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Historical documents

32 Department of External Affairs to Watt

Cablegram SW91 CANBERRA, 31 August 1942

For Watt. Please convey following personal message to Hopkins from


Curtin extremely concerned growing menace approaching enemy
thrust. Authentic reports that main Japanese fleet has left home
waters suggest necessity of considerable concentration of aircraft
on Solomons area and also in South-West and Darwin areas. At
Churchill's urgent request we agreed temporary diversion Spitfires
to Middle East because of overriding needs of battle. One great
difficulty is lack of information although we rejoice at United
States magnificent enterprise in Solomons and are keenly alive to
needs of other theatres.

Wire from Curtin to President sent to-night on this. [1]

We have done our utmost to clamp down on any sign of over-anxiety
but we feel that crucial battle Japan is rapidly approaching and
presence of substantial aircraft on land areas may well turn the
tide of the conflict.

I have no doubt you will do your utmost when official message

Very best wishes.


1 See Document 31.

[AA:A4764, 1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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