I take it for granted that all our Collectors of Customs are under instruction to search every outgoing vessel for possible explosives, etc, but I have just received a letter from California, the writer of which I do not know, in which this definite statement is made, that there is a carefully concerted plot on the part of all the pro-German and anti-American agencies in this country, including those disaffected elements among the Irish-Americans who are thought to be cooperating with such agencies, for a general effort to destroy American and British shipping in every port, in every ship yard, and at sea, and that the date set is the twenty-second of this month (January). His information is that where the vessel is not accessible in our harbors or in our shipyards, the purpose is to destroy it at sea on the date mentioned. I think you will agree with me that no pains should be spared to take extra precautions.
Cordially and faithfully yours,
Hon. William G. McAdoo,
Secretary of the Treasury.