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265 Churchill to Evatt

Cablegram 235 [1] LONDON, 26 August 1943, 7.50 p.m.


Many thanks to you and W.S. [2] for your most kind messages which
I have conveyed to all addressees. [3]

2. I asked Mr Curtin to show you my telegram to him about my
liaison with General MacArthur [4] which I regard as important in
view of my being drawn increasingly into the war against Japan.

There will be no difficulty from the Americans.

3. The following is the result of my lengthy discussions with the
Secretary of State for Air.


(a) We propose to send you the air echelons for two R.A.F.

squadrons of Spitfires. Forty aircraft will be despatched from the
United Kingdom during November followed by seven aircraft per
month as wastage from December 1943 onwards in addition to the
fifteen per month already being despatched. Fifty pilots will be
sent to arrive with the forty aircraft. Thereafter should you so
wish we are prepared to send three pilots a month as replacement
for each of the three British squadrons that is in Australia
actively engaged in operations.

(b) I am sorry to say that acute shortage of manpower will prevent
our sending ground personnel with these squadrons. I am told
however that you are not likely to have great difficulty in
providing them from your resources and it seems appropriate that
just as your squadrons here are operated with R.A.F. ground
personnel so these two British squadrons in Australia will have
R.A.A.F. ground personnel.


I hope this will be satisfactory to you.

1 Sent through the U.K. Dominions Office.

2 W. S. Robinson.

3 Not found. Evatt sent many messages of good wishes,
congratulation and exhortation to members of what he termed the
'Old Timers' Club', an informal group of Australian, U.K. and U.S.

ministers and officials with whom he believed he had particularly
close rapport. The group, which was first mentioned during Evatt's
1942 overseas mission, included J. A. Beasley, W. S. Robinson, A.

S. V. Smith, Churchill, Brendan Bracken and John D. Hickerson and
Robert B. Stewart of the U.S. State Department. Copies of some of
the messages have survived on official files, but others were
probably conveyed verbally or through unofficial channels.

4 Document 264.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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