445 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs (in Washington)
Cablegram [PM]10  CANBERRA, 29 March 1942
IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET
Your cablegram P.M. 5 of 25th March.  New Zealand have repeated to us their comments to Nash  on the proposal of the Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee for the division of the Pacific theatre into a south-west Pacific area under General MacArthur and a southern Pacific area directly under Washington. Our Chiefs of Staff have considered this proposal in the light of the New Zealand Government's observations and have submitted the following report:-
'The Chiefs of Staff are strongly opposed to the proposed subdivision of the Pacific area. We agree with the comments of the Prime Minister of New Zealand and would urge the following additional considerations against the proposal. It is essential to Australia that New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia should be in the same area as Australia, because they are all interdependent and from every point of view must be considered together.
Australia's line of communications with the United States is through New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia, and the most effective and economic use of the forces available to defend the whole area depends upon there being unity of command so that the speedy reinforcement of any points threatened can be effected as necessary.' 2. For the reasons set out in the above report, we are opposed to the proposed division of the Pacific theatre, involving the separation of Australia from New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.
It is desired that you co-operate with Nash on this question. 
3. The Chiefs of Staff have also furnished the following additional observations, which are communicated for your information and for discussion with the Combined Chiefs of Staff or Admiral King  [as] appropriate:-
'While adhering to the proposals already made by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand for the creation of an Anzac Area rather than what is now proposed from Washington, we would prefer that all the naval forces in the Pacific should be put directly under the command of the United States Chiefs of Staff with a view to ensuring the greatest concentration of naval forces at the right place and time. This, of course, would involve Admiral Glassford's  force (comprising United States units from ABDA Area now based on Fremantle) being placed under the command of Admiral Leary.'