126 Curtin to Dixon Cablegram PW14 IMMEDIATE SECRET

CANBERRA, 24 February 1943

Please convey following personal message from me to President:-


In the conviction that personal collaboration is best form of consultation for the prosecution of our common war effort, I announced in Parliament to-day that Dr. Evatt would shortly proceed abroad to visit the United States and, later on, the United Kingdom [1]. I Present intentions are that he will leave Australia some time in March. Nothing would have given me greater pleasure than to accept your kind invitation and visit you in person [2] but with the war at its present critical stage demanding the closest attention of the Chief Executive Officer in all theatres I feel it my duty to remain at present in Australia.

A year ago Dr. Evatt represented me and the Commonwealth Government in what proved to be most valuable mission on behalf of Australia, and I had no hesitation in deciding that, in view of the personal contacts he had already made, and the foundations already laid, no one could better represent Australia at the present juncture than my Minister for External Affairs.

I feel confident that you will all afford him as heretofore the same confidences and opportunity of personal collaboration.

I propose that Sir Owen Dixon should return to Australia for a short visit for purposes of consultation and exchange of views. In his absence, subject to your convenience, Dr. Evatt will represent Australia in the United States, and will occupy a seat on the Pacific War Council.

It is my earnest hope and intention to visit you at a later date and carry to you personally my salutations and respects. [3]

1 Curtin sent a similar message to Bruce for Churchill. See cablegram PL16 of 24 February on file AA:M100, February 1943.

2 See Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. V, Document 513.

3 Roosevelt replied that he would 'of course be delighted to see my old friend, Doctor Evatt'. See Dixon's cablegram S34 of 3 March on file AA:MP1217, box 474, visit abroad of Dr H. V. Evatt ...