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468 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister

Cablegram ES4 WASHINGTON, 18 April 1942, 2 a.m.


(1) The two main purposes for which we came here namely:

(a) The establishment and immediate functioning of Pacific
Council, and
(b) The adoption of a plan of assignment of the flow of munitions,
particularly aircraft, to Australia
have now been substantially accomplished.

(2) The time has now come to move on to London to represent your
views to War Cabinet meetings. Accordingly we plan to leave about
Wednesday next, April 22nd.

(3) I am hopeful, that, despite the position in India and Burma
and elsewhere and the proposed new offensive [1], we will obtain
from United Kingdom a number of high performance modern fighters.

(4) I have received two messages from England that Churchill is
anxious that I should proceed to London as quickly as possible.

[2] President Roosevelt and Mackenzie King [3] both agree.

(5) Smart [4] arrived here today and I have already conferred with
him and long conference tomorrow. After my departure and until the
arrival of the new Minister, Watt [5] will act as Charge
d'Affaires and I think that he, rather than Smart or Glasgow [6],
should attend any Council meetings. I shall attend meeting on
Tuesday next. Dixon [7] should be able to attend meeting fortnight

(6) Dixon should arrive here at earliest possible moment. His
presence should ensure the follow-up of all decisions of principle
as to flow of supplies to which I refer in a separate telegram.


(7) Dixon will sit on Council and on my return from London I could
again represent the Government on the Council before returning

(8) All my experience confirms your decision that a senior
Minister should regularly visit here. The results have been very
satisfactory and most friendly relationships established not only
with political and military leaders, but with those administrators
further down the line whose active goodwill is equally essential.

(9) Thanks for your kind personal message [9]; best wishes from
all four of us.

(10) Since drafting above message have received your telegram
P.M.46 [10] suggesting my remaining here until after Monday's
Conference. I am preparing separate telegram on this subject. [11]

1 In northern Europe.

2 One of these messages is published as Document 454. The other is
possibly cablegram E7, referred to in Document 449, note 9.

3 Canadian Prime Minister.

4 Head of Australian Military Mission to Combined Chiefs of Staff,

5 First Secretary of the Legation in Washington.

6 High Commissioner in Canada.

7 On 15 April Full Cabinet had appointed Sir Owen Dixon (justice
of the High Court) as Minister to the United States (see AA:A2703,
vol. 10). Curtin advised Evatt on 19 April that it was
impracticable for Dixon to leave Australia for at least a month
and that War Cabinet wished Evatt to stay on in Washington until
the new command was functioning thoroughly (see cablegram SW27 on
file AA:A4764, 1).

8 See cablegram ES8 of 18 April on file AA:A4764, 2.

9 Not found.

10 See Document 469, note 1.

11 See Document 469

[AA:A4764, 2]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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