427 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr Winston Churchill, U.K. Prime Minister

Cablegram [Johcu 28] [1] CANBERRA, 20 March 1942

I told you in my telegram of 13th [2] that we did not desire change at Washington and if new man of equal calibre could be secured it would take time for him to establish himself and therefore desirable that no approach be made to Casey [3] at the present time. However, you persisted and in your telegram of March 13th [4] explained that while you were in America you had discussed with Casey his desire for change and therefore had no doubt that he would welcome the proposed appointment. I took this as a plain statement that you wanted Casey and that Casey was eager. You suggested that I could ask Menzies [5] to fill the gap caused by Casey leaving Washington. I should be glad if you will quote all my telegrams on this matter and I shall table yours of the 12th and 13th and mine of the 13th and 14th with the addition of my telegrams to Casey and his to me. [6] I may add that hours prior to Casey cabling me from San Francisco his acceptance of your offer the B.B.C. announced it to Australia. I learn what my Minister has done from the world at large.

Finally I assure you that your personal part in this matter is above reproach and I have no complaint whatever. You said that the matter was personal to Casey. I told Casey the wishes of the Australian Government to make no change but said that we would not press him to remain in the service of Australia. He has chosen:

not you or us. Regards.

CURTIN

1 Inserted from the London copy in PRO:DO 35/1009, ii.

2 Document 409.

3 Minister to the United States.

4 Document 412.

5 Prime Minister 1939-41. He remained a member of the Advisory War Council.

6 For details of the cablegrams tabled in the House of Representatives and published in this volume see Document 431, note 6.

[AA:A3195, 1942, 1.11693]