Skip to main content

Historical documents

271 Dixon to Curtin and Evatt

Cablegram S101 (extract) WASHINGTON, 4 September 1943, 5.30 p.m.



I saw Churchill this morning at the White House and gave him the
message concerning the Spitfire squadrons (No. 155 to Ottawa [1])
and that concerning Mrs. Roosevelt's programme (No. 1056 [2]). He
expressed great pleasure at the former and gave directions that it
should be transmitted to the Minister of Air. The latter he at
once sent in to the President.

He said that he assumed that the result of the elections meant the
removal of political difficulties [3] and he expressed a hope that
it might be possible for Mr. Curtin now to come to see him, adding
that he himself would like to come to Australia but clearly it
would be impossible for him to do so before Germany was finished.

He spoke with regret of the difficulty of sending British forces
to the war in the Pacific but said that when the state of
hostilities in Europe permitted they would be concentrated against
Japan. He mentioned the message he had sent describing what was
intended as a result of the Quebec meeting. [4] He said that the
news he was now receiving [5] led him to think that it would be
better for him to remain on this side longer than he had expected,
that if he and the President were together decisions could be
taken without delay as events demanded, instead of messages
flittering backwards and forwards, and he observed that it was an
illustration of the impossibility of carrying on the war taking
all the United Nations into consultation by telegraph before
deciding steps to be taken.

[The text of a press statement issued after the meeting has been

1 Dispatched 2 September (FA:A3196, 1943, 0.24144). It conveyed
Curtin's thanks to Churchill for the allocation of the additional
R.A.F. squadrons referred to in Document 265.

2 Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt made a goodwill visit to Australia during
September 1943 with the particular objects of visiting U.S. forces
and inspecting Australian war activities. Cablegram 1056 has not
been found, but it probably conveyed a similar message to Evatt's
cablegram 1055 to Cordell Hull of 4 September (FA:A3196, 1943,
0.24351), which reported Mrs Roosevelt's arrival in Canberra.

3 See Document 264, note 3.

4 See Document 261, note 3.

5 Allied landings in mainland Italy began on 3 September.

[AA:A3300, 261]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top