149 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr Winston Churchill, U.K. Prime Minister

Cablegram Johcu 5 CANBERRA, [2 December 1941] [1]

MOST SECRET AND PERSONAL

I have your telegram WINCH No. 7 [2] and am grateful to you for sending it for our guidance.

I most cordially concur in your action in addressing the President [3] in the terms you have used. Your suggestion is in accord with the views expressed at the War Cabinet yesterday. [4] However, I make this further suggestion. In our view if we are to effectively deter Japan from an aggressive move, a greater concentration of naval strength (not necessarily all British) is desirable. I believe that Japan's obstinacy is grounded in the belief that America would, at the best, be slow to come in and that from many (corrupt group ? causes) a time lag in American shooting would be inevitable.

If in addition the President could be got to the point of giving effect to your strong personal appeal this would be a complete deterrent to Japan's entry into the war.

CURTIN

1 Inserted from the Prime Minister's Dept outward cablegram register (AA : A3643, 3).

2 See Document 147, note 5.

3 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

4 See War Cabinet minute 1524 of 1 December in AA : A2673, vol. 9.

[PRO : DO 35/1010, iii]