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299 Churchill to Curtin

Cablegram Winch 11 LONDON, 25 September 1944, 12.10 a.m.


Further to my WINCH number 8. [1]

The First Sea Lord has, at my request, prepared the following notes upon the facilities for which we shall ask Australia through regular channels to enable the main British Fleet to operate in decisive operations against Japan. I hope we can count on your aid: I shall be glad to hear from you on this point.

1. The maintenance of the British Fleet in the Pacific so that it can participate in main operations against Japan will necessitate the use of Australian facilities to provide our main fleet base requirements.

2. A broad picture of our requirements is listed below in order to give some idea of problems. The list is neither complete nor final.

3. Our main requirements are:-

(A) Use and expansion of existing ship repair facilities at Sydney and other ports on the east coast of Australia.

(B) Development of existing British storage facilities for all types of stores, chiefly in the Sydney and Brisbane area, but also to a lesser extent in the Darwin area and minor Queensland ports.

Small facilities may also be required at Fremantle.

(C) Establishment of necessary assembly, repairs and storage facilities for naval aircraft chiefly in the Sydney and Brisbane area and to a limited extent in the Darwin area.

(D) Provision for accommodation and hospital accommodation for the personnel who will be concerned with the above undertakings and with the administration of the Fleet.

4. It is intended to make the fullest possible use of installations which the Americans will vacate as they move forward in the Pacific. This question has been discussed in some detail with Admiral King who is agreeable and is taking action with the United States Navy and Army Commanders in the Australian area, who no doubt will discuss the matter with the Australian Chiefs of Staff.

5. The plans of the broad requirements supplied by above have of course been provisionally worked out under the order of the Australian Chiefs of Staff by the British S.O. [2] now in Australia.

6. It is suggested that the details of arrangements should be discussed between the British and Australian Chiefs of Staff and between the Admiralty and the Australian Navy Board.

1 Dispatched 18 September. On file AA:A5954, box 560.

2 Presumably a reference to Maj Gen R. H. Dewing.

[AA:A5954, BOX 560]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History