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

Cablegram SW16 CANBERRA, 17 March 1942

MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET AND PERSONAL

Your S.10. [1] We have taken very careful note of all the considerations set out by you and fully appreciate difficulty and importance of decision which you must make. We feel however that as the offer has been made personally to you, the matter is entirely one between yourself and Churchill.

You may rest assured therefore that Commonwealth Government would not stand in your way by pressing you to remain in the service of Australia in the United States. At the same time I should point out to you that it would be a matter of great difficulty and embarrassment for us to have to make a change in the Commonwealth's diplomatic representation at Washington at the present juncture. Apart from the difficulty of finding in existing circumstances persons both competent for the position and available for appointment, we would regard it as a serious disadvantage for Australia if at this point we should lose the benefit of the many contacts you have made in American administration and public life over the past two years, together with your own familiarity which you have acquired as Minister with the many urgent and weighty matters now current in our relationship with the United States.

Having regard to all the circumstances the wishes of the Commonwealth Government are to make no change in Australian diplomatic representation at Washington as matters stand. This is a factor which you will naturally take into account in forming your decision, but I emphasize that it is to be regarded not as instruction or advice but only as an expression of opinion. As was intimated to you by Churchill, the final judgment is one for yourself personally.

CURTIN

1 Document 414.

[AA:A981, GREAT BRITAIN 13B]