File No. 763.72/5694

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page ) to the Secretary of State


6644. To the President and the Secretary:

A threatening controversy is going on in the British Cabinet about the proper attitude towards the submarine peril. The Admiralty faction, whose facts which are indisputable have been cabled to you, take a very gloomy view of situation and insist upon Cabinet’s making a confession at least to us of the full extent of the danger and on giving more information to the public. The public has been kept in too great ignorance to feel alarm. The political faction which is yet the strongest, minimizes the facts and probably for political reasons refuses to give more publicity. They plead the necessity of exclusion full facts from the enemy and the danger of throwing the public into panic. The Prime Minister who is always optimistic … gave the public in his Glasgow speech a comforting impression of the situation, an impression that the facts do not warrant. This factional controversy is most unfortunate and may cause an explosion of public feeling at any time and consequently changes in the Cabinet. If the public here or in the United States knew all the facts the present British Government would probably fall. The political situation here as well as the submarine situation is therefore full of danger.