77 Mr A. W. Fadden, Prime Minister, to Mr Winston Churchill, U.K. Prime Minister

Cablegram Arden 1 CANBERRA, 4 October 1941

IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

Your telegram 30th September noted. [1] Desire to submit following observations- Paragraph 1. We assure you no want of confidence is felt in the military judgment of Auchinleck. [2] The vital considerations outlined in my cablegram No. 26 of 14th Septernber [3] should, we feel, give no cause for Auchinleck to imply such want of confidence.

Paragraph 2. We appreciate fully the factors put forward, but suggest the considerations in paragraph 3 of my cablegram of 14th September are of such importance to outweigh them.

Paragraph 3. I hasten to assure you that neither by suggestion nor implication have I or my Government intended to convey the impression that an undue burden has been thrown on Australian troops who have been proud to fight side by side with the troops of the Motherland and the Empire and share equally with them all the disappointments, perils, triumphs, and sacrifices of the campaign in the Middle East.

I and my Government have given most full and careful further consideration to the request contained in my cablegram No. 26 of 14th September and while assuring you that, as in the past, we are prepared to make every sacrifice [in] common with the rest of the Empire we cannot see our way for the reasons fully set out in my cablegram to depart from this conclusions

1 Document 73.

2 U.K. Commander-in-Chief in the Middle East.

3 This is presumably an incorrect reference to the cablegram published as Document 68.

4 On 13 October Churchill asked Fadden's successor, John Curtin, to permit the two A.I.F. brigades still in Tobruk to remain there until the result of the approaching battle was known. Curtin replied on to October that War Cabinet had carefully considered the request, but was not disposed to vary the decision of the previous govt. See Churchill's cablegram 688 (in AA:A2671, 326/1941) and Curtin's cablegram 682 (AA:A3196, 1941, 0.16535).

5 This number was corrected to read 0.15591 in the Prime Minister's Dept outward cablegram register (AA:A3643, 3)

[AA:A3196, 1941, 0.15501 [5]]