180 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States

Cablegram 14 22 October 1940,

MOST SECRET

Your telegram 324 of 17th October [1]: Should the President [2] decide to send United States warships to visit Australia, they would be assured of a warm welcome.

The President's desire at present to avoid commitments or publicity about staff conversations is considered wise. In view of this, the question of co-ordination of air operations in the south-west Pacific might well be deferred pending staff conversations. General R.A.A.F. policy in the Pacific has been to implement the decisions of the 1939 New Zealand Defence Conference. [3]

Until more definite arrangements are made for staff conferences, it is considered inadvisable to send Commodore Boucher [4] to Washington. It is proposed, however, to send Commander H. M.

Burrell, R.A.N. [5], who has full knowledge of Australian naval plans and resources. He has been Director of Plans at Navy Office and has the full confidence of the Naval Board and is in position to advise on Australian naval problems. Burrell would travel by air, arriving San Francisco November 13th and Washington November 18th.

Air Board are sending their appreciation of the air situation to Air Vice-Marshal Goble [6] who will be able to give technical advice on air matters.

MENZIES

1 Document 177.

2 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

3 See Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol II, Document 74.

4 Second Naval Member, Commonwealth Naval Board.

4 Director of Operations, R.A.N.

5 Liaison Officer to the Empire Air Training Scheme in Canada.

[AA:A3196, 1940, 0.7958]