210 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1185 WASHINGTON, 20 December 1941, 2.49 1pP.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

My telegram 1149. [1] I have now seen all relevant senior individuals here on this matter and have strongly pressed Prime Minister's [2] principal points.

While lip service is paid to the importance of Singapore its importance is clearly subordinated to Philippines in American minds. If you could telegraph me strongly considered statement by Prime Minister together if possible with Chief[s] of Staff's appreciation of Singapore in relation to the whole South West Pacific area and Indian Ocean with instructions to make representations in highest quarters I believe it would be most useful. Suggest include picture of situation that would exist in South West Pacific, Australia and Indian Ocean if Singapore were to fall into Japanese hands.

If Commonwealth Government can also induce Chinese, Netherlands and New Zealand Governments to put forward similar representations to United States so much the better.

CASEY

1 See Document 188, note 3.

2 John Curtin.

[AA:A981, WAR 33, ATTACHMENT B]