283 Mr A. S. Watt, First Secretary of the Legation in Washington, to Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 112 WASHINGTON, 11 February 1941

Personal for Hodgson from Watt.

Tonight I reluctantly suggested to Minister [1] he should return to Washington at once if his health permitted.

As I see position, staff conversations may reach impasse very soon, and political representations become necessary in endeavour to overcome United States Navy views. I feel, therefore, Minister should be here for few days to discuss situation with Halifax [2] and, if necessary, with Hull [3], even if Minister had to leave Washington again. I am making every effort to maintain necessary contacts, but my position is somewhat ambiguous as I do not possess authority of a Charge d'Affairs. [4]

Minister said he would probably start back tomorrow. I will telegraph when he arrives.

1 R. G. Casey.

2 U.K. Ambassador to the United States.

3 U.S. Secretary of State.

4 Diplomatic usage precluded Watt from acting as Charge d'Affairs because Casey, although on leave, remained in the United States.

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