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24 Evatt to King

Cablegram SW80 CANBERRA, 14 August 1942


Personal for Admiral King to be given to himself alone from Dr.


1. Despite losses almost inevitable in so daring an operation [1],
your Solomon attack has captured the imagination of all our people
and whatever the precise result, the attempt will be another
turning point in the war against Japan comparable to your
successes at Coral Sea and Midway.

2. I feel it is probable that the enemy will soon attempt some
spectacular counter blow, and probably at the mainland of

3. Would be deeply obliged if you could reassess the air strength
in and aircraft deliveries to MacArthur's area, having regard to
the rapidly changing situation. Brett has gone back. I believe
that through your efforts in London a greater allocation is coming
Pacificwards but it is difficult to gauge prospects of early
deliveries especially latest types machines and there is
accordingly some anxiety and criticism from MacArthur's precincts.

4. I know you will now be assessing analogous situation in
Solomons area, and therefore hope you reassess also MacArthur's
area, so as to make vital strategic bases here, at any rate,
secure against large scale invasion.

5. Matter is of global importance because in the event of
invasion, Britain has pledged herself to cut losses in the Middle
East and concentrate here. That contingency would be disastrous
for United Nations and therefore delivery here of substantial
reinforcements of aircraft now would be effectual, and, in the
long run, most economical measure.

6. As you know, our Naval strength here is small, and anything
[sic] may depend upon rapid reinforcements.

7. This message is a sincere friendly greeting to you. Any reply
may be addressed to myself through the same person. [2]

1 U.S. forces had landed on Guadalcanal and Tulagi on 7 August,
but in a naval action off Savo Island on the night of 8-9 August
the Allies had lost four heavy cruisers including H.M.A.S.


2 King replied on 17 August reciprocating Evatt's greetings and
pointing out that the question of air strength in the Pacific was
under almost daily consideration by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff. See
cablegram S100 on file AA:A981, War 33, attachment C.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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