66 Curtin to Churchill

Cablegram Johcu 43 [1] CANBERRA, 29 October 1942

MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

Thank you for the information contained in Winch 26. [2] We are glad to be associated with the forces of the Empire and the United Nations in what it is hoped will be a decisive blow to the enemy in the Middle East.

2. It is of vital importance to us to get back the 9th Division as soon as possible, in view of the situation in the South-West and South Pacific Areas. In our plans and dispositions we are relying on the Division being returned in good shape and strength. Mr Bruce has been requested to ensure that the Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, is fully aware of the position and the Government's wishes, and he has asked the Chief of the General Staff to inform the Commander-in-Chief accordingly. [3]

3. I would greatly appreciate your personal interest in ensuring the fullest co-operation by all concerned in meeting the various requests that have been made relating to the return of this Division. [4]

CURTIN

1 Repeated to Bruce as no. 9941.

2 Dispatched 28 October. On file AA:A4763. It praised the role of the 9th Division in the opening stages of 'what may be an event of the first magnitude' (i.e. the Battle of El Alamein, in which German forces were driven out of Egypt).

3 See Document 64 and note 4 thereto.

4 Churchill replied on 30 October (see cablegram Winch 27 on the file cited above): 'I understand your wishes and assure you of my personal interest in the question. Bruce will have informed you of instructions sent to Alexander on 23rd October.'

[AA:A4763]