285 Curtin to Churchill (in Quebec)

Cablegram Johcu 84 CANBERRA, 16 September 1944

TOP SECRET

Your Winch No. 6. [1]

I feel we have not misunderstood your proposal regarding the establishment of a British Dominion Task Force. It was clear to us from your Winch No. 5 [2] that the Task Force would operate under General MacArthur's Supreme Command. Our London conversations [3] prepared us for the view confirmed in your message. Nevertheless, the principle inherent in the proposal does involve a change in the existing direct relationship between the Australian Forces and General MacArthur. Our Forces are assigned to him and they are used by him in accordance with his directives. We have agreed that there should be no variation of this arrangement in connection with the forthcoming operations in this area. I felt it would be helpful to you to restate in my Johcu 82 [4] the relationship of our Forces with MacArthur.

2. We were partners in the original arrangement for the establishment and command of the South-West Pacific Area. We think that there should be no change in the present arrangements without an opportunity being afforded to us of stating our views.

CURTIN

1 Document 276.

2 Document 254.

3 See Documents 161 and 167.

4 Document 265.

[AA:A5954, BOX 560]