330 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to General Sir Archibald Wavell, Allied Supreme Commander of the A.B.D.A. Area

Cablegram 27 [1] CANBERRA, 12 February 1942

MOST SECRET

1. Reference your No. 467 of 28th January regarding Australian representation on your Headquarters. [2]

2. As stated to the Dominions Office in cablegram No. 65 [3], the Commonwealth Government considers, in view of the Australian naval, military and air forces in the A.B.D.A. Area and the vital relation of operations in that area to the Anzac Area, that better representation should have been offered to Australia than the post of Deputy of the Administrative Branch or the other alternatives suggested in your cablegram under notice.

3. For the reasons stated in paragraph 2 and as your staff has been constituted, it is considered that the G.O.C., A.I.F. [4], should have the following status in your area:-

(i) The principles governing the control and administration of the A.I.F. referred to in a separate cablegram [5] require that there should be one supreme Australian authority in command of the A.I.F. with the same powers and authority as the G.O.C., A.I.F.

(Middle East). [6]

(ii) Having in view the very considerable Australian contribution to fighting resources under your command, the G.O.C., A.I.F., should be accorded the right of direct access to you and senior officers your staff and organisation on all proposals and plans, especially those affecting A.I.F., in order to provide effective Australian representation and suitable status for the G.O.C., A.I.F. (A.B.D.A. Area). This would entail the fullest consultation in regard to all operational, administrative and other plans and proposals insofar as they affect A.I.F.

CURTIN

1 Repeated to the U.K. Dominions Secretary as no. 118.

2 On file AA:A2671, 81/42.

3 Document 286.

4 Lt Gen Sir John Lavarack.

5 Document 329.

6 General Sir Thomas Blamey.

[AA:A3196, 1942, 0.4385]