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

Cablegram 313 WASHINGTON, 28 April 1941, 11.07 p.m.


Repeated to London No. 52, to Tokyo No. 19.

I saw the Secretary of State [1] today.

He was very pleased with Fadden's and Curtin's statements which were exactly what was needed here and which have had wide publicity. [2]

Reference to the request for a joint statement on the possible Japanese southward move, the Secretary of State said that in the present state of mind of the Japanese, and in the present stage of the development of affairs in the United States they believed that any more public declarations would do more harm than good. At the same time the United States Government through the Japanese Ambassador here [3] and American Ambassador, Tokyo [4], has been and is taking every opportunity to make clear privately to the Japanese that they would be unwise to believe that United States can be ignored or has lost interest in events in the Pacific area.

I said that hard pressed as we were, we were continuing to reinforce Singapore but that whatever we could do might well prove not enough and that on this narrow margin a major extension of the war might well depend.

I said that I was conscious of the lack of appreciation here of the fundamental significance of Singapore in the mind of Australia, New Zealand etc. He says that he fully realizes this and consistently emphasizes it to the President [5], Navy and Congress leaders.

I said that we had failed to get Willkie [6] to visit Australia and Singapore and asked if any other prominent American such as possibly Colonel Donovan [7] could do so. He said that he would explore.

I asked if any extended 'patrolling' by American warships was contemplated in the Pacific. He said that patrolling was designed to disseminate knowledge of the location of enemy vessels which was appropriate in the North Atlantic but not in the Pacific.

However, if you have views as to any particular Pacific area in which you would welcome such patrolling please advise me and give me relevant arguments.

Finally, I said that although we realize that Canada is geographically and politically differently placed to Australia, I knew Australia would be glad to know if there was any way we could co-operate with the United States war production effort, firstly to help the common cause and secondly to acquire dollars with which to pay our way as long as possible here.

I should be glad to have your views on any possibilities that occur to you with reference to the above paragraph.

I left informal notes with the Secretary of State on all the above points.

For your confidential information the Secretary of State is very friendly and gives the impression that he is somewhat frustrated by the views of those unwilling to go as far or as quickly as himself It would be helpful to me to know confidentially in advance any proposed reinforcement of the Singapore area or movements of fighting services affecting this area generally.


1 Cordell Hull.

2 See Documents 433 and 434.

3 Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura.

4 J. C. Grew.

5 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

6 Republican candidate for the 1940 U.S. Presidential election.

7 Roosevelt's personal representative on secret intelligence missions to Europe.

[AA: A981, JAPAN 185B, 1]