244 Evatt to Roosevelt

Letter WASHINGTON, 13 July 1943

Following our discussion of this morning I desire to send you this personal and unofficial note.

Your recent decision to give to Australia-in addition to all other previous commitments-organisation equipment for the purpose of developing the Royal Australian Air Force [1] has already had a most beneficial effect. Your exchange of messages with Mr. Curtin shows this very clearly. [2] I had only been in Washington for a few hours when I discovered that in the proposed allotments of aircraft to implement your gift your decision was hardly being interpreted or applied in the broad and generous spirit of your special contribution. In particular your object was to give the Royal Australian Air Force a greater striking power. In spite of this, no provision has yet been made for a single heavy bomber unit. I believe that the allotment for 1943, with the notable exception of bombers, is in reasonable compliance with my request and will be a valuable contribution. The allotment in other types made for this year seems also satisfactory. But it is respectfully requested that you direct that the remainder of the special allotment be reviewed and that the appropriate authorities be asked to consult the Royal Australian Air Force Representative in Washington, Air Marshal R. Williams.

I am confident that if this is done necessary amendments and improvements could be affected [sic] and your noble intention more faithfully carried out. It is your personal supervision of your contribution that seems to me to be so requisite.

I desire to thank you most sincerely, not only for your attitude in this matter, but for your constant help to Australia during the long period of crisis since Pearl Harbor.

H. V. EVATT

1 See Document 210, note 3.

2 For Curtin's message see Document 222, note 6. Roosevelt's reply of 22 June is in Franklin D. Roosevelt Library: Roosevelt Papers, President's personal file 8459, Mr Curtin.

[FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT LIBRARY: ROOSEVELT PAPERS, PRESIDENT'S SECRETARY'S FILE, BOX 19, CONFIDENTIAL FILE LEND LEASE]