IT was in the summer of 1918 that Edward Bok received from the British Government, through its department of public information, of which Lord Beaverbrook was the minister, an invitation to join a party of thirteen American editors to visit Great Britain and France. The British Government, not versed in publicity methods, was anxious that selected parties of American publicists should see, personally, what Great Britain had done, and was doing in the war; and it had decided to ask a few individuals to pay personal visits to its munition factories, its great aerodromes, its Great Fleet, which then lay in the Firth of Forth, and to the battle-fields. It was understood that no specific obligation rested upon any member of the party to write of what he saw: he was asked simply to observe and then, with discretion, use his observations for his own guidance and information in future writing. In fact, each member was explicitly told that much of what he would see could not be revealed either personally or in print.
The party embarked in August amid all the attendant secrecy of war conditions. The steamer was known only by a number, although later it turned out to be the White Star liner, Adriatic. Preceded by a powerful United States cruiser, flanked by destroyers, guided overhead by observation balloons, the Adriatic