441 Legation in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 324 WASHINGTON, 1 May 1941, 6.53 p.m.

MOST SECRET

For Chief of Naval Staff [1] from Naval Attache. [2]

TROPIC No. 7 Navy Department have received with great satisfaction details regarding defences of Rabaul given in your telegram No. 454. [3]

(2) They had in mind the possibility of a Japanese occupation and are relieved at the steps already taken to counter this possibility.

(3) They are definitely of the opinion that Rabaul is the best base from which to operate in the Caroline area and would appreciate anything that can be done to assist the defences on a small scale, e.g. the establishment of a small force of auxiliary A/S [4] vessels if these could be spared without detriment to more important services.

1 Admiral Sir Ragnar Colvin, but see Document 355, note 2.

2 Commander D. H. Harries.

3 Document 395.

4 Anti-submarine.

[AA: A3830, 1941, 1063]