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249 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 9 WASHINGTON, 2 January 1942, 3.01 a.m.

Churchill (in Ottawa) and British Chiefs of Staffs (in Washington)
received Prime Minister's telegrams No. 166 [1] and 167 on
December 30th and contents of 169 and 171 [2] on December 31st.

Churchill and Chiefs of Staff conferred on abovementioned
telegrams today and are continuing tomorrow. Reference paragraphs
5 and 6 of my telegram 1240 [3] and Prime Minister's telegram 24,
I saw United States Secretary of Navy [5] and United States Chief
of Naval Operations [6] and British Chiefs [of Staff] [7] on this
matter, and have asked to see Churchill tomorrow.

Admiral King was made Commander-in-Chief of United States Fleet in
all oceans on
December 30th and it is generally hoped and believed here that he
will produce more forceful naval leadership. As I have advised you
before, United States Navy since December 7th until now has been
defensive and non-belligerent to the dismay of United States Army
and the British. United States Army in particular has keenest
interest in maintaining air reinforcement and sea transport route
to Australia, and I am playing this card hard.

Prime Minister's telegram 2 will be tremendously useful and I will
pursue actively.


1 Document 237.

2 See Document 237, notes 5 and 6.

3 Document 243.

4 See Document 247, note 3.

5 Colonel Franklin Knox.

6 Admiral Harold R. Stark.

7 Inserted from the Washington copy on file AA:A3300, 219.

[AA:A981, WAR 54]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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