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Historical documents

151 Curtin to Evatt

Letter CANBERRA, 1 April 1943



With further reference to my letter of 29th March [1] and Section
2 of the statement prepared for you [2], I desire to inform you
that I am in receipt of most secret advice from General MacArthur
that the following additional planes will be made available to the
South-West Pacific Area:

524 combat type
336 non-combat type.

General MacArthur also stated that, in addition, two divisions of
ground troops will be provided, but the whole of this assistance
is conditional upon the availability of shipping. I have asked
General MacArthur to advise whether we are correct in assuming
that the above figures are additional to the 654 aircraft to be
supplied to the R.A.A.F. by 31st December, 1943, under the 45
squadron plan. You might also clear this point for yourself, in

2. General MacArthur has suggested that you should aim at
obtaining aircraft to the R.A.A.F. programme of 72 squadrons.

This, as you are aware, was cut down to the provision of 45
squadrons by the end of 1943. General MacArthur suggests that the
aircraft for the further expansion of the R.A.A.F. should come
from the allotment made to the United Kingdom from the United
States, and he urges that you should press this point of view with
Mr. Churchill, while at the same time unceasingly reiterating the
general argument that has been put forward by the Australian
Government and the Commander-in-Chief.

3. General MacArthur has stated that he will be glad to go over
the situation with you while you are in Brisbane, and adds that he
expects Lieutenant-General Kenney and Major-General Sutherland to
be back in Brisbane next week. [3]


1 On file AA:MP1217, box 474, visit abroad of Dr H. V. Evatt . . .


2 On the file cited in note 1. Section 2 dealt with earlier
representations for the allocation of additional aircraft to the
South-West Pacific Area and included copies of the cablegrams
published as Documents 105, 139 and 143.

3 See Document 138, note 3.

[AA:MP1217, BOX 474, VISIT ABROAD OF DR H. V. EVATT . . . 1943]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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