365 Sir Earle Page, Special Representative in the United Kingdom, to Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister

Cablegram 1613 LONDON, 22 February 1942

MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET HIMSELF ALONE

1. Have just received copy of Churchill's cablegram [1] some hours after its despatch.

2. The statement regarding diversion convoy Northwards and inability of some ships to reach Australia with their fuel conflicts with information regarding movement of ships conveyed to me and communicated to you in my P.47 and P.48. [2]

3. I am seeing Churchill who tonight is away from London first thing Monday morning to secure an explanation of the alteration of the previous instructions, of which alteration I was unaware.

4. Notwithstanding the natural resentment that your Government may feel in the absence of some satisfactory explanation that such a vital alteration has been made without prior reference I strongly urge that recriminations should be avoided as they can only do harm to our getting the maximum co-operative effort in the Allied cause.

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1 Document 362.

2 Documents 347 and 351.

[AA:A2937, FAR EAST POSITION 1942]