32 Department of External Affairs to Watt

Cablegram SW91 CANBERRA, 31 August 1942

For Watt. Please convey following personal message to Hopkins from Evatt.

BEGINS.

Curtin extremely concerned growing menace approaching enemy thrust. Authentic reports that main Japanese fleet has left home waters suggest necessity of considerable concentration of aircraft on Solomons area and also in South-West and Darwin areas. At Churchill's urgent request we agreed temporary diversion Spitfires to Middle East because of overriding needs of battle. One great difficulty is lack of information although we rejoice at United States magnificent enterprise in Solomons and are keenly alive to needs of other theatres.

Wire from Curtin to President sent to-night on this. [1]

We have done our utmost to clamp down on any sign of over-anxiety but we feel that crucial battle Japan is rapidly approaching and presence of substantial aircraft on land areas may well turn the tide of the conflict.

I have no doubt you will do your utmost when official message comes.

Very best wishes.

EVATT ENDS.

1 See Document 31.

[AA:A4764, 1]