415 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States

Cablegram 62 [1] CANBERRA, 17 March 1942, 7.25 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

Please convey following message to the President [2] with the utmost expedition. Begins.

General Douglas MacArthur having arrived in Australia the Commonwealth Government desire to nominate him as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in this theatre. [3]

His heroic defence in the Philippine Islands has evoked the admiration of the world and has been an example of the stubborn resistance with which the advance of the enemy should be opposed.

The Australian Government feels that his leadership of the Allied forces in this theatre will be an inspiration to the Australian people and all the forces who will be privileged to serve under his command.

If this nomination is approved might I be informed of the text and time of any announcement. [4]

OVERSEAS MISSION, DR EVATTPERSONAL]

1 Repeated to the U.K. Prime Minister as no. Johcu 27. See Prime Minister's Dept outward cablegram register (AA:A3463, 4).

2 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

3 Roosevelt's suggestion that MacArthur be appointed to the Command had been conveyed to Curtin earlier the same day by Lt Gen George H. Brett (Commander, U.S. Army Forces in Australia). See Brett's letter on file Defence: Special Collection II, bundle 5, Future policy and strategy for conduct of war in the Pacific.

4 See Document 419

[FLINDERS UNIVERSITY LIBRARY: EVATT PAPERS, PAPERS ON 1942