President Wilson’s Files

The Secretary of War ( Baker ) to President Wilson


A joint resolution of the advisers of the Supreme War Council2 will reach you to-day with my recommendation appended. It seems [Page 178] important for us not to insist upon carrying out an ideal program at a moment when all agree that the greatest need here is infantry and the use of shipping for other personnel decreases the number of infantry possible to be transported. Nevertheless I agree with General Pershing that we should keep constantly before the British and French that all our plans are ultimately in that direction. This for the two reasons: (1) we do not want either nation to rely upon us for replacements, and (2) we want the Germans to know that we are augmenting the present Allied forces and not merely making good [their] losses. Moreover, (American?) sentiment must be satisfied. After full consideration I believe you should approve the joint resolution in the manner suggested in my note attached to the copy sent you by General Bliss. General Pershing will then be free to make necessary stipulations with French and British commanders for the use and ultimate return of these units and General Pershing’s judgment of the military situation will determine when they can safely be reincorporated in American forces.

  1. Infra.