221 Robinson to Curtin

Cablegram E155 WASHINGTON, 12 June 1943, 6.18 a.m.


On the eve of our departure for London I feel I should report to you on the progress made towards satisfying the major responsibilities entrusted by you to Dr Evatt's care. Those of paramount importance to Australia were, firstly, the supply of equipment needed to permit of the expansion of the R.A.A.F. over a long term programme and, secondly, the modification of Allied global strategy to ensure that the war in the Pacific would from now on be waged with equal vigour and determination as had heretofore been the case in Europe and Africa.

I believe that the Minister will succeed in securing the supply of aircraft. His success appeared to be impossible. He has had tremendous difficulties to surmount. I have been aware throughout his negotiations, which have been pressed continuously and firmly and with the utmost goodwill, that no matter how great may have been the President's desire to meet Evatt's request, the Services have been definitely opposed to any more aircraft going to the South West Pacific than those which already had been allocated.

The Services' opposition has been maintained up almost to the very finish of the negotiations. However, the President, supplemented by the happy support of Winston Churchill, now seems likely to give the Minister the success he so strictly deserved. I, who could do little more than give the Minister sympathy and share his anxiety, know the extent of the strain under which he has had to struggle.

The recent modification of the Allied strategy of June, 1942, and reaffirmed at Casablanca, has been perfectly described by you as a great victory for the Australian point of view. [1] In this modification the Minister, by his insistence and pressure of the Australian and particularly your own point of view, has played a big part in influencing the decision of the Allies to fight the Japanese with strength and vigour equal to that used against our European enemies.

The Minister has supplemented the foregoing efforts by a close survey of supply and shipping. [2] I think it fair to say that his efforts will be followed in the near future by definite relaxation of the serious pressure on all Australian shipping. Throughout the Minister has adhered most loyally to the views of yourself and MacArthur and, in addition, has endeared himself to Churchill and Roosevelt. If the aircraft proposal goes through Coombs and I will be very proud to have been associated with a major Australian victory.

Pray accept my kind personal regards and best wishes.

1 See Document 197, note 1 and also Document 213.

2 See cablegrams E141-2 of 6 June and E160 of 12 June on file AA:A4764, 3.

[AA:A4764, 3]