353 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs
Cablegram 194 WASHINGTON, 13 March 1941, 6.55 p.m.
MOST SECRET MOST IMMEDIATE
I was asked by Hornbeck  today if informal visits to Australian waters would be agreeable to the Australian Government of a detachment consisting of two cruisers, CHICAGO and PORTLAND, plus five destroyers CLARK, CASSIN, CONYNGHAM, DOWNES and REID, all under the command of Rear Admiral John H. Newton, United States Navy, whose flagship is CHICAGO.
It is proposed that the above detachment should arrive at Sydney on March 20th and depart March 23rd arriving Brisbane March 25th and depart March 28th.
They wish arrangements to be made as secret as possible and especially ask that the fact of such proposed visits should be kept completely secret until the day before scheduled arrival of vessels at Sydney. United States Navy Office expects to confine its press release to statement that this is a training cruise.
Vessels have actually left Samoa and are on their way.
Grateful for formal agreement at earliest.
I said that undoubtedly Australia would wish to make some advance entertainment arrangements for the officers and men, but he earnestly asked that nothing be done that might give a hint earlier than the day before the arrival. I am telegraphing Menzies  briefly on the above.