271 Dixon to Curtin and Evatt

Cablegram S101 (extract) WASHINGTON, 4 September 1943, 5.30 p.m.



I saw Churchill this morning at the White House and gave him the message concerning the Spitfire squadrons (No. 155 to Ottawa [1]) and that concerning Mrs. Roosevelt's programme (No. 1056 [2]). He expressed great pleasure at the former and gave directions that it should be transmitted to the Minister of Air. The latter he at once sent in to the President.

He said that he assumed that the result of the elections meant the removal of political difficulties [3] and he expressed a hope that it might be possible for Mr. Curtin now to come to see him, adding that he himself would like to come to Australia but clearly it would be impossible for him to do so before Germany was finished.

He spoke with regret of the difficulty of sending British forces to the war in the Pacific but said that when the state of hostilities in Europe permitted they would be concentrated against Japan. He mentioned the message he had sent describing what was intended as a result of the Quebec meeting. [4] He said that the news he was now receiving [5] led him to think that it would be better for him to remain on this side longer than he had expected, that if he and the President were together decisions could be taken without delay as events demanded, instead of messages flittering backwards and forwards, and he observed that it was an illustration of the impossibility of carrying on the war taking all the United Nations into consultation by telegraph before deciding steps to be taken.

[The text of a press statement issued after the meeting has been omitted.]

1 Dispatched 2 September (FA:A3196, 1943, 0.24144). It conveyed Curtin's thanks to Churchill for the allocation of the additional R.A.F. squadrons referred to in Document 265.

2 Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt made a goodwill visit to Australia during September 1943 with the particular objects of visiting U.S. forces and inspecting Australian war activities. Cablegram 1056 has not been found, but it probably conveyed a similar message to Evatt's cablegram 1055 to Cordell Hull of 4 September (FA:A3196, 1943, 0.24351), which reported Mrs Roosevelt's arrival in Canberra.

3 See Document 264, note 3.

4 See Document 261, note 3.

5 Allied landings in mainland Italy began on 3 September.

[AA:A3300, 261]