433 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister

Cablegram PMS1 WASHINGTON, 21 March 1942


1. I saw Roosevelt, Hopkins [1], Frankfurter [2], Sumner Welles [3] today, and emphasized our needs in the strongest possible way.

The President is still very conscious of demands of other theatres, but is intensely interested and sympathetic with Australia, and I am very hopeful of immediate practical results.

2. They are all most anxious to avoid further public argument with Churchill over Casey's appointment. [4] Especially, they say, they are disturbed at local political embarrassment caused by disclosure of the fact that Casey privately consulted American leaders.

3. It might be better to say nothing more as to Casey's appointment, except to make clear that in view of his excellent services here, no possible objection on personal grounds could, or would, be raised by you or me.

4. I have suggested strongly that Churchill's method of dealing with Australia sometimes indicates party political bias and that what is most essential is a broad settlement by which United Kingdom as well as United States would give immediate positive proof of their desire to assist Australia. Hopkins stressed the need of starting from scratch again with Churchill in order to re- establish friendliest feelings, and he will advise the President to approach Churchill on the same lines.

5. Tomorrow we have a series of conferences with Marshall [5], Arnold [6], King [7], and I am lunching with Marshall. All day Sunday Smith [8], Robinson [9] and I are conferring with Hopkins with a view to meeting Australia's requirements to the fullest possible extent. Hopkins may hold the key to the position. He realises the time factor is crucial.

6. Marshall's attitude towards yourself was more than friendly-it was affectionate.

7. Will report further on Monday.

1 Adviser to Roosevelt.

2 justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

3 U.S. Under-Secretary of State.

4 As U.K. Minister of State resident in the Middle East.

5 Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.

6 Chief of U.S. Army Air Corps.

7 Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Navy.

8 Secretary of Supply and Development Dept.

9 Australian businessman and adviser to Evatt on his overseas mission.