in Great Britain for which no tank tonnage required, also deducting 180,000 tons of fuel oil which it is estimated will be received ex double bottom and deep tanks of British cargo steamers, namely, 50,000 tons each during July, August, September, and 10,000 tons each October, November, December, also excluding lubricating oil estimated at 332,234 tons which will be shipped, as far as practicable, in barrels in general cargo steamers, it is estimated 3,967,290 tons of products must be transported during last half year 1918, requiring constant employment of 1,703,252 tons of tank tonnage.

     Paragraph two. Against this according to British statement showing disposition of tankers dated July 20th, copy of which enclosed with our letter No, 141,2 and American statement dated July 15th, also including French and Italian tankers, following tank tonnage assigned against programme. Tabulate figures:

Great Britain....1,134,482 tons

United States......392,634 




It is estimated that allowing for sinking this is the equivalent of 1,527,303 tons in constant operation over the six months period.

          Paragraph three. To two add British building programme from July to November, 1918, amounting to 209,000 tons which it is estimated will produce, after allowing for sinkings, an average constant over period of 101,450 tons, making total of 1,628,753 tons.

          Paragraph four. To three add 12,500 tons which it is estimated will be released from U.K. Coastwise if double bottom receipts are reduced in October from 50,000 to 10,000 tons per month, making final total 1,641,253.

          Paragraph five. By comparing paragraphs one and four it will be observed there will be a deficite in tonnage required against tonnage assigned of 61,999 tons.

          Paragraph six. If American building programme which is estimated at 13 ships of 107,500 tons July to November inclusive were applied against programme, it is estimated this would produce after allowing for sinkings an average constant of 64,988 tons, in this event wiping out deficit and leaving a surplus of 2,989 tons.

          Paragraph seven. Following factors which may lead to economies in tank tonnage, have not been taken into consideration in preparing statement.

A. Gains through shipment of fuel oil in double bottoms of American cargo steamers proceeding to France.

B. Saving in tank tonnage resulting from shipment of Aviation naptha and kerosene in barrels and cases for account of American Army.

C. Shortening of transatlantic voyage by supplying naval bases on East Coast of Great Britain by pipeline from Clyde to Firth of Forth and consequent reduced exposure to War Risk.

     Paragraph eight. On account of serious deficit in general cargo tonnage Allied Maritime Transport Council are pressing strongly for discontinuance of or reduction of 10,000 tons per month of fuel oil shipments in double bottoms and deep tanks of cargo carriers. British shipping controller is also anxious that these shipments should be stopped before winter. Before any action can be taken concerning discontinuance of double bottom shipments we have been requested to obtain definite information on following points:

Firstly. Whether amount of tanker tonnage now assigned for British, French, Italian and American account will be maintained in Transatlantic service

Secondly. To what extent American tanker building program will be applied to Transatlantic. Quantities should be expressed month by month.

     Paragraph nine. In addition to observations contained in paragraph eight, it is essential that sub-committee of Inter-Allied Petroleum Conference should have such definite information, otherwise it is impossible to accurately balance tonnage against requirements. British allocations including new construction is available against programme subject to any unforeseen contingencies. 0924012 3943


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Document referred to has not been found.

Footnote 2: The referred to document has not been found.

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