Skip to main content

Historical documents

358 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States

Cablegram 40 CANBERRA, 22 February 1942


Your 330. [1] For President [2] from Prime Minister:-

Dear Mr. President,
It is heartening to us to have your message. We have known always
in any crisis of this nature that the United States of America
would stand with us in the way your message so eloquently

2. On our part and we hope without presumption we too have pledged
ourselves to the common cause, and, as you know, our forces have
fought in many distant theatres with a gallantry the world has
been good enough to admire.

3. We are now, with a small population in the only white man's
territory south of the equator, beset grievously. Because we have
added to our contribution in manpower so much of our resources and
materials we now lack adequacy for the forces of our homeland in
the defence of our own soil.

4. You have indicated an appreciation of the gravity of out
responsibilities in reaching a decision on the matter referred to
in your message. It has affected us profoundly. As we see the
whole problem, our vital centres are in immediate danger. This is
the reason and the only reason for the reply we have sent to Mr.

Churchill, which we now quote in full for your information:-

(Here follows cablegram to Dominions Office-No. 136. [3])


1 Document 355.

2 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

3 Published as Document 357 It was repeated to Casey as no 41. See
the copy in Franklin D. Roosevelt Library: President's Secretary's
file. Australia diplomatic.

[AA:A3196, 1942, 0.5404]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top