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221 Robinson to Curtin

Cablegram E155 WASHINGTON, 12 June 1943, 6.18 a.m.


On the eve of our departure for London I feel I should report to
you on the progress made towards satisfying the major
entrusted by you to Dr Evatt's care. Those of paramount importance
to Australia were, firstly, the supply of equipment needed to
permit of the expansion of the R.A.A.F. over a long term programme
and, secondly, the modification of Allied global strategy to
ensure that the war in the Pacific would from now on be waged with
equal vigour and determination as had heretofore been the case in
Europe and Africa.

I believe that the Minister will succeed in securing the supply of
aircraft. His success appeared to be impossible. He has had
tremendous difficulties to surmount. I have been aware throughout
his negotiations, which have been pressed continuously and firmly
and with the utmost goodwill, that no matter how great may have
been the President's desire to meet Evatt's request, the Services
have been definitely opposed to any more aircraft going to the
South West Pacific than those which already had been allocated.

The Services' opposition has been maintained up almost to the very
finish of the negotiations. However, the President, supplemented
by the happy support of Winston Churchill, now seems likely to
give the Minister the success he so strictly deserved. I, who
could do little more than give the Minister sympathy and share his
anxiety, know the extent of the strain under which he has had to

The recent modification of the Allied strategy of June, 1942, and
reaffirmed at Casablanca, has been perfectly described by you as a
great victory for the Australian point of view. [1] In this
modification the Minister, by his insistence and pressure of the
Australian and particularly your own point of view, has played a
big part in influencing the decision of the Allies to fight the
Japanese with strength and vigour equal to that used against our
European enemies.

The Minister has supplemented the foregoing efforts by a close
survey of supply and shipping. [2] I think it fair to say that his
efforts will be followed in the near future by definite relaxation
of the serious pressure on all Australian shipping. Throughout the
Minister has adhered most loyally to the views of yourself and
MacArthur and, in addition, has endeared himself to Churchill and
Roosevelt. If the aircraft proposal goes through Coombs and I will
be very proud to have been associated with a major Australian

Pray accept my kind personal regards and best wishes.

1 See Document 197, note 1 and also Document 213.

2 See cablegrams E141-2 of 6 June and E160 of 12 June on file
AA:A4764, 3.

[AA:A4764, 3]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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