194 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr V. G. Bowden, Official Representative in Singapore

Cablegram 40 CANBERRA, 15 December 1941

SECRET

For Mr. Duff Cooper [1] from Minister for External Affairs.

Begins-We have noted from D.O. M453 of 12th December [2] that you have been appointed Resident Minister and are appointing a War Council, consisting of Governor [3], Heads of Services [4] and Director-General Propaganda. [5]

The view of Commonwealth Government is that Bowden should be appointed immediately to this Council as provisional Australian representative pending any further arrangement.

We have confidence in his judgment and coolness.

If you concur glad if you would take necessary steps direct with Bowden. Ends.

For Bowden. Desire you take up above question personally with Mr.

Duff Cooper immediately. [6] Action taken vide M.527 concurred in.

1 U.K. Minister of State for Far Eastern Affairs resident in Singapore.

2 On file AA:A1608, G33/1/2.

3 Sir Shenton Thomas.

4 Lt Gen A. E. Percival, Air Vice Marshal C. W. H. Pulford and Vice-Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton.

5 Sir George Sansom, Director-General of Publicity.

6 Bowden reported later the same day (cablegram 55) that Duff Cooper had no objection to his appointment to the War Council and intended to obtain U.K. War Cabinet approval for it; this approval was received in cablegram Lanca 73 of 16 December. Evatt also asked the High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, S. M. Bruce, to see that the question of Bowden's appointment received 'urgent and favourable consideration' in London (cablegram 373 of 16 December). Bowden attended his first War Council meeting on 20 December. All documents are On file AA:A981, War 42.

7 Document 193.

[AA:A981, WAR 42]