Cablegram 357  LONDON, 19 December 1944, 12.42 a.m.
Following from the Prime Minister for Mr. Curtin.
In Dominions Office telegram No- 311 of 8th November  to the
Australian Government, I informed you of the projected
arrangements for the command and deployment of the British Pacific
Fleet. I mentioned our intention that the fleet should arrive in
Australian waters towards the end of December.
Although one battleship, two cruisers and a flotilla of destroyers
will arrive in Sydney at the end of the year, it has now been
approved, at the special request of Admiral Nimitz that the main
carrier force should attack the Sumatran Oil Refineries before
proceeding to Australia.
Also, General MacArthur has asked that the fleet should carry out
diversionary operations during two periods in December.
These happenings will delay the arrival of the main body of the
fleet in Australia by two or three weeks. Although we are
reluctant to accept any such delay, these operations, requested by
the two American Supreme Commanders, have been approved in the
interests of furthering the close co-operation which is so
essential to the later employment of the fleet.