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439 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Sir Earle Page, Special Representative in the United Kingdom

Cablegram 48 CANBERRA, 24 March 1942, 9.25 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

1. The first five paragraphs of your P. 74 [1] miss the point of
my No. 47 [2] which was as follows:

(a) Paragraph 2 shows that according to your P. 64 [3] the
suggestion for the retention of the 9th Division originated from
the President. [4]

(b) Paragraph 3 shows that according to Dominions Office No. 311
[5] the President's message agreed to the proposal that had been
put to him.

(c) Paragraph 4 draws your attention to this difference and
indicates in view of the decisions already taken by the Australian
Government that the disposition of the A.I.F. is not a matter for
bilateral discussion between the Prime Minister of the United
Kingdom [6] and the President. It is one for the Pacific Council.

This is an illustration of our viewpoint on a Pacific Council in
Washington where we would have a direct contact with the
President. As indicated in my No. 47 no decision has been reached,
the matter having been referred to Evatt [7] for discussion with
the President.

2. I do not understand your references to Churchill and
concealment of his discussion with the President. No one made any
such suggestion. [8]

CURTIN

1 Document 436.

2 Document 429.

3 Document 402.

4 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5 See Document 428, note 1.

6 Winston Churchill.

7 See Document 435, note 5.

8 On 28 March Page entered hospital in London suffering from
bronchial pneumonia and on 30 March S. M. Bruce took over the
functions of Accredited Representative in the United Kingdom
pending Evatt's arrival in London.

After recovering from a long illness Page left London on 25 June
and returned to Australia, where he resumed duty as Country Party
M.H.R. for Cowper. He was co-opted to the Advisory War Council on
26 August.


[AA:A2937, FAR EAST POSITION 1942]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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