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

Cablegram 75 WASHINGTON, 13 January 1942, 11.43 p.m.

Reference your telegram 67. [1]

My discussion with Churchill on night of Jan. Loth lasted for four hours and I can assure you that all aspects of the subject were covered. In accordance with your telegram 54 [2] I based my representations on the principles in your telegram 37 [3] and repeated them at intervals during conversation. Churchill suggested various ways in which effect could be given to them and [in the course] [4] of so doing he repeated [all the material] in his various telegrams to Prime Minister [5], which I thought it unnecessary to repeat to you. The contents of my telegram 64 [6] sought to summarise the general line of his reaction to what I put forward. Para. 5 of my telegram 64 represented that part of Churchill's replies and arguments that had not been said by him before. You said in your telegram 54 to stick to principles and not to discuss machinery. I complied with this although this did not stop Churchill from discussing machinery. In the course of this he referred to Page's [7] position in London and to his (Churchill's) belief that this gave Australia adequate opportunity to impress the Australian view on London War Cabinet in connection with any request from Wavell. [8] I did not argue this, in accordance with para. 5 of your tel. 54. He (Churchill) then went on to discuss another possibility that is the setting up of another consultative body as in para. 5 of my tel. 64. This represented a small part of a long conversation. The gist of this discussion was to the effect that he (Churchill) insisted on Wavell's recommendations and requests being analysed and reported on by British Chiefs of Staff prior to consideration by British War Cabinet. The President insisted on the same procedure in Washington. This meant consideration in London and Washington.

Reference specific questions in your tel. 67, I did not put this possibility forward. Churchill raised it as something that might be in your mind although he realised that you had not specifically requested it. He did not dwell particularly on it and I did not pursue it. I do not believe that his canvassing of this possibility amongst others was intended as in your last sentence.


1 Document 270.

2 Document 265.

3 Document 260.

4 Words in square brackets have been corrected/inserted from the Washington copy on file AA:A3300, 219.

5 John Curtin. See Documents 254-5.

6 Document 268.

7 Special Representative in the United Kingdom.

8 See Document 252, note 4.

[AA:A981, WAR 54]