276 Churchill to Curtin

Cablegram Winch 6 LONDON, 11 September 1944, 12.15 a.m.


1. Thank you for your JOHCU 82. [1]

We are now on our way to discuss the whole question of strategy for the war against Japan with the President and United States Chiefs of Staff.

2. Reference your paragraphs 3 and 4. The proposal that we put to the United States Chiefs of Staff appears to have been completely misunderstood. There has never been any suggestion of taking away Australian troops from General MacArthur. On the contrary, we have suggested sending to Australia a British Naval force which would be combined with the Australian and New Zealand air forces already on the spot into a British Dominion task force under General MacArthur's direct command.

3. Reference your paragraph 5, you will remember that when you were in England we told you and General Blamey how our minds were working. In any event I cannot admit that even in this instance there should have been any departure from the practice whereby plans for British-American forces including Dominion and British controlled forces are drawn up by the Combined Chiefs of Staff without previous reference to the various Governments whose forces are included in the plan. Any other system would lead to almost innumerable people being brought into consultation before any plan could be settled. The readiness of all Dominion Governments to accept this system has been much appreciated. It has, I am sure you will agree, given to higher direction of our affairs a coherence which would otherwise have been lacking.

4. I will let you know the result of our combined discussions at earliest. Every good wish.

1 Document 265.

[AA:A5954, BOX 560]