95 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr Winston Churchill, U.K. Prime Minister

Cablegram [Johcu 2] [1] CANBERRA, 31 October 1941


In continuation of my telegram No. 1 last paragraph. [2] Reference Winch 1 [3] we are very gratified with advice of proposed disposition of capital ships and particularly your reference to the PRINCE OF WALES.

2. This action, together with proposed diplomatic steps you have in hand, and on which I am cabling our views separately through Dominions Office [4], should force Japan into the position of again weighing most seriously the consequences of further aggression either northwards or southwards. If forced into a conflict we will have certainly done all we can to deter her and our defensive position in the Eastern Hemisphere will be all the stronger for the measures that have been taken. [5]


1 The cablegram number has been inserted from the copy on file AA : MP1217, Box 559, Far Eastern Defence. Transfer of capital ships to Indian Ocean.

2 Dispatched 26 October. On file AA : A1608, E45/2/1, v. The last paragraph read: 'The Admiralty dispositions in regard to Singapore are of very much interest'.

3 Document 91.

4 See Document 97.

5 Churchill replied on 2 November (cablegram Winch 5 on the file cited in note 1): 'I am very glad that you are pleased about the big ship. There is nothing like having something that can catch and kill anything.'

[AA : A3196, 1941, 0.17711]