467 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr Clement Attlee, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
Cablegram 252  CANBERRA, 17 April 1942
IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET
For Prime Minister  from Prime Minister.
I wish to let you know with what uneasiness we learnt of the
sinking by air attack of the DORSETSHIRE and CORNWALL, which is
now followed by the sinking of the HERMES.  These unfortunate
happenings have been the subject of prolonged and anxious
discussion by War Cabinet and Advisory War Council , and they
raise such vital questions that we feel constrained to ask you for
full information as to the cause of them and for an appreciation
of the United Kingdom, United States and Japanese position in
regard to aircraft carriers, types of aircraft carried and views
held as to relative efficiency of the aircraft and personnel. We
would also ask for a statement of the United Kingdom's immediate
and long-range policy for combating the Japanese naval forces.
2. We share with you the anxiety at the repeated naval losses
which have been sustained through lack of air support, and I
should be grateful to have information and advice on this vital
matter as early as possible.