367 Mr Clement Attlee, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister

Cablegram 249 LONDON, 23 February 1942, 9.23 p.m.

Your telegram 23rd February, 139. [1] Following for Prime Minister from Prime Minister. [2] Begins:

1. Your convoy is now proceeding to re-fuel at Colombo. It will then proceed to Australia in accordance with your wishes.

2. My decision to move it northward during the few hours required to receive your final answer was necessary because otherwise your help, if given, might not have arrived in time.

3. As Soon as the convoy was turned north, arrangements were made to increase its escort and this increased escort will be maintained during its voyage to Colombo and on leaving Colombo again for as long as practicable.

4. Of course, I take full responsibility for my action.

1 Document 366.

2 Winston Churchill.

[AA:A3195, 1942, 1.7027]