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

Cablegram 116 CANBERRA, 27 January 1942

IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

Your 149. [1] You will have appreciated from earlier cablegrams that our anxiety has been about what has been excluded from the A.B.D.A. area and the American Pacific Naval zone.

2. It does not help us to be assured that General Marshall [2] is sound on the importance of the A.B.D.A. [area]. We are concerned about the strengthening of Australian defence and the adjacent islands, both of which are not in the A.B.D.A. area, and an increase in the forces in the Anzac Naval area.

3. We do not agree that the determination of allotment of reinforcements is a matter for Wavell [3], who has authority to concern himself with adjacent areas and whom Marshall considers should be given a free hand. This view is added confirmation of the need for a Pacific War Council on the lines we suggest. The fulfilment of this objective is what you should aim to assist.

4. In regard to Marshall's warning about secrecy of operations, this information was received by us from a source other than yourself and has been treated with the greatest secrecy.

5. It is important that you should use the utmost discretion in discussing messages for the President [4] with his technical advisers.

6. With reference to No. 151 [5], the JOHCU cablegrams are a series of personal messages between Prime Ministers. Your statement that representatives of British Chiefs of Staff would get copies is surprising. Advise if this has occurred.

1 Document 305 2 Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.

3 Allied Supreme Commander of the A.B.D.A. Area.

4 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5 Document 307.

[AA:A981, WAR 33, ATTACHMENT B]