158 Curtin to Churchill

Cablegram 100 [1] CANBERRA, 20 April 1943

SECRET AND PERSONAL

I am in full agreement with the objectives you have in mind. [2] The Commonwealth Government has welcomed the initiative taken by the United Kingdom and United States Governments to formulate and exchange views on various aspects of a post-war world order which would be based on the fundamental principles for which we are fighting. It has also given the Commonwealth Government the opportunity to consider such questions and express its opinions.

2. Experience to date has shown, however, that much preparatory work is necessary before we can declare precisely the details of the many ramifications of the new order which it is sought to establish.

3. I therefore have considerable doubts as to whether a meeting of Prime Ministers, as early as proposed, would be capable of achieving what we all have in mind, without much greater preparation than appears possible before then.

4. However, in my own case, there is an added overriding reason which prevents my attendance. I do not feel warranted in leaving my post in Australia while the continued marshalling of Japanese strength and the consolidation of their positions goes on in the islands to the north of Australia and while the local Commanders represent their concern with the military position and the strength of forces necessary to cope with it. I have dealt with this at length in my separate cablegrams to President Roosevelt and yourself. [3]

5. If your suggestion meets with the general agreement of the other Prime Ministers, I would propose that Dr. Evatt should represent Australia if the meeting is held while he is in the United Kingdom. The earlier the discussions are held, the better it would suit his movements as the next Parliamentary Session is expected to commence in June.

CURTIN

1 Sent through the U.K. Dominions Office. Repeated to the Canadian, South African and N.Z. Prime Ministers as nos 10, 58 and 79 respectively.

2 See Document 157.

3 See Document 148.

[FA:A3196, 1943, FOLDER, OUTWARDS MOST SECRET MASTER SHEETS, 0.10778-79-80-81]