173 Roosevelt to Evatt

Letter [Washington ], 5 May 1943

SECRET

In respect to the allocation of additional aircraft to the R.A.A.F., which you requested in your letter of April 22nd [1], I have caused the Joint Chief of Staffs to present me their views.

I am informed that an increase in present allocations would require a corresponding reduction in other commitments which might seriously disjoint programs which are now under way. You will recall that on January 21, 1943, the British Chief of Staff and your representatives agreed to the allocations from our 1943 production proposed by the U.S. Chief of Staff. Allocations provided to Australia provided for expansion and support of your 45 squadron program. [2] At that time all of our estimated 1943 aircraft production was committed and current production is not exceeding estimates. However, when conditions hereafter permit a general revision of allocations, the United States Joint Chief of Staff will give full consideration to the requirements for further expanding the Royal Australian Air Force . As you know, the recent conference of high ranking U.S. commanders from the Pacific theater held in Washington has resulted in material strengthening our combined air forces in the Pacific theater. [3]

The needs of the Pacific theater must be integrated with those of the global war, and you may feel sure that constant thought are given to the Pacific to the end that we maintain the initiative and prevent the Japanese from consolidating his position.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

1 Document 164.

2 See cablegram 90 of 25 January on file AA:A989, 43/970/14.

3 See Document 138, note 3 and Document 147, note 2.

[FRANKLIN D. ROSSEVELT LIBRARY: ROOSEVELT PAPERS, PRESIDENT'S SECRETARY'S FILE BOX 32 PSF AUSTRALIA]