John J. Pershing to Henry P. McCain


John J. Pershing to Henry P. McCain


Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948




1918 May 7


Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Papers, 1786-1957


Received at the War Department,
Cable Co. No. 6 CO
Washington, D. C., , 6;23 A. M.
To The Adjutant-General, Washington.
Number 1064, , Confidential.

For the Chief of Staff and Secretary of War. Paragraph 1. Reference conference of Supreme War Council at Abbeville , agreement between Lord Milner and myself seems to have displeased the French notwithstanding their previous approval in February of our sending 6 divisions for training with the British. London agreement was principal question of discussion at Supreme War Countil. French insisted upon commitment for jurisdiction for exclusive infantry program and would not accept condition London agreement that infantry would be continued for June should situation still appear critical. British were entirely satisfied with London agreement and were willing that decision regarding June program be left until later. After rather warm discussion between the French on one side and the British and ourselves on the other, Mr. Lloyd George proposed to guarantee to transport 130 thousand in May and 150,000 in June by British tonnage alone. As this offered opportunity for great increase arrival American troops and arrangement for May was already made, seemed wise to accept British guarantee and extend Infantry program for infantry of 6 divisions during June and my memorandum was drawn accordingly. Mr. Lloyd George later proposed that shipment of extra personnel in excess of 150,000 by British shipping for June should be infantry on condition that British should assist us in July to make up other deficiencies caused thereby to which I agreed. This latter promise by British was not part of my memorandum but was agreed to verbally. The conference ended in good feeling and satisfaction all around and will have good effect on Allies. Also it is believed that question is now settled definitely.
Paragraph 2. Reference conference with Secretary of War regarding sending small number of troops to Italy, had conference with Mr. Orlando and outlined proposed plan of sending not more than one regiment to begin with and possibly gradually increasing number during succeeding four or five months up to a division, upon the condition that the Italians furnish transportation which Mr. Orlando thinks can be done. The Italians are immensely pleased over the prospect and the proposition is cordially approved by Mr. Clemenceau and Mr. Lloyd George. Am awaiting cable from Mr. Orlando in regard to transportation before taking any further action.
Paragraph 3. Had further conference at Abbeville with Mr. Clemenceau, Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Orlando on the subject of pooling supplies, and a military man of business experience has been selected by each government to meet on to outline plans. The suggestion seems to appeal to all concerned. Believe that considerable can be accomplished although it may not be possible to extend it as far as would be desirable. Believe the plans offer no serious obstacles. It simply means that each army will share surplus supplies with other, and that general stock will be regulated not by each army for itself but by this executive committee for all. Will keep advised routine work as matter progresses.

Original Format



McCain, H. P. (Henry Pinckney), 1861-1941




Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948, “John J. Pershing to Henry P. McCain,” 1918 May 7, WWP22350, World War I Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.