File No. 800.88/212

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Great Britain ( Laughlin)


2425. [For Lord Reading from Secretary of War Baker]:

Information has reached me that a change has been made in the allotment of the 500,000 tons of British shipping to be assigned the American service during the months of October, November and December. It is my understanding that the resolution as passed on October 1 at the meeting of the Allied Maritime Transport Council, which I attended, provided that in addition to the 200,000 dead weight tons allotted for the month of October, an increase would be made by additional allocation of tonnage so that 500,000 tons would be in the American Army program service during the months of November and December.

Representatives British Ministry of Shipping here have been informed that only 150,000 dead weight tons in addition to the 200,000 dead weight tons allotted for October, will be assigned for service in November and the remaining 150,000 dead weight tons assigned the service in December.

The demands of the American Expeditionary Force for animals, motor transportation, locomotives and cars, and other supplies needed to make our forces abroad effective, greatly exceeds tonnage available and I cannot urge too strongly the assignment for November of at least the 300,000 dead weight tons originally contemplated and as much more as can possibly be diverted.

It will be remembered that I stated to the Allied Maritime Transport Council that we felt that 200,000 tons of shipping should be put into service at once and that an increase of 400,000 tons for each of the months of November and December was needed, making a total of 1,000,000 dead weight tons by the first of the year. The original resolution above referred to was allowed to stand of record [Page 529] with the understanding that our needs were greatly in excess of the contemplated allotment.

I will much appreciate your efforts to obtain the maximum assignment possible for the month of November and believe that such allocation is of prime importance to the Allied cause. Baker.