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

Cablegram 75 WASHINGTON, 13 January 1942, 11.43 p.m.

Reference your telegram 67. [1]

My discussion with Churchill on night of Jan. Loth lasted for four
hours and I can assure you that all aspects of the subject were
covered. In accordance with your telegram 54 [2] I based my
representations on the principles in your telegram 37 [3] and
repeated them at intervals during conversation. Churchill
suggested various ways in which effect could be given to them and
[in the course] [4] of so doing he repeated [all the material] in
his various telegrams to Prime Minister [5], which I thought it
unnecessary to repeat to you. The contents of my telegram 64 [6]
sought to summarise the general line of his reaction to what I put
forward. Para. 5 of my telegram 64 represented that part of
Churchill's replies and arguments that had not been said by him
before. You said in your telegram 54 to stick to principles and
not to discuss machinery. I complied with this although this did
not stop Churchill from discussing machinery. In the course of
this he referred to Page's [7] position in London and to his
(Churchill's) belief that this gave Australia adequate opportunity
to impress the Australian view on London War Cabinet in connection
with any request from Wavell. [8] I did not argue this, in
accordance with para. 5 of your tel. 54. He (Churchill) then went
on to discuss another possibility that is the setting up of
another consultative body as in para. 5 of my tel. 64. This
represented a small part of a long conversation. The gist of this
discussion was to the effect that he (Churchill) insisted on
Wavell's recommendations and requests being analysed and reported
on by British Chiefs of Staff prior to consideration by British
War Cabinet. The President insisted on the same procedure in
Washington. This meant consideration in London and Washington.

Reference specific questions in your tel. 67, I did not put this
possibility forward. Churchill raised it as something that might
be in your mind although he realised that you had not specifically
requested it. He did not dwell particularly on it and I did not
pursue it. I do not believe that his canvassing of this
possibility amongst others was intended as in your last sentence.


1 Document 270.

2 Document 265.

3 Document 260.

4 Words in square brackets have been corrected/inserted from the
Washington copy on file AA:A3300, 219.

5 John Curtin. See Documents 254-5.

6 Document 268.

7 Special Representative in the United Kingdom.

8 See Document 252, note 4.

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