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3 Roosevelt to Curtin Letter

Letter WASHINGTON, 3 January 1944


Now that I am back from the Conferences [1] with Mr. Churchill and

the Generalissimo and Marshal Stalin, I feel even more strongly

that you and I should meet. As you know, I have been close to

Mackenzie King almost since we were boys; Marshal Smuts and I

first met in 1918, and I had a grand reunion with him in Cairo

last month; and Peter Fraser has stopped off here in Washington

several times; and I feel that there is a real void which can only

be filled by a meeting between you and me.

I do hope that you will consider coming here within a few months.

It would not take you long and my thought is that you would spend

a couple of days at the White House, making perhaps one public

appearance either on the West Coast or in New York City at a big

meeting. Then you could run up for a day or two to see Mackenzie


Incidentally and confidentially, while Churchill and I did not

discuss the matter in any way, I do not think it would do anything

but good if you could go to London for a short visit. I think you

would receive a very warm welcome.

My plans call for no definite absence from Washington for some

months though, of course, the military situation may change

suddenly making it necessary for me to dash off to a meeting

before that.

There are many things I want to talk with you about, even though

they are not matters which require immediate decisions. For

instance, I think we should discuss the future military, naval and

air protection of Australia and, in a preliminary way at least,

the disposition of the Japanese-owned mandated or controlled

islands. Also, I want to talk with you about the future policing

of the whole Pacific and Asiatic area.

In this country, we are all very keen about the splendid work that

is being done by Australia. As the head of a Government, you

realize as I do that when there are 'no complaints' and 'no

criticisms', it means that things are going well! As we used to

say in my rowing days, Australia is 'pulling its weight in the


With my warm regards and all good wishes for the New Year.


1 Churchill, Roosevelt and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (Chinese

President and, until 4 December, President of the Executive Yuan)

met in Cairo from 22 to 25 November 1943. Churchill and Roosevelt

then proceeded to Tehran for discussions with Stalin between 28

November and 1 December. From 4 to 6 December, Churchill and

Roosevelt again met in Cairo where they conferred with Turkey's

President Inonu.

[AA:A5954, BOX 646]

Last Updated: 2 February 2011

Category: International relations

Topic: History