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84 Churchill to Curtin

Cablegram Winch 30 LONDON, 2 December 1942, 3.45 a.m.


Received 2 December 1942

Your Johcu 47. [1]

1. I and my professional advisers are very sorry that you Continue
to press for the move of the 9th Australian Division which we do
not consider is in accordance with the general strategic interests
of the United Nations.

2. Nevertheless, in accordance with your wishes, I shall recommend
to the President that the 9th Australian Division returns to
Australia as soon as shipping can be provided. This will probably
be early in the New Year. I may say that it will involve a loss to
us in personnel shipping-lift of 10,000 men in the W.S. convoys
[2] and 20,000 in the Trans-Atlantic build-up for the invasion of
the Continent.

3. Reference your paragraph 8, we very much regret that we cannot
arrange for the equipment of your division to be returned to
Australia. We could not face the cost to our offensive operations
of the cargo and motor transport shipping necessary for this

4. You will like to know that in response to an urgent request by
the Americans for naval help in the Pacific we are proposing to
offer them the two modern armoured aircraft carriers VICTORIOUS
and INDOMITABLE [3] under the command of a British Admiral for
service under American orders in the Pacific. These are among the
most vital units we possess. We have only four of this class. We
are asking for RANGER from the Atlantic in exchange. I hope this
movement will provide an additional and important re-insurance for
the safety of Australia.

1 Document 83.

2 Code name for convoys travelling down the West Coast of Africa.

3 Churchill advised on 6 December that Indomitable should read
Illustrious. See cablegram Winch 31 on file AA:A4763.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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