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147 Dixon to Curtin and Evatt

Cablegram S61 WASHINGTON, 29 March 1943, 3.13 a.m.


Reference Prime Minister's Department telegram 49. [1] Following
reply to the Prime Minister's message has just been received from
the White House:-

Begins: Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I have your message regarding additional aircraft for the South
West Pacific which was submitted to me by Sir Owen Dixon on March

Within the last few days General MacArthur has been informed of
the aircraft to be allocated to the South West Pacific theatre in
1943. [2] They represent the maximum that could be made after
weighing the needs of all theatres in which our forces are
employed. Actually there has recently been an upward revision of
the number of aircraft allocated to the South West Pacific over
what had previously been considered possible. A very considerable
increase has been made in number of transport planes.

In your message you point out the Japanese capability of massing
1,500 to 2,000 aircraft in the South West Pacific theatre. I feel
the United Nations have even greater capabilities. Past experience
has indicated the feasibility of the South-West Pacific and South
Pacific Areas being mutually supporting in the use of their
available aircraft. For some months past we have held the
initiative. This forces the Japanese to meet our concentrations
and reduces the likelihood of their being able to create sizable
concentrations of their own. The strategical importance of the
gallant battle the forces of our two countries are waging in the
South West Pacific is fully appreciated by me and every effort
will be made to provide the necessary aircraft. However, the
necessity of balancing our resources throughout all theatres, in
line with our strategy and limitations imposed by a shortage of
shipping, prevents our allocating to any one theatre the total
force we should like it to have. Roosevelt.



1 See Document 139, note 1.

2 The allocations provided for the dispatch of a further 715
aircraft to the South-West Pacific Area by 1 October. This would
bring the Area's allocation to 144 heavy bombers, 171 medium
bombers, 171 light bombers, 375 single-seat fighters, 50 multi-
seat fighters, 84 Army cooperation aircraft, 234 transport
aircraft and 48 photographic reconnaissance aircraft. No increase
was made in the R.A.A.F.'s allocation, since it was considered it
would be difficult enough for the R.A.A.F. to man the 45 squadrons
already scheduled for development in 1943. See Dixon's cablegram
S69 of 4 April on file AA:A3300, 258.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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