428 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Mr A. W. Fadden, Acting Prime Minister, and to Sir Frederick Stewart, Minister for External Affairs

Cablegram 305 WASHINGTON, 24 [April] 1941, 10.36 p.m.

For Acting Prime Minister, Minister for External Affairs and Ministry of Information.

Whilst expressing no opinion on the merits of political and press discussion as to whether War Advisory Council should have been consulted on participation of Australian troops in Greece, I would most strongly represent that so far as United States opinion is concerned the news being telegraphed here from Australia is most unfortunate. United States has but little Australian background knowledge and [controversy] [1] in form that it reaches domestic America is encouraging speculation as to whether 'Australia is about to pull out of the war.' I have been bombarded by enquiries from the American Press yesterday and today in this sense which I have endeavoured to damp down.

I need hardly say any news capable of interpretation here that British country might withdraw full participation in the war or even limit its effort will greatly strengthen and encourage isolationist sentiment here which is now organizing drive with Lindbergh [2] as spearpoint.

German radio propaganda has seized on this and is capitalizing on it. In endeavour to repair damage done here I suggest short statements by leaders all parties should be made stressing the undiminished determination to continue the war to a successful conclusion [3]

1 Corrected from the Washington copy on file AA: A3300, 174.

2 The pioneer aviator Charles A. Lindbergh was a prominent isolationist broadcaster and in April 1941 became an executive committee member of the America First Movement.

3 Casey repeated this cablegram to London as no. 49 for R. G.

Menzies, Prime Minister, and S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner.

[AA: A981, WAR 46, i]