WASHINGTON, April 16---The White House was not a cheerful place to-day, for President Taft, most of his Cabinet, and many callers were deeply concerned over the probable fate of Major A. W. Butt, who has been Mr. Taft's military aid since he entered the White House.
The White Star Line officers in New York kept the President advised as they checked over the list of the rescued. As the chance against Major Butt's name appearing among the saved grew fainter and fainter, the President began to give up hope.
“The chance is a slim one, but we're holding on to that," he said to a friend as he left for luncheon.
Major Butt's friends believe he would be among the last to leave the ship.
Lord Burnham cabled to President Taft to-day expressing sympathy of the proprietors of The London Daily Telegraph for the "terrible loss of so many prominent and distinguished citizens and the appalling catastrophe which has befallen the Titanic.”
By direction of the President, Acting Secretary Huntington Wilson of the State Department sent a message in reply.
Practically every formal social affair on the diplomatic calendar in Washington has been canceled because of the Titanic disaster. J. J. Jusserand, the Ambassador from France, was to have entertained Viscount Chinda, Ambassador from Japan, at dinner to-night and has canceled the engagement. The Danish Minister Count Noltke, was also to gie a dinner which he has postponed.