The Secretary of State to President Wilson

My Dear Mr. President: I would like to call your attention to the enclosed telegram sent over from the Navy Department11 I think it would be very unfortunate at the present time that our naval officers are being so active in connection with the Danish West Indies, as it is almost certain to become public and if so may arouse considerable resentment in Congress and impair the course of the necessary legislation for acquiring the Islands. It seems to me that this matter of taking possession of the Islands rests primarily with you and before anything is done I would like to talk with you on the subject.

I suggest therefore that something be done to stop our naval officers from acting without authority in these matters.

Faithfully yours,

Robert Lansing
  1. Not printed; outlined plans of naval representatives in the West Indies for the formal transfer of the Islands.