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398 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr J. M. McMillan, Third Secretary of the Legation in Washington

Cablegram SW7 CANBERRA, 8 March 1942


To be decyphered by McMillan.

Personal to Frankfurter [1] alone from Minister.

1. Largely as a result of the messages from the President [2] and
yourself [3] we made an offer to London to allocate temporarily to
Ceylon certain of our A.I.F. troops. For this Churchill has
expressed gratitude. I am sure you also will be pleased.

2. Knowing your friendship with Casey [4], I have asked him to
discuss with you the embarrassment which may result from facts
stated in cable SW.6. [5]

3. Governments of Australia and New Zealand are in entire
agreement as to the machinery for strategic control of the Anzac
area including land territories. They have asked Churchill to
recommend the plan for immediate adoption to the President.

4. We are dissatisfied with the operation of the present machinery
which, in our view, helped to cause the fiasco in the A.B.D.A.


5. I most earnestly request you to exercise your powerful
influence in favour of the plan which, of course, could be
modified to some extent if King [6] is as jealous of his authority
as is suggested in the cables.

6. The President need not fear the slightest embarrassment from
Australian and New Zealand representatives on the proposed
Washington Council. We realise his responsibilities and desire
only that we should have the advantage of occasional consultation
on a round table basis. He would surely be assisted by our
knowledge of conditions in a theatre of war so distant from
yourselves and so near to us.

7. New Zealand and ourselves are greatly in need of fighter
aircraft, high octane fuel, anti-aircraft guns, ammunition and
radio direction equipment. I believe that the situation is so
serious that thought should be given to overcome the normal voyage
delays by sending fighters by aircraft carrier from Honolulu.

8. General Bennett's personal report of Japanese tactics and
morale in Malaya and Singapore [7] shows that if we are given this
equipment rapidly we shall be able to smash the enemy in this
theatre of war and perhaps turn the balance in favour of the
Allies more quickly than might be expected. In short, the Anzac
area, though gravely threatened at the moment, may give us a great
opportunity to hasten ultimate victory. The spirit of the people
of Australia and New Zealand is indomitable. All they need is
further equipment.

9. I am sure that in this crisis you will understand this request
for your intervention.

10. It seems possible that I may see you shortly while en route to
London. [8]


1 Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

2 Franklin D. Roosevelt's messages are published as Documents 355
and 363.

3 See Documents 356 and 383.

4 Minister to the United States.

5 Document 396.

6 Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Navy.

7 See Document 397, note 10.

8 Frankfurter replied on 10 March: 'You know how deeply anxious I
am to help within the limits of my qualifications. I think I can
assure you quite on my own that your proposals will receive the
most sympathetic and impartial consideration here.' See cablegram
S4 in Flinders University Library: Evatt Papers, Evatt, H. V.


[AA:A981, WAR 41B]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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