152 Dixon to Curtin

Cablegram S71 WASHINGTON, 6 April 1943, 6.33 p.m.

MOST SECRET

I have to-day received the following message from the President for transmission to you.

BEGINS:

Dear Mr. Curtin,

Your message informing me of Dr. Evatt's visit to Washington is received [1] and I shall be very glad to see him again as soon as he gets here. [2] It is regretted that an immediate necessity for the provision of forces, aeroplanes and other military equipment in other theatres of war, together with an acute shortage of transportation facilities, makes it impossible to accomplish at the present time any increase in troops or aeroplanes in addition to those now allocated to the South-West Pacific. I suppose that you have full information in regard to the latest increases. [3] It is my opinion that, with the additional troops and planes now en route from America to the South-West Pacific, it should be possible, by a determined aggressive use of all available Australian and American forces against the Japanese in those areas which they now occupy in the South-West Pacific, to preclude any serious attack on the continent of Australia. [4]

Franklin D. Roosevelt

ENDS.

1 See Document 148, note 1.

2 Evatt arrived in Washington on 10 April. His party included Mrs Evatt, W. S. Robinson, Dr H. C. Coombs and Dr J. W. Burton.

3 See Document 147, note 2.

4 Curtin thanked Roosevelt for his message on 13 April, but pointed out that: 'In regard to your reference to the security of Australia, I would state that, whilst we are naturally concerned that our country shall be maintained free of any serious attack, I would like it to be clear that this was not the primary objective of our representations. Our aim was, rather, that aircraft should be made available in sufficient strength to enable the holding strategy in the Pacific to be prosecuted in a manner that would prevent the consolidation of the Japanese in their present positions and inflict on them the greatest possible losses preliminary to the ultimate assault for their final defeat.' See cablegram SW8 on file AA:MP1217, box 474, visit abroad of Dr H. V.

Evatt . . . 1943.

[DEFENCE: SPECIAL COLLECTION II, BUNDLE 5, STRATEGICAL POLICY-SWPA, FILE No. 4, 9/1943]