Official: Admiralty: Correspondence.

Reference code: CHAR 13/1

Part of: CHAR 13
Next record: CHAR 13/2

Date: 01 Nov 1911 - 31 Dec 1911

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Physical: 1 bound file (74 folios)
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Contained records

Reference Record Date
CHAR 13/1/1 Draft letter from WSC, (HMS Enchantress, Portsmouth [Hampshire]), to the Prime Minister [Herbert Asquith, later 1st Lord Oxford and Asquith], on the opposition of the 1st Sea Lord, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Wilson, to the creation of a Naval War Staff, expressing fear that the matter would degenerate into personal controversy; stating that he liked Wilson personally, and proposed to take no action during Wilson's tenure, recommending that Wilson be retired three months early, in January 1912, and be given a peerage; stating that he had reluctantly decided against bringing Admiral 1st Lord Fisher back as Wilson's successor, so "no striking appointment was possible", recommending Rear-Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg [later 1st Lord Milford Haven] as 2nd Sea Lord as he "found himself in cordial agreement with him on nearly every important question of Naval policy"; also recommending that Admiral Lord Charles Beresford and Lord Fisher be promoted to Admiral of the Fleet, elaborating on his scheme for a War Staff, and recommending Rear Admiral Sir Charles Ottley as Chief of the War Staff, with Maurice Hankey [Assistant Secretary, Committee of Imperial Defence] taking Ottley's place as Secretary of the Committee. [Hand-written copy, in the hand of Edward Marsh, Private Secretary to WSC.]. 05 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/2 Letter from WSC, Admiralty, to Rear-Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg [later 1st Lord Milford Haven], on his proposed appointment as 2nd Sea Lord, stating that it was extremely important that "no whisper" about the appointment should reach the present Board for the time being, also sending some plans which he had worked out secretly for a new type of Cruiser, and asking for his views. [Hand-written copy]. 10 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/3 Signal from the Board of Admiralty (HMS Enchantress), to King George V (HMS Medina), with best wishes for the success of the State Visit to India; with the King and Queen Mary's reply, thanking the Board for their message. [Hand-written copy]. [11] Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/4 Minute from WSC ("In the train"), to [Rear-Admiral Charles Madden], 4th Sea Lord, on the deficiency in 21 inch torpedoes, stressing that it was essential that all vessels completed for service should have full reserves of ammunition and torpedoes; asking for report on deficiencies in reserves of guns and ammunition. [Hand-written copy]. [15] Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/5-7 Minute from Rear-Admiral Charles Madden [4th Sea Lord], to WSC, on the shortage of torpedoes and ammunition, stating that it was not due to the lack of energy or foresight of the Director of Naval Ordnance, the Superintendent of Ordnance Stores or the Director of the Torpedo Factory, stating that the main reasons were: the three year heavy building programme; the adoption of the 21 inch heater torpedo at a time of greatly increased requirements and while the Torpedo Factory was being moved from Woolwich [London] to Greenock [Renfrewshire, Scotland]; and the policy of restricting overtime, when it offered the only means of overtaking the arrears. [Manuscript, initialled by WSC]. 15 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/8-9 Draft letter from WSC (Admiralty), to the Prime Minister [Herbert Asquith, later 1st Lord Oxford and Asquith], with proposals for a new Board of Admiralty, recommending Admiral Sir Francis Bridgeman as 1st Sea Lord, with Captain Charles de Bartolome as his Naval Assistant, Prince Louis of Battenberg [later 1st Lord Milford Haven] as 2nd Sea Lord, Rear-Admiral Charles Briggs to retain his post as 3rd Sea Lord and Captain William Pakenham as 4th Sea Lord, also recommending Vice-Admiral Sir George Callaghan to succeed Bridgeman as Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet, with Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe as his second in command "and we shall thus be able to see what fitness he will develop for the succession". [Manuscript]. 16 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/10-11 Letter from Ernest Pretyman [former Secretary to the Admiralty], (Orwell Park, Ipswich [Suffolk]) to WSC, on the retirement of Colonel Simeon Exham, Superintending Engineer in charge of Rosyth [Fife, Scotland] [and Portsmouth, Hampshire] Dockyards, stating that he is a man of exceptional ability and that it would be madness for the Admiralty to "part with him at this juncture". 17 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/12 Letter from Admiral of the Fleet Sir Gerald Noel (Fincham, Downham Market, Norfolk), to WSC with congratulations on his appointment as First Lord of the Admiralty, suggesting that he should read Noel's letter to his predecessor, Reginald McKenna, on naval administration, 1902-09. 17 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/13-24 Letter from Admiral of the Fleet Sir Gerald Noel (Fincham, Downham Market, Norfolk), to Reginald McKenna [First Lord of the Admiralty], on Naval administration and the state of the Royal Navy, 1902-09, asking him to lay it before the Cabinet; he criticises most of the reforms introduced during the "Fisher Era", particularly the reduction of squadrons overseas, the decision to build "Dreadnoughts" rather than battleships of more moderate dimensions, the increase in the power of the 1st Sea Lord and the selection of officers for high command. 12 Feb 1909
CHAR 13/1/25 Minute from WSC (Admiralty) to Sir Edward Grey [Foreign Secretary], on a bundle of reports sent to him by Captain Vernon Kell of the War Office Secret Service [MO5 later MI5], showing that Britain was the subject of a minute and scientific study by the German military and naval authorities and that "no other nation in the world pays us such attention"; WSC asks Grey to show the reports to David Lloyd George [Chancellor of the Exchequer], concluding that Kell is "thoroughly trustworthy and competent", and that a good deal more information was accumulating through the warrant that WSC had issued as Home Secretary for the inspection of correspondence. [Hand-written, initialled by WSC, and annotated by Sir Edward Grey]. 22 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/26-27 Letter from WSC (Admiralty), to Admiral of the Fleet Sir Gerald Noel, commenting on his letter of 12 Feb 1909, to Reginald McKenna [former First Lord of the Admiralty], on problems in Naval administration, 1902-1909 [see CHAR 13/1/13-24]; WSC states that being so new to the problems of the Admiralty he was not able to express an opinion on "matters of such grave complexity" but that he would keep a close eye on the situation, particularly regarding the Cadet Entry Scheme and the fate of the "Pre-Dreadnought battleships", stating that he believed that they would be of the greatest use in time of war, and that he would keep in closest touch with all of his colleagues on the Board. [Unsigned typescript copy]. 22 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/28 Letter from Vice-Admiral Sir George Callaghan (HMS Hercules, Portland [Dorset]), to WSC, accepting the post of Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet. 22 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/29 Letter from Rear-Admiral [Frederick] Doveton Sturdee (Ellerslie, Petersfield, Hampshire), to WSC, accepting his appointment as Admiral Commanding the 5th Cruiser Squadron. 22 Nov [1911]
CHAR 13/1/30 Letter from Captain George Ballard (HMS Britannia, Portsmouth [Hampshire]) to WSC, accepting the post of Director of Naval Intelligence. 22 Nov [1911]
CHAR 13/1/31 Letter from Vice-Admiral Frederick Hamilton (Anmer Hall, King's Lynn, [Norfolk]), to WSC, accepting his appointment as Admiral commanding the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet. 22 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/32 Letter from Rear-Admiral Charles Madden (Admiralty), to WSC, accepting his appointment as Rear Admiral in the 1st Division of the Home Fleet. 23 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/33 Letter from unknown correspondent (RMS Mauretania, "at sea") [also 8 Victoria Street, Westminster, London] to WSC, with congratulations on his appointment as First Lord of the Admiralty. 25 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/34 Letter from 2nd Lord Selborne [former First Lord of the Admiralty, earlier Lord Wolmer] (Brooks's, St James's Street [London]) to WSC with congratulations on the appointment of Prince Louis of Battenberg [later 1st Lord Milford Haven, as 2nd Sea Lord], commenting that he was the ablest officer in the Royal Navy, and if his name had been Smith he would have filled various high offices; also that his career had nearly been maimed because he was a Prince and "because of his foreign relationships". 29 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/35 Note by WSC of Admiral 1st Lord Fisher's proposals for naval appointments, recommending among others, Prince Louis of Battenberg [later 1st Lord Milford Haven] as 1st Sea Lord; Vice-Admiral Sir George Callaghan as 2nd Sea Lord; Rear-Admiral Charles Briggs as 3rd Sea Lord; Rear-Admiral Thomas [Martyn] Jerram as 4th Sea Lord, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Wilson to be given a peerage, and Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe to be transferred from the Atlantic to be 2nd in Command, Home Fleet. [Hand-written by WSC]. [Nov] [1911]
CHAR 13/1/36 Letter from Sir Francis Hopwood, [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough], to WSC, on the question of the "so called armour plate ring". 30 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/37-39 Report by Reuters on WSC's speech in the House of Commons on the resignation of three Sea Lords, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Wilson [1st Sea Lord], Admiral Sir George Egerton [2nd Sea Lord] and Rear Admiral Charles Madden [4th Sea Lord]; includes covering letter from [? Alexander Murray, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, later 1st Lord Murray of Elibank] (12 Downing Street) to WSC, on the advantages of transmitting such speeches to the Colonies. [Duplicated typescript]. 29 Nov 1911 - 30 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/40 Letter from Colonel F F Rospell (37 Drayton Court, London), to WSC (Admiralty), asking for special consideration for his son, who had been placed fourth in the Royal Naval College entrance examination, when only the first two were accepted, with note by Admiralty official stating that the First Lord could not approve the extension of nominations beyond two. 30 Nov 1911
CHAR 13/1/41 Letter from Lord Northcliffe [owner of the Times, earlier Alfred Harmsworth] to WSC, on the question of the suppression of news of naval movements in the newspapers, stating that it should be enforced tactfully but drastically, and that he was all for the most drastic censorship before and during war. 01 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/42 Letter from Lord Northcliffe [owner of the Times, earlier Alfred Harmsworth], (Chequers Court, Butlers Cross, Buckinghamshire) to WSC, on the publication of naval news. 02 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/43 Letter from Archibald Hurd, (5 Downshire Hill, Hampstead [London]) to WSC, regretting that his "first and last visit to the Admiralty" since WSC's accession to office "should have been so unfortunate", stating that he had been interested in naval affairs for more than 20 years and this was his first experience of any unpleasantness and refusing to disclose his source of information. 04 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/44 Letter from WSC (Admiralty) to Archibald Hurd, on his decision not to reveal his source of information about naval affairs, commenting on the lack of secrecy in regard to naval matters and the levity in which disclosures were regarded, and adding that unless the press were prepared to co-operate with the Admiralty, legislation would be required. [Typescript, annotated and signed by WSC]. 13 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/45 Letter from Sir Marcus Samuel [later 1st Lord Bearsted] (The Mote, Maidstone [Kent]) to WSC, on oil burning ships, enclosing a cutting from a report on such ships for the United States Congress [see CHAR 13/1/46]. 07 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/46 Note from Edward Marsh [Private Secretary to WSC] (Admiralty), to the 1st Sea Lord [Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Bridgeman], on letter from Sir Marcus Samuel [later 1st Lord Bearsted] on oil burning ships; includes cutting from a report for the United States Congress on such ships. 09 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/47 Letter from Sir Francis Hopwood [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough] (Brooks's, St James Street [London]) to WSC, reporting that "Armstrongs" [Armstrong Whitworth and Company] had called an emergency board meeting, and that interpreted this to mean that Vickers Limited were asking them to "stand in" in any arrangements with the Admiralty regarding the Thames, expressing fears of the dangers to the Government of an alliance between Armstrong and Vickers. 12 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/48 Letter from Sir Edward Grey [Foreign Secretary] (Foreign Office) to WSC on the Admiralty's wish to make a draft of 1,000 pounds on the Secret Service Fund; he adds that Rear-Admiral Alexander Bethell [Director of Naval Intelligence] has been told of the limited amount of the Fund and that further expenditure has to be agreed with the Foreign Office. Grey asks WSC not to commit them to any further expenditure until Bethell has arranged matters, and in a postscript, explains that he does not want to undo anything, but only "to prevent future difficulties." [Manuscript; filed separately]. 12 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/49-50 Letter from [Frederick] Leverton Harris (70 Grosvenor Street [London]) to WSC, on the maintenance of foreign trade in time of war, with covering note by Edward Marsh [Private Secretary to WSC], annotated by WSC. 14 Dec 1911 - 16 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/51 Memorandum by Rear-Admiral Ernest Troubridge, [Chief of the War Staff, Admiralty] (Admiralty), on the writings and speeches of [Frederick] Leverton Harris on the protection of overseas trade, and the necessity of keeping it going and in British hands during a war. [Dec] [1911]
CHAR 13/1/52 Memorandum by Captain Edward Inglefield [Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence] on National Insurance of War Risks. [Printed]. 12 Jan 1904
CHAR 13/1/53 Letter from Herbert Asquith [Prime Minister, later 1st Lord Oxford and Asquith] (10 Downing Street) to WSC, on letters from Sir Francis Hopwood [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough] on his employment, commenting that Hopwood was evidently "sore" at not being made Secretary of the Treasury; encloses letters from Hopwood to WSC [see CHAR 13/1/54 and CHAR 13/1/55]. 15 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/54 Letter from Sir Francis Hopwood [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough], (13 Hornton Street [London]) to WSC, on the appointment of a new Civil Lord of the Admiralty, recommending that WSC get a good businessman, pay him and reward him well, stating that he was interested in the post himself, but that he had been "knocked about in the sea of official work and domestic trouble"; Hopwood also expresses disappointment that he had not been appointed Secretary of the Treasury. 09 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/55 Letter from Sir Francis Hopwood [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough] (13 Hornton Street, Kensington [London]) to WSC, on WSC's offer of the post of Civil Lord of the Admiralty, asking if the Prime Minister [Herbert Asquith, later 1st Lord Oxford and Asquith] would be prepared to grant him some form of personal advancement. 13 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/56 Letter from Charles A'Court-Repington, [earlier Charles A'Court] (Maryon Hall, Hampstead [London]) to WSC, offering to act as an ally in his campaign to reform the Royal Navy: "I can realise some of your difficulties with the sailors, and the need for slow going at first ... I do not know any ... more fruitful work that any British statesman could undertake". 25 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/57 Letter from Sir Francis Hopwood [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough] (13 Hornton Street [London]) to WSC, on his appointment as a Civil Lord of the Admiralty: he reports a conversation with Sir Robert Chalmers, [Permanent Secretary to the Treasury], who had informed him that he would forfeit his pension rights of 700 pounds a year and a lump sum of 2,500 pounds, if he took a five year appointment at the Admiralty; Hopwood asks that his appointment should not be gazetted until he could find a way round this difficulty. 25 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/58 Letter from Herbert Asquith [Prime Minister, later 1st Lord Oxford and Asquith] (Archerfield House, Dirleton [East Lothian], Scotland] to WSC, stating that it would be impossible for "Aitken" [Sir Max Aitken, later 1st Lord Beaverbrook] to be appointed to the Imperial Commission on Trade Resources, commenting that his Canadian record was "of the shadiest" and that when he was made a Coronation Knight, 4th Lord Grey, Governor-General of Canada had written that there had been a "howl of indignation and disgust" throughout the Dominion; Asquith also comments on the appointment of an additional Civil Lord of the Admiralty. [Hand-written, and initialled by Asquith]. 26 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/59 Letter from Sir Francis Hopwood [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough] (Hawkshead House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire) to WSC, on a shipbuilding contract with Vickers Limited. 27 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/60 Letter from Sir Francis Hopwood [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough] (Hawkshead House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire) to WSC, on his possible appointment as an additional Civil Lord of the Admiralty, and the effect on his pension rights. 27 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/61 Letter from WSC (Admiralty), to Sir Francis Hopwood [later 1st Lord Southborough] offering him the post of additional Civil Lord of the Admiralty, on the same terms as his current position as Vice-Chairman of the Development Commission. [Hand-written copy, not by WSC]. 28 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/62 Letter from Sir Francis Hopwood [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough] (Hawkshead House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire) to WSC, accepting the post of additional Civil Lord of the Admiralty. 29 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/63-64 Letter from Sir Francis Hopwood [Vice-Chairman, Development Commission, later 1st Lord Southborough] (Hawkshead House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire) to WSC, enclosing a draft letter to the shipbuilding trades unions on the contract for the construction of warships on the premises of the Thames Ironworks; the draft allows for paying the recognised London wages but stipulates that they should work the hours generally recognised in shipbuilding yards in principal shipbuilding centres (53 per week) and asks for the views of the unions. 29 Dec 1911
CHAR 13/1/65 Letter from WSC (Admiralty), to 1st Lord Haldane [Secretary of State for War], on evidence collected by Captain Vernon Kell, [of MO5, later MI5] of German espionage in Britain, suggesting that it should be submitted to the legal authorities, as he might be required to make public statements about it, and about the arming of merchant ships. [Hand-written copy, in pencil, initialled by WSC]. 15 Jan 1912
CHAR 13/1/66-68 Notes on Senior Naval Appointments, with details of procedure to be adopted by WSC as First Lord of the Admiralty in making the appointments. [Hand-written]. [Nov] [1911]
CHAR 13/1/69-70 Note on Home Fleet Command and the possible appointment of Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe as Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, stating that there were serious objections: firstly that he would not command the confidence of the Service, having been at the Admiralty for many years, with little experience afloat; secondly that it would be unpopular to dispossess the current second in command, Vice-Admiral Sir George Callaghan, unless he were appointed to higher command, and none would be vacant until August; recommending that Jellicoe remain as Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet, as naval opinion of his powers of command were not very high, although as an administrator, he had a reputation second to none; commenting that few of the Royal Navy's best administrators had high reputations as fleet commanders; recommending that Callaghan remain as 2nd in Command Home Fleet until August 1912, with Jellicoe to succeed him, and that Rear-Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg [later 1st Lord Milford Haven] should command the Home Fleet after two years at the Admiralty, and then return as 1st Sea Lord. [Hand-written]. [Nov] [1911]
CHAR 13/1/71 Telegram from King George V to WSC (Admiralty), on warship names, approving Warspite, but rejecting Hero, Marlborough and Oliver Cromwell. [Hand-written copy]. [Nov] [1911]
CHAR 13/1/72 Letter from WSC to Rear-Admiral Henry Tottenham, offering the post of Rear-Admiral in the 3rd and 4th Divisions of the Home Fleet. [Nov] [1911]
CHAR 13/1/73 Telegram from King George V (King Emperor's Camp, Government House, Calcutta [India]) to WSC (Admiralty), approving the constitution of the Admiralty War Staff, and the appointment of Sir Francis Hopwood [later 1st Lord Southborough, as Civil Lord of the Admiralty]. [Typescript copy]. [Dec] [1911]
CHAR 13/1/74 Letter from WSC (Admiralty) to [?] J Alfred Spender [Editor, the Westminster Gazette], with thanks for sending a copy of a letter from Admiral 1st Lord Fisher on senior naval appointments. [Unsigned typescript copy]. [Nov] [1911]