322 Mr V. G. Bowden, Official Representative in Singapore, to Department of External Affairs
Cablegram 125 SINGAPORE, 9 February 1942, 6.45 p.m.
CLEAR THE LINE PRIORITY S.O.S. MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET
(1) Command Headquarters reported at 15.40 hours Singapore time
confused fighting proceeding near Tengah aerodrome. They appear to
have no clear view of situation but 12th brigade has not yet been
committed. Boats have been seen descending Skudai creek and have
been engaged by A.I.F. artillery.
(2) Fitchett and Stokes (A.B.C. observers) are convinced final
Japanese assault will be made not later than Wednesday February
11th and see no hope such an assault can be held. The views of
these two men have been formed independently and are based
entirely on their assessment of military situation.
(3) It appears significant that February 11th is greatest Japanese
patriotic festival of the year namely anniversary of accession of
their first Emperor Jimmu and it can be taken as certain that they
will make a supreme effort to achieve capture of Singapore on this
(4) There is just possibility that I may have opportunity of
getting away with Wootton and Quinn  on a cargo steamer
tomorrow and I would appreciate immediate advice as to your views
in this connection. Should I not receive it before ship sails
however I propose using my own discretion basing my decision on
facts of situation as then known.
(5) Wootton would appreciate your communicating fore-going to
(6) Have destroyed all recyphering tables except E.A.2. It may be
necessary to destroy this at any time tomorrow but propose to
retain pages one to 20 with all indicators as long as possible.
[AA:A981, AUSTRALIA 237B]