412 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr A. W. Fadden, Acting Prime Minister

Cablegram M64 LONDON, 18 April 1941, 9.25 p.m.

IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

Your telegram 233. [1] Had already taken up this question of war news, and had said somewhat offensively in War Cabinet that the War Office must not under-estimate public intelligence as grossly as British Generals under-estimate German military capacity. Your telegram strengthens my hand and I will pursue the matter.

Reference your request for an appreciation of the Middle East position [2], no use asking for this as position in state of flux.

You may assure Cabinet and the War Council that everything is being done to avert total loss in Greece and to reinforce with all speed with machines-so much more important than men-our position in the Western Desert and Libya. I see Dill [3] tomorrow to press the appointment of Blamey [4] to one of the command. I confess that I have no great confidence in Chiefs-of-Staff who allow Churchill to determine their strategy for them. But you may be assured that I am doing all I can in most difficult and trying circumstances. Canberra is more peaceful than having bombs dropping around you in London, and I will be glad to see the homely countenances of my colleagues once more. Regards.

MENZIES

1 This probably refers to a cablegram numbered 235 which Fadden dispatched to Menzies on 18 April. It stressed the necessity for continuous advice regarding the progress of the evacuation from Greece and other movements affecting Australian troops. See file AA: CP290/9, 11.

2 See Document 407.

3 Chief of the Imperial General Staff.

4 General Officer Commanding and A.I.F. in the Middle East.

[AA: A3195, 1941, 1.5966]