I duly informed my Government of the decision of the Commonwealth Government, conveyed in your letter to me of the 6th November, approving the proposals of the Admiralty with regard to the transfer of Australian destroyers to the Mediterranean. 
I have now received a further telegram from my Government  stating that, in order to meet urgent convoy escort requirements in the Atlantic, certain Royal Navy forces have already been transferred from the Mediterranean in advance of the arrival of Royal Australian Navy destroyers, with the result that the Mediterranean forces are reduced below what is required to carry out the very important services on that station. It is therefore desired that the R.A.N. destroyers should proceed to the Mediterranean station at the earliest possible date.
The two cruisers selected for service on the Australian station are now employed on northern patrol, and they cannot be relieved by armed merchant cruisers until early December, after which they require a thorough refit. They should be able to sail for Australia towards the end of January.
My Government hope that the Commonwealth Government will appreciate the vital reasons for this temporary delay in the replacement of R.A.N. destroyers by cruisers and that they will agree to the immediate transfer of R.A.N. destroyers to the Mediterranean.