285 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Lord Caldecote, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 238 27 May 1940,


Australian Minister, Washington [1], has asked for full summary of naval and other relevant defensive and supply particulars Darwin for information in certain eventualities of good friends Washington.

In view of importance of Darwin as operational base in event of war in Pacific area, and its place in Imperial Defence, we propose, subject to your not having any objection, to forward full details to the Minister, but divided into two categories:

(a) Information that may be released to the U.S.A. authorities prior to the U.S.A. entering the war on the British side;

(b) Full details to be released when U.S.A. becomes ally of British Empire.

Would be glad to learn whether you agree to this proposal. [2]


1 R. G. Casey. The request was made in his cablegram 66 of 22 April 1940 on file AA: A3300, 16.

2 The U.K. Govt replied that they had no objection to the information being given to the U.S. authorities. On 12 July the information was forwarded to Casey by safe hand bag. (See cablegram 207 from the U.K. Dominions Secretary, 16 June 1940, on file AA: A1608, C63/2/1 and cablegram 121 to Casey, 12 August 1940, on file cited in note 1.)

[FA: A3196, 0.3241]