205 Curtin to Bruce

Letter CANBERRA, 1 June 1943

PERSONAL HIMSELF ONLY

I am grateful for your letter of 5th March [1] in which you reviewed developments during the period of nine months since you assumed the office of Accredited Representative of the Australian Government in the United Kingdom War Cabinet-a period I should like to say I regard as one of very considerable achievement under ever present difficulties which would have disheartened many who do not possess your high personal attributes.

After a careful perusal of your letter and the note which accompanied it [2] I am forced to the conclusion that despite Herculean efforts we have still to travel a considerable distance before reaching the goal of our desire.

In this acknowledgment of your helpful letter, I content myself by saying that what you have done and are continuing to do to realise our objective has my grateful endorsement. I shall, however, now that you have mentioned it, give some thought to the serious and regrettable position which would arise were we through any unforeseen circumstances to be deprived of your valuable services as Accredited Representative.

The cablegrams we have exchanged and those that have passed between Mr. Churchill and myself have shown in the clearest language that we believe the Australian Government should be granted the opportunity through its Accredited Representative of learning essential facts regarding developments and trends of policy in sufficient time to enable its views to be considered at the War Cabinet before major decisions vital to the Australian nation are taken. That belief must be constantly maintained.

Whatever may delay or impede the full realisation of our hopes for satisfactory representation in the United Kingdom War Cabinet, in the light of the considerations you have dealt with so fairly in your letter, [?must] be accepted and I therefore urge you to continue to pursue the policy you have so far found at least partially successful despite the difficulties existing.

With regard to Prime Minister Churchill's reaction to your vigorous endeavour to fulfil the task allotted to you by the present Commonwealth Government and in regard to which you have seen fit to make me cognisant of your feelings, you can be assured that your attitude and actions have my full support and that of my colleagues. I think that perhaps when viewed against the magnitude of the task which is being shouldered by the great leader of the Empire our 'trouble' is a comparatively small one. I am in agreement with you that it is of the highest importance that nothing untoward must be permitted to arise which would be likely to disturb the present cordial relations that exist between Mr.

Churchill and the Australian Government and it may be that by the patient pursuit of the plan you are now working to we will secure a more satisfactory voice in the War Cabinet when it meets to deal with major questions of immediate or post war concern to our country.

JOHN CURTIN

1 Document 132.

2 On file AA:A1608, H33/1/2.

[AA:A1608, H33/1/2]