Hopkins Papers

The British Commander in Chief in India (Wavell) to Prime Minister Churchill 1
most secret

Taut 298. Personal and most secret for Prime Minister from General Wavell.

[Page 293]

Your 60946 (Grey 157) just received.2

I will of course, as you know, undertake to best of my ability any task which you consider can further the war effort. But sincerely trust that no necessary arrangements for public announcement will be made until I am in a position to exercise command which must take some little time. Otherwise confusion seems bound to occur and there will be a misleading impression that my H.Q. can function at once which it obviously cannot. There is also effect on India to be considered and arrangements to be made about which I am flying to Calcutta to consult Viceroy tomorrow. Earnestly request therefore that no announcement be made at least till I have received instructions and had time to study them.

  1. A notation on the source text indicates that the telegram was relayed to Churchill at Ottawa on the morning of December 31.
  2. Not found in American files. This is presumably the telegram informing Wavell of his nomination as Supreme Allied Commander, ABDA Area; see Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 677.