289 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 68 [1] CANBERRA, 21 January 1942

MOST SECRET AND PERSONAL

Following for the Prime Minister [2] from the Prime Minister.

1. Reference your 72. [3] The proposal has been considered by War Cabinet and submitted to Advisory War Council, representing all political parties here.

2. The unanimous conclusion of the War Cabinet and Council is that we do not agree with the proposed Far Eastern Council in London.

[4] The Council will be purely advisory and quite out of keeping with our vital and primary interest in the Pacific sphere.

3. We desire that the accredited representative of the Australian Government shall have the right to be heard in War Cabinet in the formulation and direction of policy.

4. We also desire that a Pacific War Council shall be established at Washington comprising representatives of the Governments of the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, China, Netherlands and New Zealand. This body would be a council of action for the higher direction of the war in the Pacific and would have associated with it the joint staff already established on which the members of the Pacific Council would also have representatives of their Services if they so desired.

CURTIN

1 Repeated to the N.Z. Prime Minister as no. 34.

2 Winston Churchill.

3 Document 283.

4 See Advisory War Council minute 700 of 20 January in AA:A2682, vol 4, and War Cabinet minute 1734 of 20 January in AA:A2673, vol.

10.

[AA:A2680, 14/1942]