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

Cablegram M75 LONDON, 22 April 1941, 6.13 p.m.

MOST SECRET MOST IMMEDIATE

Reference my earlier cable re conversation with Dill [1] and the probability of giving Blamey [2] a higher post in the Middle East organisation, I am now authorised by the Prime Minister [3] to say that subject to our approval it is proposed to appoint Blamey Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Middle East. This does not mean that he has the reversion of post of Commander-in-Chief should Wavell for any reason go elsewhere because the position would naturally then be looked at afresh. However it is not only a high compliment to Blamey of whose work Wavell speaks in most glowing terms, but should give satisfaction in Australia as a guarantee that our leader will have an effective voice at the right time.

Please telegraph concurrence of yourself and Spender. [4] If you concur as I am sure you will, please send me en clair word 'yes' most immediate. [5] I will make announcement in a broadcast that I am making to Australia tomorrow morning. You will realise that for this to be possible every degree of urgency is required.

MENZIES

1 See Document 413.

2 General Officer Commanding 2nd A.I.F. in the Middle East.

3 Winston S. Churchill.

4 Minister for the Army.

5 Fadden complied in cablegram 247 dispatched on 23 April. See file Defence: Special Collection 1, Box 626, AIF, Future Employment of.

[AA: A3195, 1941, 1.6155]