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443 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom

Cablegram 44 WASHINGTON, 26 March 1942


(1) In view of Australia's most serious position, suggest fully
equipped aircraft be shipped to Australia in far greater
quantities and at much quicker rates by all possible methods
including aircraft carriers. I feel that slow shipment of
Beaufighters will cause painful (reaction) as delivery has been
delayed far beyond schedule. To speak of ten aircraft per mensem
in existing conditions is like giving massage treatment to a
patient suffering from pneumonia. We must draw on our capital and
supplies now made available could be taken as part of our future

(2) Similarly in regard to R.A.A.F. personnel in the United
Kingdom. It is (difficult) for Australia to make suggestions but
United Kingdom Government now should be disposed to make a special
effort to cover Australian air defence in the next few months.

(3) I believe very short period ahead of us will determine whether
our country will be overrun and I entirely disagree with view that
full scale invasion is unlikely. On all munitions requirements,
speed is essential contract and it might well prove that supplies
delivered in the immediate future will be of much greater benefit
than greater quantities delivered later.

(4) Could you please try and persuade Churchill that in special
emergency he should make some immediate sacrifice out of United
Kingdom resources to protect two of His Majesty's Dominions from
violation by the enemy. If he does so he will be saviour of
Australia and New Zealand. Please also approach other Ministers
including Attlee [1] and Lyttelton [2] and any others who might be
in a position to assist.

Best wishes,


1 U.K. Dominions Secretary.

2 U.K. Minister of Production.

[AA:M100, MARCH 1942]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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