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427 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr Winston Churchill, U.K. Prime Minister

Cablegram [Johcu 28] [1] CANBERRA, 20 March 1942

I told you in my telegram of 13th [2] that we did not desire
change at Washington and if new man of equal calibre could be
secured it would take time for him to establish himself and
therefore desirable that no approach be made to Casey [3] at the
present time. However, you persisted and in your telegram of March
13th [4] explained that while you were in America you had
discussed with Casey his desire for change and therefore had no
doubt that he would welcome the proposed appointment. I took this
as a plain statement that you wanted Casey and that Casey was
eager. You suggested that I could ask Menzies [5] to fill the gap
caused by Casey leaving Washington. I should be glad if you will
quote all my telegrams on this matter and I shall table yours of
the 12th and 13th and mine of the 13th and 14th with the addition
of my telegrams to Casey and his to me. [6] I may add that hours
prior to Casey cabling me from San Francisco his acceptance of
your offer the B.B.C. announced it to Australia. I learn what my
Minister has done from the world at large.

Finally I assure you that your personal part in this matter is
above reproach and I have no complaint whatever. You said that the
matter was personal to Casey. I told Casey the wishes of the
Australian Government to make no change but said that we would not
press him to remain in the service of Australia. He has chosen:

not you or us. Regards.


1 Inserted from the London copy in PRO:DO 35/1009, ii.

2 Document 409.

3 Minister to the United States.

4 Document 412.

5 Prime Minister 1939-41. He remained a member of the Advisory War

6 For details of the cablegrams tabled in the House of
Representatives and published in this volume see Document 431,
note 6.

[AA:A3195, 1942, 1.11693]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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