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

Cablegram ES4 WASHINGTON, 18 April 1942, 2 a.m.


(1) The two main purposes for which we came here namely:

(a) The establishment and immediate functioning of Pacific Council, and (b) The adoption of a plan of assignment of the flow of munitions, particularly aircraft, to Australia have now been substantially accomplished.

(2) The time has now come to move on to London to represent your views to War Cabinet meetings. Accordingly we plan to leave about Wednesday next, April 22nd.

(3) I am hopeful, that, despite the position in India and Burma and elsewhere and the proposed new offensive [1], we will obtain from United Kingdom a number of high performance modern fighters.

(4) I have received two messages from England that Churchill is anxious that I should proceed to London as quickly as possible.

[2] President Roosevelt and Mackenzie King [3] both agree.

(5) Smart [4] arrived here today and I have already conferred with him and long conference tomorrow. After my departure and until the arrival of the new Minister, Watt [5] will act as Charge d'Affaires and I think that he, rather than Smart or Glasgow [6], should attend any Council meetings. I shall attend meeting on Tuesday next. Dixon [7] should be able to attend meeting fortnight later.

(6) Dixon should arrive here at earliest possible moment. His presence should ensure the follow-up of all decisions of principle as to flow of supplies to which I refer in a separate telegram.


(7) Dixon will sit on Council and on my return from London I could again represent the Government on the Council before returning home.

(8) All my experience confirms your decision that a senior Minister should regularly visit here. The results have been very satisfactory and most friendly relationships established not only with political and military leaders, but with those administrators further down the line whose active goodwill is equally essential.

(9) Thanks for your kind personal message [9]; best wishes from all four of us.

(10) Since drafting above message have received your telegram P.M.46 [10] suggesting my remaining here until after Monday's Conference. I am preparing separate telegram on this subject. [11]

1 In northern Europe.

2 One of these messages is published as Document 454. The other is possibly cablegram E7, referred to in Document 449, note 9.

3 Canadian Prime Minister.

4 Head of Australian Military Mission to Combined Chiefs of Staff, Washington.

5 First Secretary of the Legation in Washington.

6 High Commissioner in Canada.

7 On 15 April Full Cabinet had appointed Sir Owen Dixon (justice of the High Court) as Minister to the United States (see AA:A2703, vol. 10). Curtin advised Evatt on 19 April that it was impracticable for Dixon to leave Australia for at least a month and that War Cabinet wished Evatt to stay on in Washington until the new command was functioning thoroughly (see cablegram SW27 on file AA:A4764, 1).

8 See cablegram ES8 of 18 April on file AA:A4764, 2.

9 Not found.

10 See Document 469, note 1.

11 See Document 469

[AA:A4764, 2]