Roosevelt Papers

President Roosevelt to the Australian Minister (Casey)

My Dear Mr. Minister: I should be grateful if you would transmit to Mr. Curtin the following reply to his message given in your note of December 23, 1941:2

“Mr. Churchill and I have considered your message with the urgency which the situation clearly demands. I need not tell you the importance which we attach to holding every possible strongpoint in the Western Pacific. To this end we and our military, naval and air advisers have given the most urgent consideration to the matter of despatching reinforcements at the earliest possible moment. The necessary steps are already under way for the flight to Australia of effective air assistance, which I hope will arrive in the very near future.

We are deeply conscious of the magnificent contribution which Australia has made and is making to the common effort and of the need to replace the strength which she has despatched to other theaters”.

Sincerely yours,

  1. The source text is an unsigned carbon copy of a letter prepared by Welles at the President’s request and transmitted to the White House on January 1, 1942; the summary of developments prepared by Alan Watt of the Australian Legation (post, p. 322) quotes the President’s reply under date of January 1.
  2. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. v, p. 390. See also Churchill’s telegram to Curtin, December 25, 1941, printed in The Grand Alliance, p. 668.