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

Cablegram 343 WASHINGTON, 22 February 1942, 11.44 p.m.


President asks me to transmit following message to the Prime

Begins-Thank you for yours of February 21st. [1]

I fully understand your position in spite of the fact that I
cannot wholly agree as to immediate need of first returning
division in [sic] Australia. I think that the principal threat as
against the main bases of Australia and Burma, both of which must
be held at all costs, is against Burma or the left flank, and that
we can safely hold the Australian or right flank. Additional
American fully equipped reinforcements are getting ready to leave
for your area.

In view of all this and depending of course on developments of
next few weeks I hope you will consider the possibility of
diverting second returning division to some place in India or
Burma to help hold that line so that it can become a fixed
defence. Under any circumstances you can depend upon our fullest
support. Roosevelt. Ends.


1 Document 358, which was received in Washington on 21 February.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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