30 Evatt to Dixon

Cablegram 105 CANBERRA, 25 January 1944, 11.40 p.m.

IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

For the Minister from Dr Evatt.

Please convey the following message from the Prime Minister to the President.

Begins.

In the Australian press of 20th January a report is published of an interview with Rear Admiral Robert Carney, Chief of Staff, South Pacific forces, in which he states that the next objectives of the forces in the south and south west Pacific areas are Rabaul and Kavieng.

2. The Australian Government views with concern authoritative public statements of this nature on plans of operations with which its own naval, land and air forces are associated. The only information which the Government receives on these plans is that which is given to me as the Prime Minister by the Commander in Chief, South West Pacific Area, in the strictest secrecy. Apart from the value to the enemy of such authoritative public statements and the consequent additional risk to our forces it is embarrassing that officers should speak in public on matters of this nature on which the head of the Government is precluded from making any statement.

3. Under the Commander in Chief's Directive [1] he alone is authorised to issue communiques and it is considered an instruction should be issued prohibiting other officers from making statements on plans for future operations.

4. I am communicating a copy of this message to General MacArthur for his information.

5. The Government and the people of Australia are glad to learn that you have recovered from your recent illness and have been able to resume your responsible task. I hope that your great endeavours will be crowned this year with decisive military victories.

JOHN CURTIN

1 See part 4 of Evatt's cablegram S22 of 3-4 April 1942 on file AA: A981, War 33, Attachment C.

[AA:A3300/T1, 1944, WAR: U.S.B.C. SPECIAL COMS TO THE PRESIDENT]