265 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States

Cablegram 54 CANBERRA, 10 January 1942


Reference your cablegrams Nos. 40 [1], 44 [2] and 53. [3] The conclusion of the War Cabinet and the Advisory War Council on the course of action to be followed was that the central principle of Australia having a voice in the higher direction of the Pacific theatre should be put up to Mr. Churchill. [4]

2. As you will have noted, the arguments are based on the provision in the draft agreement for an ABDA Council, our special interest in the Pacific region and the repetition of my most recent representations regarding consultation with the accredited Australian representative by the War Cabinet and Defence Committee in London.

3. The correct tactics are to await Mr. Churchill's reply on the principles for which the Commonwealth Government stands and the question of machinery will then be elaborated in the light of his reply. [5]

4. Your discussion of the Prime Minister's cablegram to Mr.

Churchill [6] with the British Chiefs of Staff is not favoured as the correct course of action, and in seeking to respond to their requests for a detailed elaboration of our ideas on machinery you discount the value of the Prime Minister's direct approach to Mr.


5. You cannot be authorized to discuss the question of Australian representation in the War Cabinet in London, this has been dealt with to date by special communications to Churchill and by discussions by Page [7] along lines on which he was specially briefed.

6. It is suggested you confine your representations to Churchill to the fundamental principles which have been stated in cablegram No. 37. [8]


1 Dispatched 8 January. On file AA:A981, War 54.

2 Document 261.

3 Dispatched 10 January. On the file cited in note 1. It outlined Casey's proposed train journey with Churchill from Florida to Washington.

4 See Advisory War Council minute 652 of 6 January in AA:A2682, vol. 4 and War Cabinet minute 1668 of 6 January in AA:A2673, vol.


5 It appears that Evatt had not seen the cablegram published as Document 262 when he drafted this message.

6 John Curtin's cablegram is published as Document 259.

7 Special Representative in the United Kingdom.

8 Document 260.

[AA:A981, WAR 54]