273 Department of External Affairs to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States

Cablegram 341 6 February 1941,

SECRET

Recent press messages reaching here from United States sources refer to conclusion of defensive arrangements between United States and Australia-New Zealand. We are also informed by Latham [1] that prominence has been given to similar messages from New York in Japanese press. So far these reports have been held here by censorship out of regard for secrecy of general defence conversations in Washington frequently emphasised in your telegrams. As it may shortly be necessary however in view of oversea publicity to make or allow some public reference to subject, would like from you indication of line United States press is taking and particularly whether it has any official backing.

1 Minister to Japan, to whom this cablegram was repeated.

[AA:A981, USA 79, i]