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

Cablegram 103 CANBERRA, 22 January 1942


1. There is great resentment here at speech of Knox and it is
satisfactory to note his reassurance that there will be no
slackening of American effort in relation to Pacific war. [1]

2. Knox can give an earnest by getting rid of Hart. [2] From all
reports we have received he is quite unsuitable for job because of
his age and defeatist outlook.

3. Does President [3] know that contribution of United States to
Anzac area will be only one unit out of seventeen? I can hardly
believe he would approve of so insignificant a contribution.

4. Admiral Colvin's [4] comment on Anzac area is as follows:

Quote: It is as if a British admiral were to exercise command of
the United States fleet from his flagship in an American port and
to be responsible not to the United States Government but to a
British commander-in-chief. Only a properly staffed admiralty or
navy office can control the many-sided activities of naval
operations. Unquote. Further, he feels that most serious
consideration is required before placing our war-tested ships
under a command not tried in war.

5. I feel that the root of the cause of the unsatisfactory
disposition is the fact that Australia has not been accorded equal
representation on the supreme joint body and that if this is not
agreed to by private negotiation public discussion and public
criticism will force the issue both in the United Kingdom and the
United States.

6. I hope that Bailey [5] is seized with the importance of these
matters. He must not be surprised that there is a great
dissatisfaction here at the functioning of the Information
Department in the United States.


1 The Sydney Morning Herald had reported on 14 January (P. 9) that
the U.S. Secretary of the Navy had told an American audience that
'the battle of the Atlantic ... was still the most important
struggle of the war' and warned them not to expect 'favourable,
dramatic developments of triumphant American full-scale naval
engagements in the Pacific in the near future'.

2 Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet.

3 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

4 Chief of the Naval Staff until July 1941 and later naval adviser
to S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom.

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

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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