376 Mr Clement Attlee, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister

Cablegram 261 LONDON, 26 February 1942, 1.52, a.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET FROM THE PRIME MINISTER [1] TO THE

Your telegram 23/2 139. [2] Following for [your] [3] information.

1. Telegram from Governor of Burma [4] despatched from Rangoon at 18.30 hours on February 24th.'No important change but if we can get Australians here we might effect radical change for the better. Obviously it will be anxious business getting them but I feel it is a risk well worth taking as otherwise Burma is wide open for Japanese. Some of our troops scouting back across Sittang.' 2. Telegram from Governor of Burma despatched from Rangoon at 23.30 hours on February 25th. 'It is infinitely important to us to know whether Australian division will arrive. Please say yes or no.' 3. I have of course informed the Govern[or] of your decision.

1 Winston Churchill.

2 Document 366.

3 Words in square brackets have been corrected/inserted from the London copy on file AA:A2937, Far East position 1942.

4 Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith.

[AA:A3195, 1942, 1.8375]