261 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr A. W. Fadden, Acting Prime Minister

Cablegram GR228 (extract) SINGAPORE, 29 January 1941, 5.20 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Following is from the Prime Minister of Australia for personal information of the Acting Prime Minister and communication to the Ministers for the Navy, Army, Air and Chiefs of Staff. [1]

After discussions at Singapore and with the Governor-General of the Netherlands East Indies [2] at Batavia, I agree that the proposed staff conversations between the three parties concerned should be held at Singapore at once. A strong request has been made for further visit to Singapore by Colvin. The difficulties of his absence are understood but he should [consider] [3] if it is at all possible for him to do this. In addition to staff conversations there was a discussion on certain aspects of the Singapore report. Far East appreciation and staff conversations with the U.S.A.

To enable me to follow up certain questions of higher policy on these it is important that the results of the Singapore staff conversations should be reported to London as soon as possible after my arrival.

C.-I.-C. [4] has raised the possibility of keeping an Australian Brigade Group turned over at Singapore. This might be reported on by the Chiefs of Staff for consideration by the War Cabinet.

1 Respectively W. M. Hughes, P. C. Spender, John McEwen, Lt Gen V.

A. H. Sturdee, Admiral Sir Ragnar Colvin and Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Burnett.

2 Jonkheer Dr A. W. L. Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer.

3 Corrected from the copy in Defence: Special Collection I, Box 629, Prime Minister's Visit to United Kingdom, 1941. Paper No. 5.

Staff Conversations with United States of America and Netherlands East Indies.

4 Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham.

[AA:CP290/6, 70]