141 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States

Cablegram 132 CANBERRA, 30 November 1941

MOST SECRET

We have received a request from the British Government asking us to approve authorisation advance into Kra Isthmus by British troops if reconnaissance established fact that escorted Japanese ships are approaching Isthmus. [1] We have received all your telegrams up to the present and our reply to the United Kingdom Government is contained in my immediately following telegram. [2]

In these new moves we have no definitive statement as to whether Hull [3] has completely abandoned talks with Kurusu. [4] Our view as expressed to you and Bruce [5] was that the breakdown should be avoided if possible and that Hull should be strongly encouraged not to give up attempt. [6] We have not received even as yet his counter proposals presumably because you were not furnished with a copy.

Following on above just received your 1053 [7] which was delivered after your 1054. [8] In view of changing situation suggest better not to proceed at present moment with your proposal as outlined 1053. If you proceed with it later, suggest you preserve greatest caution possible; otherwise there will be misunderstanding by Halifax [9] with whom you might discuss possibility. It would be far better if Hull could be induced to resume talks.

CURTIN

1 Document 139.

2 See Document 142, note 1.

3 U.S. Secretary of State.

4 Japanese special envoy to the United States.

5 High Commissioner in the United Kingdom.

6 See Documents 135 and 137.

7 Document 140.

8 Dispatched 30 November. On file AA : A981, Japan 178.

9 U.K. Ambassador to the United States.

[AA : A981, JAPAN 178]