Skip to main content

Historical documents

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

Cablegram 116 CANBERRA, 27 January 1942


Your 149. [1] You will have appreciated from earlier cablegrams
that our anxiety has been about what has been excluded from the
A.B.D.A. area and the American Pacific Naval zone.

2. It does not help us to be assured that General Marshall [2] is
sound on the importance of the A.B.D.A. [area]. We are concerned
about the strengthening of Australian defence and the adjacent
islands, both of which are not in the A.B.D.A. area, and an
increase in the forces in the Anzac Naval area.

3. We do not agree that the determination of allotment of
reinforcements is a matter for Wavell [3], who has authority to
concern himself with adjacent areas and whom Marshall considers
should be given a free hand. This view is added confirmation of
the need for a Pacific War Council on the lines we suggest. The
fulfilment of this objective is what you should aim to assist.

4. In regard to Marshall's warning about secrecy of operations,
this information was received by us from a source other than
yourself and has been treated with the greatest secrecy.

5. It is important that you should use the utmost discretion in
discussing messages for the President [4] with his technical

6. With reference to No. 151 [5], the JOHCU cablegrams are a
series of personal messages between Prime Ministers. Your
statement that representatives of British Chiefs of Staff would
get copies is surprising. Advise if this has occurred.

1 Document 305
2 Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.

3 Allied Supreme Commander of the A.B.D.A. Area.

4 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5 Document 307.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top