279 Mr A. S. Watt, First Secretary of the Legation in Washington, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 99 WASHINGTON, 7 February 1941, 5.51 p.m.

MOST SECRET

My telegram No. 98. [1] For Chief of Naval Staff [2] only from Naval Attache. [3]

(1) First progress report. Discussion has been opened on major lines of strategy and co-operation in all theatres of war. Present position is as follows.

(2) United States Pacific Fleet proposed to be somewhat weaker than that shown in dispositions vide my most secret safe hand message to you and Chief of Naval Staff New Zealand Naval Board [4] only. No reinforcement of the present United States Asiatic Fleet.

(3) Forces thus made available are destined for the Atlantic and the Mediterranean areas where the majority of the United Kingdom Chiefs of Staff's desires will be fulfilled.

(4) Pacific Fleet will remain based on Hawaii and its intended operations do not appear to the United Kingdom delegation sufficient to threaten Japan.

(5) United Kingdom delegation will return to the attack on the lines of their instructions. Present indications are that it is improbable that Delegation will succeed in moving the Pacific Fleet westward. Delegation thinks any reinforcement of Asiatic Fleet would only be agreed upon at the expense of Atlantic and Mediterranean.

1 Document 278.

2 Admiral Sir Ragnar Colvin.

3 Commander H. M. Burrell.

4 Commodore W. E. Parry.

[AA:A981, FAR EAST 25B, i]