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280 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr V. G. Bowden, Official Representative in Singapore

Cablegram 27 CANBERRA, 18 January 1942


You will take immediate steps to procure full daily or more
frequent reports of activities of A.I.F. in Malaya. If necessary
you will obtain information from Fitchett [1] or other sources and
you will communicate it to myself for the information of the Prime
Minister. [2] You will pay particular attention to the amount of
air support and mechanised support which is made available to
Australian forces. Any comments that are based on the facts may be
of value to us.

2. I have just seen your telegram No. 46 [3] re rubber. You do not
quote authority for your dogmatic statement that unless we agree
as stated in your sixth sentence, we will lose shipment

I presume you are speaking on someone's behalf in making such
statement and also statement in third sentence. On whose behalf is
it that you are speaking? I am not directly interested in the
problem of supply, but I must insist that you do everything
possible for the benefit of Australia. Our Minister for Supply [4]
is struggling night and day to increase supplies for Australia and
it is your primary duty to go to all lengths to help him.

3. Your comments on the earlier stages of the war were of value to
us and I want you to appreciate that we are having a great
struggle to see that the Japanese war is given its proper place in
the scheme of defence reinforcement and supply.


1 Official war correspondent attached to the 8th Division.

2 John Curtin.

3 Dispatched 17 January (AA:A3830, 1942, 273). It stated that
movement of rubber by convoy ships was possible, but that rubber
made available to Australia would be shipped by the first
available vessel, regardless of which Australian port the vessel
was bound for.

4 J. A. Beasley.

[AA:A981, WAR 42]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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