213 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 407 WASHINGTON, 2 December 1940, 7.49 p.m.

VERY SECRET

President [1] has agreed to complete the confidential strategic staff conversations between Great Britain and the United States.

The President had some misgivings arising from the possibility of leakage of information that they were taking place.

Officers mentioned in my telegram No. 400 [2] will represent Britain. Admiral and General leaving England very shortly. Arrival date uncertain.

The British Ambassador [3] believes unwise in view of President's hesitant attitude to suggest expanding the numbers involved by adding Australian representation.

However, I understood from Burrell [4] that Boucher [5] likely to be travelling Australia to England at an early date. If at all possible I suggest his coming here en route as soon as possible.

Once he is here I have little doubt that I Will be able to work him in. In any case he will be able to see United States Naval Plans confidentially.

Above regarded as completely secret.

If you decide to agree to proposal for Naval Attache here you might appoint Boucher temporarily and replace him by another with or without the intervening interval of time. [6]

CASEY

1 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

2 Dispatched 27 November. See file AA:A3300, 38. The U.K. officers were Rear Admiral R. M. Bellairs, Maj Gen R. Evans and Air Vice Marshal J. C. Slessor.

3 Lord Lothian.

4 Director of Operations, R.A.N.

5 Second Naval Member, Commonwealth Naval Board.

6 Casey was advised of Burrell's appointment as Naval Attache in Washington on 19 December. See cablegram 254 on file AA:A981, Far East 26A.

[AA:A981, USA 202, i]