463 Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, to Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister

Cablegram 61A LONDON, 11 April 1942, 1.45 p.m.

IMMEDIATE FOR PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

The sinking of the Dorsetshire and the Cornwall by air attack [1], now followed by the sinking of the Hermes [2], raises such vital questions that I feel the time has come when you should consider whether you should not telegraph to the United Kingdom Government asking for full information as to the present position and future policy.

If you should decide to do so I suggest that after expressing the natural anxieties you feel at recent happenings you should ask as to the cause of them and for an appreciation of the United Kingdom-United States of America and Japanese position in regard to aeroplane carriers; types of planes carried and views held as to relative efficiency of planes and personnel.

In addition to asking for the United Kingdom Government's views as to immediate and long range policy on this important question you may also think fit to give an indication of the Australian Government's attitude.

BRUCE

1 Both ships had been sunk by Japanese bombers south of Colombo on 5 April.

2 Sunk on 9 April south of Trincomalee.

[AA:M100, APRIL 1942]