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256 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs

Cablegram unnumbered WASHINGTON, 4 January 1942, 3.48 a.m.


Reference paragraphs 1 and 2 of your personal telegram No. 4. [1]

(1) I can entirely appreciate your point of view regarding the
method in which negotiations have been carried on. During the past
few weeks I have left no shadow of doubt in the minds of
Roosevelt, Churchill and the others concerned of the Commonwealth
Government's firm view that it should be independently represented
at all important discussions.

(2) The reaction has invariably been that if I were brought into
active discussions it would be impossible to refuse the same thing
to other British Dominion Representatives as well as the Dutch and
probably Chinese and Russian representatives, which would militate
against free discussion and quick decision, and that the existence
of such a relatively large body would make more than ever
necessary private meetings between the President and Mr.

Churchill. Whether this is valid argument or not, it has been
strongly held and there are limits beyond which I believe I cannot
go in advancing arguments to the British Prime Minister without
impairing my future ability to approach him and his Chiefs of
Staff freely which (I believe alone of all other representatives
here) I now have.

(3) Churchill lives and works in the White House and discusses
military, air, naval and supply matters in connection with all
theatres of war with the President at all hours of the day and
night. The British Ambassador [2] and the Secretary of State [3]
are not in on the discussions. The American and British Chiefs of
Staff are in constant session day and night, broken only when they
meet for discussion with the President and/or Churchill. I see the
American and British Chiefs of Staff individually as often as
possible, usually early in the morning or late at night. I have
good entree to them all and I have no difficulty in seeing them
other than that of their constant staff conferences.

(4) Reference your paragraph (3). The declaration was dealt with
partly by the State Department and partly by the White House and
there was no official information available apart from the first
draft and final draft. Intermediate information that I sent you
was what I managed to get from individuals concerned at one or
other places. A great many amendments were submitted by the
various Governments including several by the British Government
('in set grouping', 'high contracting parties' and 'free French as
the original signatory' and several others) which found no place
in the final text. The question of India was decided towards the
end between the President and Churchill alone. The President was
much opposed to the strict alphabetical listing (my telegram 1228
[4] and my telegram 1242 [5]) by reason of his belief that it
would offend China and Russia.

(5) Your paragraph (4) mutilated. Please confirm agreeable or not.

(6) Reference your paragraph (5) I have read with astonishment of
the almost 'daily reports of interviews' with me in the Press.

Like other representatives here, I am of course approached every
day by the Press for information but I have always been
scrupulously careful to speak only in brief general and non-
political terms on current matters and to avoid comment, and have
most certainly expressed no opinions which could in any way be
regarded as contrary to the opinions of the Government. I have
never advocated abandonment of the Philippines and would much
appreciate information as to any such remarks attributed to me
together with the date and name of the paper so that I can take up
the matter immediately at this end for my own future protection.

Bailey [6] has kept in close touch with this Legation in recent
weeks and is fully aware of the Government's policy. He is
impressed with the necessity for ensuring complete identity
between the policy of the Government and the work of the
Information Bureau.

(7) Reference your paragraph (6). Enquiry today shows that the
only material received by the Bureau from Australia was A.A.P.

messages, short-wave wireless news and the Prime Minister's [7]
proposed statement on Unity of Command forwarded to Bailey by the
Department of Information en clair on 31st December. In accordance
with instructions, the Prime Minister's statement was not released
until today immediately after the White House had issued the
statement on Unity of Command. No releases were issued by the
Bureau on the Prime Minister's statement referred to by you nor
did the Bureau in any way inspire comment on the statement which
appeared in some sections of the American Press. The Sydney
Morning Herald however cabled from Australia to its representative
in the United States long extracts from their editorials which
were highly critical of the statement. Although these were
available to Bailey, he did not of course use them in any way and
strongly advised against their release in America in any form.

(8) Your paragraph (7). I compiled my telegram 1220 [8] (sent on
26th December) replying to your telegram 164 [9] (received 26th
December) after long discussions with the British Chief of the Air
Staff [10] and others, and it represented all relevant replies and
information that could be supplied from British sources here.

(9) I hope that I need not assure you of my constant day and night
concern with what are obviously vital Australian interests
particularly at this time. On most occasions I am able to see
Churchill himself about the Prime Minister's and your messages
although on some detailed naval, military and air matters it is
sometimes more useful to see the appropriate members of his Chiefs
of Staff. Even then they have not always got complete information
on which to give specific replies on all matters.

And additionally I would say that I have not, in these recent
weeks, addressed myself entirely to the British. I have constantly
represented the south-west Pacific situation to the Chiefs of
Staff of the U.S. Army, Navy and Army-Air. I believe I am right in
saying that these representations have not been without their
influence on the volume and speed of U.S. air and other
reinforcements that are on their way.


1 Document 250.

2 Lord Halifax.

3 Cordell Hull.

4 Document 236.

5 See Document 246, note 1.

6 Director, Australian News and Information Bureau, New York.

7 John Curtin.

8 Document 230.

9 Document 226.

10 Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Portal.

[AA:A3195, 1942, 1.513]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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