Official: Prime Minister: Personal telegrams.

Reference code: CHAR 20/69A-B

Part of: CHAR 20
Next record: CHAR 20/70
Previous record: CHAR 20/68A-B

Date: Jan 1942 - Feb 1942

Scope/content:

Keywords

UKAT

Geographic

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Open

Physical: 2 bound files (156 folios)
Publication: Alternative format:
Original Reference: Original references: T 101/2 - T 200/2 Language:

Contained records

Reference Record Date
CHAR 20/69A/1 Old file cover. Jan 1942 - Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69A/2 Telegram from WSC to the Prime Minister of Australia [John Curtin] with text of a telegram from General Jan Smuts [Prime Minister of South Africa] to Sidney Waterson [High Commissioner for South Africa in London]: Australia should have a representative on the War Cabinet to reward "magnificent war effort and present danger in Far East", although South Africa does not need a similar arrangement; Smuts adds his support for WSC. 02 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69A/3-5 Telegram from Mackenzie King [Prime Minister of Canada] to John Curtin [Prime Minister of Australia] with the text of his statement in the Canadian House of Commons on the composition of the Imperial War Cabinet, and the power of decision still resting with the British War Cabinet: Australia's request for a right to a permanent equal voice in the British War Cabinet differs from Canadian requests. 25 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/6-8 Typescript copy of telegram from John Curtin to WSC regarding the situation in Malaya [later Malaysia], on the unsuitability of Indian troops for this type of warfare, the fact that the evacuation of Singapore would be an "inexcusable betrayal" and on public feeling of grave uneasiness at Allied impotence to stem the Japanese advance. [Copy may have been produced for use by WSC in writing of "The Second World War", and is backed with typescript of correspondence from Chapter 31 "Japan", of Volume 3 "The Grand Alliance". See also CHAR 20/69A/19 for full text of original telegram]. [24 Jan 1942]
CHAR 20/69A/9 Telegram from WSC to General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] in Batavia [later Djakarta, Java] questioning his refusal of Chinese help in the defence of Burma and the Burma Road and explaining the importance attached to China by the United States: "Burma seems in grave danger of being overrun". 23 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/10 Telegram from WSC to General Shearer [Brigadier Eric Shearer] thanking him for his two most interesting letters. 23 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/11-14 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] commenting on documents dealing with munition assignments, Anglo-American Shipping Adjustment Board, and the Combined Raw Materials Board: Britain proposes to form a clearing-house for all supplies to and from the Empire, developing existing shipping arrangements with the United States and other United Nations countries as necessary. 22 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/15-16 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] regarding the assent of General Charles de Gaulle [Chief of Free French] to the publication of a communique by the United States, British and Canadian governments on the subject of the overthrow by an overwhelming popular vote of "Vichy-ites" on "two tiny islands" [? Saint Pierre and Miquelon]. 23 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/17 Telegram from General Sir Archibald Wavell, Supreme Commander, South West Pacific, to WSC commenting on the implications for Australian commanders of a plan to establish a Command consisting of the ABDA area [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] to include all land and air forces east of Celebes [later Sulawesi, Dutch East Indies, later Indonesia]. 23 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/18 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC regarding the implications of eastward movement by General Erwin Rommel [Commander, Afrika Corps] on 21 January and re-occupation of Jedabya [? Ajdabiyah, Libya], including: losses during withdrawal; Rommel likely to expose his eastwards flank; enemy penetration into Antelat by presumed commando column; delay to planned Allied offensive against Al 'Uqaylah; building up forces at Benghazi; Auchinleck is confident that Lieutenant-General Neil Ritchie [Commander, 8th Army] is watching for opportunity to force battle. 23 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/19-21 Telegram from the Prime Minister of Australia [John Curtin] to WSC regarding the situation in Malaya [later Malaysia] and New Guinea: [As CHAR 20/69A/6 but also commenting on the war in the Pacific and requesting more aircraft; ms annotation "Presented as Cabinet Paper"]. 24 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/22 Telegram from Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington, United States] to WSC regarding his position and suggesting his appointment should be as independent head of the mission. 23 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/23 Telegram from WSC to General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, thanking him for his explanation about Agedabia [Ajdabiyah, Libya] and requesting figures of casualties and prisoners on both sides since 18 November: "We are having a fairly rough time about the Far East.". 24 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/24-26 Telegram from WSC to the Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] clarifying the proposal for a Far Eastern Defence Council in London and explaining that no decision can be taken either in Washington [United States] or in London which does not take full account of the views of the Australian, New Zealand and the Netherlands Governments. 23 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/27-28 Telegram from the Prime Minister of Australia [John Curtin] to WSC commenting on proposals for a Far Eastern Defence Council and containing comments by Sir Earle Page [Special Australian Envoy to British War Cabinet] in support of a Pacific Council at Washington [United States]. [See CHAR 20/69A/31 for attached note]. 25 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/29 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander- in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC giving the latest details of the 8th Army in North Africa: enemy tanks and artillery engaged at Antelat [Libya] and Saunnu but without decisive result; general description and position of troops; intention of Lieutenant- General Neil Ritchie [Commander, 8th Army] to stabilise his position and launch an offensive; "Once again [General Erwin] Rommel [Commander, Afrika Corps] has made bold stroke ... The situation has not developed quite as I would have liked but I hope to turn it to our ultimate advantage". 24 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/30 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC giving figures of troops killed, wounded, and missing. 24 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/31 Note to Sir Edward Bridges [Secretary to the War Cabinet] requesting the circulation of telegram no.74 [CHAR 20/69A/27-28] from the Australian Government for Cabinet on Monday. 25 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/32 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander- in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC stating that he would welcome any United States troops, but suggesting that Iraq might be a difficult theatre for them and that they be used in the Western part of the theatre whilst Britain provides troops for the Eastern half. 24 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/33-34 Telegram from Commanders in Chief (Middle East) to WSC giving details of German and Allied army strengths at the beginning of "Crusader" [codename for British North African operation], including details of losses on both sides and reasons for Allied success. 24 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/35 Telegram from WSC to General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, expressing his disturbance at the latest news of the evacuation of Benghazi and Derna [Libya]: "The kind of retirement now evidently envisaged by subordinate officers implies the failure of CRUSADER and the ruin of ACROBAT" [codenames for the British North African operation and operation against Tripoli]. 25 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/36-37 Telegram from Government of New Zealand to WSC regarding their representation in the war against Japan, requiring confirmation that New Zealand would be entitled to make representations to the Far East Council, including affairs in the Anzac [Australian and New Zealand Army Corps] and Pacific areas; also on the importance of direct contact with the United States and on the necessity for one co-ordinating authority for land, sea and air forces in the war against Japan. 26 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/38 Telegram from General Sir Thomas Blamey [Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Middle East] to WSC, noting that a telegram from WSC has been sent to General Sir Claude Auchinleck [Commander-in-Chief, Middle East] at Advance HQ 8th Army and that last reports indicate a tactical reverse in the Antelat area [Libya]; the 8th Army has not yet reported the evacuation of Benghazi. 26 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/39 Telegram from WSC to Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington, United States] [in reply to CHAR 20/69A/22]: "All the proposed changes were made to enhance your power". 26 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/40 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander- in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC on the position not being satisfactory, including British troops being pushed back and heavy installations and base establishments removed from Benghazi [Libya] as a precautionary measure. 26 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/41 Telegram from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] to WSC denying that he had refused Chinese help; explains that he had accepted 49 and 93 Divisions in December and that to uncover Yunnan [China] by moving Chinese troops to Burma would be unsound; British troops should have been sufficient and it was better to defend Burma with Imperial troops. Wavell agrees that British prestige in China is low, but notes that it will not be increased by the admission that Britain cannot hold Burma without Chinese help. 26 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/42-44 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] with details of the replies of the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, John Curtin and Peter Fraser, to proposals for a Far Eastern Council in London: "I should be glad to know whether in your opinion these observations ... affect the view ... that co-ordination of the views of these two Governments with those of the Governments of Great Britain and the Netherlands should be effected in London". 27 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/45-48 Telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] (but signed by Cordell Hull [United States Secretary of State]) to WSC regarding the text of documents relating to Munitions, Shipping and Raw Materials Boards, with proposals for the release of documents and names of Board members. 26 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/49-50 Telegram from the Prime Minister of Australia [John Curtin] to WSC pressing for the allotment of additional aircraft and giving details of operational strength, adding that Australia is left almost defenceless against its enemies. 27 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/51 Telegram from WSC to General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] thanking him for his communication and assuring him that he will lose no chance of explaining to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt]. 28 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/52-53 Telegram from WSC to the Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] regarding arrangements for military co-operation within the Anzac [Australian and New Zealand Army Corps] area. 28 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/54 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander- in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC regarding the latest situation in North Africa, including the premature action at Benghazi [Libya], positions as known on the evening of 26 January, concern over the condition of 1st Armoured division and the conclusion that British armoured forces have failed to compete with the enemy satisfactorily. 27 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/55 Telegram from WSC to Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington, United States] clarifying Dill's position as head of the three British members on the combined Chiefs of Staff Committee in Washington and a member of the sub-committee on Weapons Assignment. 28 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/56 Telegram from WSC to General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, assuring Auchinleck of his complete confidence in him, and also on intelligence relating to the presumed intentions of General Erwin Rommel [Commander, Afrika Corps] to clear up the triangle of Benghazi - Masus - Mechili [Al Makili, Libya] and the defeat of British armour by inferior enemy numbers. 28 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/57 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander- in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC regarding the latest situation in North Africa, including details of troop movements and positions, and the enemy's apparent division of forces in an attempt to secure both Mechili [Al Makili, Libya] and Benghazi. 28 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/58 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander- in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC regarding the deterioration of the situation in North Africa, including: his fear that it will be necessary to temporarily evacuate Benghazi [Libya]; 7th Indian Infantry Brigade threatened with envelopment and withdrawn; demolitions ordered to be carried out in Benghazi; a report of action in progress about 20 miles north of Masus; admitting that the enemy has succeeded beyond his expectations and Auchinleck's; heavy losses suffered by 1st Armoured Division. 29 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/59 Telegram from Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington, United States] to WSC, informing him that the Combined Chiefs of Staff have considered the telegram of 23 January from John Curtin [Prime Minister of Australia] to WSC and are to draft a telegram to General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] regarding the importance of air power in Australia. 29 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/60-61 Telegram from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] to WSC regarding the position of Admiral Thomas Hart [United States Admiral in the Pacific] and the problem of substituting him with a younger, more energetic man without offending either the United States or Netherlands or throwing a stigma onto Hart, and whether Vice-Admiral Conrad Helfrich [Commander-in-Chief, Netherlands Naval Forces in the East] or another American should replace him. 29 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/62 Telegram from the Minister of State, Middle East [Oliver Lyttelton, later 1st Lord Chandos] to WSC on subjects including: the quietening of the internal political situation in Egypt; the difference of the military situation as compared to when General Erwin Rommel [Commander, Afrika Corps] attacked General Sir Archibald Wavell [former Commander-in-Chief, Middle East]; Benghazi [Libya] only being defensible from the east or south; the comparative ineffectiveness of British tanks, probably due chiefly to mechanical breakdowns; British plans bound to be delayed; high water mark in present attack to be reached in the next day or two; "We will fight for every inch". 29 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/63 Telegram from Lord Halifax [British Ambassador to the United States, earlier Edward Wood and Lord Irwin] to WSC with reminder that Friday is the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt]'s 60th birthday. 29 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/64 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander- in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC regarding the latest situation in North Africa, including: the confusion of the situation around Benghazi [Libya] and details of recent fighting not yet received; 1st Armoured division attempted to move on Elabiar but the going was bad and the division is now back at Charubba; Lieutenant- General Neil Ritchie [Commander, 8th Army] aims to stabilise the position and collect forces for a counter-offensive. 29 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/65 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, offering many happy returns upon his [60th] birthday. 30 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/66 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] informing him of the danger of the withdrawal of the fighter squadrons of the American Volunteer Group from Rangoon [Burma] by Generalissimo Chiang Kai- shek [Chinese nationalist leader] prior to the arrival of Hurricanes. 30 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/67-69 Telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] to WSC enclosing a copy of the United States statement of policy towards France sent to Marshal Philippe Petain [Head of Vichy Government in France] on 20 January 1942, with account of message from William Leahy [United States Ambassador to Vichy France] containing Petain's response and Leahy's conclusions. 29 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/70-71 Telegram from the Government of New Zealand to WSC requesting fighter aircraft to meet the likely Japanese attack from 1 division, 2 aircraft carriers and other naval units and to protect the main ports of Auckland and Wellington; provision is being made for a network of RDF [radar] air warning stations, the development of an air observer corps, and of new aerodromes with runways suitable for heavy United States bombers. 30 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/72 Telegram from Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington, United States] to WSC regarding his position on the mission, feeling that the Army's side of the mission should remain intact including its head and that he could not fulfil his intended function as "Primus inter pares"; requests the power to represent WSC as a military man. 29 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/73 Telegram from WSC to Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington, United States] regarding Dill's pay and position in Washington; having 4 British representatives [on the Joint Staff Mission] is satisfactory. 30 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/74 Telegram from the Minister of State, Middle East [Oliver Lyttelton, later 1st Lord Chandos] to WSC on the advisability of keeping William Bullitt [Special Representative of the President of the United States in the Near East] informed of the military situation and forecast in Libya. 30 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69A/75 Telegram from Lord Halifax [British Ambassador to the United States, earlier Edward Wood and Lord Irwin] to WSC congratulating him on his House of Commons vote [of confidence] and adding that WSC's speeches have been most helpful in the United States. 30 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69B/76-78 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander in Chief, Middle East, to WSC regarding latest situation in North Africa: states that the loss of Benghazi [Libya] is "only temporary"; suggests reasons for defeat of armoured force; concludes "that to meet German armoured forces with any reasonable hope of decisive success our armoured forces as at present equipped organised and led must have at least two to one superiority"; believes General Erwin Rommel [Commander, Afrika Corps] will try to exploit success and plans to counter such action; describes latest positions of troops. 30 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69B/79-80 Telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] to WSC: looks forward to receiving message from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] regarding "our man" [Admiral Thomas Hart, United States Admiral in the Pacific], and suggests the "Dutch man" [Vice-Admiral Conrad Helfrich, Commander-in- Chief, Netherlands Naval Forces in the East] as a replacement to command ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] naval forces; suggests Lieutenant-General George Brett might be assigned to command the combined ABDA air forces; feels that all political matters concerning New Zealand, Australia and the Dutch East Indies [later Indonesia] should continue to be handled in London; suggests that these three countries should not have representatives on the joint staff, but that they should be invited to participate in discussion of such matters as involve their national interest and collaboration; thanks WSC for birthday message congratulates WSC on yesterday's vote [of confidence]. 31 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69B/81 Telegram from WSC to [Oliver Lyttelton, later Lord Chandos], Minister of State, Middle East, in Cairo [Egypt] expressing disappointment at poor servicing of British tanks during the present battle, and concern over waste of manpower; "Surely you ought to try to grip this situation more closely". 31 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69B/82 Note listing names for circulation of telegram [relating to CHAR 20/69B/79-80]. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/83 Telegram from WSC to [Oliver Lyttelton, later Lord Chandos] Minister of State, Middle East, in Cairo [Egypt] informing him that there is no need to send messages to William Bullitt [Special Representative of the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, in the Near East], who should already be in close touch with Roosevelt. 01 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/84 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander- in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC regarding the latest situation in North Africa: "Yesterday was uneventful"; gives latest troop positions; is examining future prospect and hopes to send recommendations in 2 or 3 days. 31 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69B/85 Telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] to WSC: hopes that Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington] will stay and sit on the joint staff in addition to Army, Navy and Air; does not object to Dill representing the joint staffs in London but hopes he can regard him as the representative of WSC in his capacity as Minister of Defence. 31 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69B/86 Telegram from WSC to General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] regarding personnel changes at ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] command: informs him that he had sent his [Wavell's] earlier telegram to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt]; quotes from President Roosevelt's reply to WSC [see CHAR 20/69B/79-80]; surmises that the American idea is to pull General Douglas MacArthur [Commander in Chief, American Forces in the Philippines] out of Corregidor [Philippines] and make him Deputy Supreme Commander; argues that personal interests should not stand in the way of inter- allied arrangements and that Lieutenant-General George Brett should replace Air Marshal Sir Richard Peirse as air commander [? Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, India]. 01 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/87-88 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt]: is enclosing message from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] of 29 [January]; comments on likely ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] command structure; comments on Roosevelt's telegram [see CHAR 20/69B/79-80]; thanks Roosevelt for his kindness, "I cannot tell you how sorry I was to leave the White House". Annotated: "not to be repeated to Lord Halifax" [British Ambassador to the United States, earlier Edward Wood and Lord Irwin]. 01 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/89 Telegram from WSC to Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission, Washington, United States] with texts of telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] [see CHAR 20/69B/85] and reply by WSC [see also CHAR 20/69B/90]. 01 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/90 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] confirming that Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington] will represent both the Chiefs of Staff Committee in London and WSC as Minister of Defence. Annotated: "Not to be repeated to Lord Halifax" [British Ambassador to the United States, earlier Edward Wood and Lord Irwin]. 01 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/91-92 Telegram from Middle East Defence Committee to WSC outlining strategy: states that if the German attack materialises "our only course will be to fall back on defences in rear in Persia [later Iran], Central Iraq and South Syria", which will mean abandoning all air bases north of this line, and abandoning all idea of supporting the Turks; "Everything of course depends on speed and volume with which deficiencies can be made good". 30 Jan 1942
CHAR 20/69B/93 Telegram from WSC to Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission to Washington, United States] explaining that he is awaiting the reaction of Australia and New Zealand before reaching a conclusion in the British Cabinet regarding the direction of the war in the Far East. 01 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/94-95 Telegram from WSC to the Prime Minister of Australia [John Curtin]: quotes a telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] regarding the political and military representation of Australia, New Zealand and Dutch East Indies [later Indonesia] [see CHAR 20/69B/79-80], and asks for comments. 02 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/96 Telegram from WSC to Washington [United States]: "Thank you so much". 01 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/97 Telegram from WSC to General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] asking him to explain his decision to order Hurricanes from Singapore to Palembang [Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, later Indonesia]. 02 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/98 Telegram from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] to WSC regarding personnel changes at ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] command: believes that Air Marshal Sir Richard Peirse should remain in his present position [Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Bomber Command]; that Lieutenant-General George Brett's position as Wavell's deputy and Intendant General is not fully understood by the United States; is prepared to accept Vice- Admiral Conrad Helfrich [Commander-in-Chief, Netherlands Naval Forces in the East] for naval command; feels Australians may demand higher representation. 02 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/99-105 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] regarding personnel changes at ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] command and organisation of Pacific Council: suggests future ABDA command structure, and advocates temporarily leaving Admiral Thomas Hart [United States Admiral in the Pacific] where he is or substituting him with a younger American Admiral; believes it necessary to have a Far East Council in London, which would make recommendations to Washington on military as well as political matters; agrees that Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington should consult directly with representatives of Military Missions of Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands; asks about representation of China; encloses text of telegram from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] [see CHAR 20/69B/98]. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/106 Telegram from WSC to Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission, Washington, United States] asking him to do nothing, until replies have been received from Australia and New Zealand. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/107 Telegram from Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission, Washington, United States] to WSC confirming that his new position on the mission seems entirely satisfactory. 02 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/108 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in- Chief, Middle East, to WSC regarding the latest position in North Africa: estimates no more than 1000 prisoners captured by enemy in Benghazi [Libya]; positions at Mechili [? Al Makili, Libya] and Tengeder [? Bir Tanjadar, Libya] being consolidated; our mobile columns and fighting patrols operating actively in the vicinity of Msus [? Masus, Libya] and Charruba; suggests enemy may continue eastward movement and identifies possible threat to troops in Derna [? Darnah, Libya] and Martuba [? Martubah, Libya]. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/109 Telegram from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] to WSC explaining his decision to withdraw fighter planes from Singapore to Sumatra [Dutch East Indies, later Indonesia]: argues that withdrawal of troops into Singapore had exposed 3 out of 4 aerodromes to artillery fire, and that to leave fighters on exposed aerodromes would be to invite their destruction; considers that there is "every intention and hope of holding" Singapore. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/110 Telegram from WSC to Field-Marshal Sir John Dill [Head of British Joint Staff Mission, Washington, United States]: proposes to furnish him with two directives; states that he must wait to hear from Australia and New Zealand before any decisions can be taken about Australian representation. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/111-112 Telegram from WSC to the Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser]: quotes telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] regarding political and military representation of Australia, New Zealand and the Dutch East Indies [later Indonesia] [see CHAR 20/69B/79-80], and asks for comments. 02 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/113 Telegram from Emperor [Haile Sellassie] of Abyssinia [later Ethiopia] to WSC expressing admiration and gratitude on occasion of agreement with Britain. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/114-115 Telegram from General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander- in-Chief, Middle East, to WSC regarding the latest position in North Africa: describes troop positions; states that the immediate intention is to stabilise on a general line of present positions while retaining control of No Man's Land; believes that the tank situation is favourable and that the enemy is at the end of a long line of communications; is preparing a defensive position on a general line Sollum-Giarabub [Libya]. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/116 Telegram from Minister of State, Middle East [Oliver Lyttelton, later 1st Lord Chandos] to WSC: states that he has been having a "very sticky time" with the Egyptian political crisis and the need to restore the temporarily shaken confidence of the military; believes that there has been no major lapse in preparations for the battle. 04 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/117 Telegram from WSC to General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] regarding the fighter defence of Singapore: feels it is a disadvantage that the fighter force should have to waste time flying between Sumatra [Dutch East Indies, later Indonesia] and Singapore; hopes to send 90 more Hurricanes before the end of February. 04 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/118 Telegram from WSC to Generalissimo Chiang-Kai-shek [Chinese Nationalist Leader] regarding the Chinese leader's visit to India: discourages him from meeting leaders of the Indian Congress Party. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/119 Telegram from the Secretary of State for India [Leo Amery] to the Viceroy [and Governor-General of India, 2nd Lord Linlithgow, earlier Lord Hopetoun] with text of a personal message from WSC regarding the visit of Generalissimo Chiang-Kai-shek [Chinese Nationalist Leader] to India: "In no circumstances must he be allowed to see [Jawaharlal] Nehru", as such a meeting would be likely to spread "Pan-Asiatic malaise". 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/120-121 Telegram from WSC to Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] regarding New Zealand's requests for war material: states that there is a large flow of reinforcements of all kinds into the ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] area; feels that "we are already heading dangerously near the point where the spreading of our resources must lead to a general weakness". 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/122-124 Telegram from Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] to WSC regarding fighter allocation for New Zealand: believes allocation of 18 fighters cannot be regarded as adequate; feels that there is an unsatisfactory disparity between numbers allocated to Australia and those to New Zealand; requires at least 4 fighter squadrons in addition to 36 fighter aircraft already requested; hopes that the whole question of the defence of New Zealand is receiving consideration, "the capacity of this country for defence, despite every endeavour here, cannot be proportioned to the menace". 04 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/125 Telegram from WSC to Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] regarding representation on Far Eastern Council: suggests that New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands might also have military representatives in Washington [United States]. 03 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/126 Telegram from the Minister of State, Middle East [Oliver Lyttelton, later 1st Lord Chandos] in Cairo [Egypt] to WSC regarding army workshops: states that the low percentage of serviceable tanks is due to battle casualties, mechanical breakdown, and lack of transports, not the failure of base workshops; comments on efficiency of mobile workshops in the early part of the battle; comments on the problem of maintaining and reinforcing fighting troops in the desert. 04 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/127-128 Telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] to WSC asking for help in persuading the British Government to agree the draft of the Interim Lend Lease Agreement. 05 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/129 Telegram from WSC to the Viceroy [and Governor-General of India, 2nd Lord Linlithgow, earlier Lord Hopetoun] regarding the visit of Generalissimo Chiang-Kai-shek [Chinese Nationalist Leader] to India: feels "It would be disastrous if you put yourself in a position where we had [Mohandas] Gandhi and [Jawaharlal] Nehru on the one side and the Viceroy of India on the other, with Chiang-Kai-shek arbitrating between the two". 06 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/130 Telegram from WSC to the Emperor [Haile Sellassie] of Abyssinia [later Ethiopia] thanking him for his message on the agreement between Britain and Abyssinia [see CHAR 20/69B/113] and pledging help in the future task of reconstruction. 06 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/131 Telegram from WSC to Harry Hopkins [Special adviser and assistant to the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt] asking that the President's attention be drawn to the very heavy sinkings by U-boats in the Western North Atlantic: gives figures since January 12. 06 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/132 Telegram from Lord Halifax [British Ambassador to the United States, earlier Edward Wood, and Lord Irwin] to WSC regarding his dinner conversation with William Bullitt [Special representative of the President of the United States in the Near East] about Bullitt's trip to the Middle East. 05 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/133-135 Telegram from Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] regarding representation on the Far Eastern Council: believes a Far Eastern Council without the participation of the United States or China is inadequate, but will accept a Council in London; expresses concern that whole thought appears to be directed to ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] area, which does not include New Zealand, and suggests that the ABDA area should be re-named the Mid-Western Pacific to avoid confusion. 05 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/136-137 Telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] to WSC regarding personnel changes at ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] Command: states that Admiral Thomas Hart [United States Admiral in the Pacific] has asked to be relieved and suggests that "the Dutchman" [Vice-Admiral Conrad Helfrich, Commander-in-Chief, Netherlands Naval Forces in the East] replace him as Acting Commander in Chief of all naval forces; notes message about sinkings in Atlantic which "is being given urgent consideration"; states that the Americans "had a good go at the Japs in Marshall Islands" and are "pushing on with Magnet" [codename for the movement of United States forces to Northern Ireland]. 07 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/138 Telegram from the Prime Minister of Australia [John Curtin] to WSC thanking him for his promise of equipment and informing him of the decision to provide General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] with another Australian Imperial Force battalion for the defence of Koepang [Kupang, Dutch East Indies, later Indonesia]. 06 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/139 Telegram from WSC to Field-Marshal Sir John Dill containing two directives on Dill's appointment as Head of British Joint Staff Mission in Washington [United States], and as the representative of WSC as Minister of Defence. 06 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/140-141 Telegram from the Prime Minister of Australia [John Curtin] to WSC regarding Australian representation in the British Cabinet and the creation of a Pacific War Council: prefers the Council to be in Washington [United States] but agrees to it being established in London, and cites several experiences to illustrate the need for a body with responsibility for the whole war in the Pacific and not only the ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] area. Received 6 Feb British Time. 07 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/142 Telegram from Harry Hopkins [Special adviser and assistant to the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt] to WSC: states that some moves are being made with regard to the situation in the Western North Atlantic, that shipments are getting off to the Soviet Union, and that the President is considering the Far East matter of command. [07] [Feb] [1942]
CHAR 20/69B/143 Telegram from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] to WSC regarding personnel changes at ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] Command: states he would far rather have naval commander from the United States and keep Air Marshal Sir Richard Peirse as air commander [Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Bomber Command]. 07 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/144-145 Telegram from the Government of Australia to WSC expressing concern over delays attending applications submitted under Lend Lease to the United States Administration for machine tools. [See CHAR 20/70/46 for WSC's reply]. 06 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/146 Telegram from WSC to the Prime Minister of Australia [John Curtin] calling the first meeting of the Pacific Council in London on Tuesday: states that the Council will deal with the whole problem of the war against Japan; informs that the United States is being asked to organise the ANZAC [Australian and New Zealand Army Corps] area on the same lines as the ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] machine of General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific], and that the new structure will be set up in Australia around the American Naval Commander in Chief; lists main command areas in Far East. 07 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/147 Telegram from WSC to General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] regarding changes in ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] Command: quotes telegram from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt, see CHAR 20/69B/136-137]; states that "It is certain that the Americans will require to fill one of the places, sea or air, and that this point will arise whenever The Unknown [? General Douglas MacArthur] is free to become your Deputy". 07 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/148-149 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt]: agrees with suggestions regarding personnel changes at ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] Command [see CHAR 20/69B/136-137]; comments on the agreement of Australia and New Zealand to a Pacific Council in London; comments on the role of Chinese forces in Burma; comments on relations between United States and Vichy France, and the importance of maintaining American observers in Morocco; hopes that nothing will be done to give guarantees for the non-occupation of Madagascar and Reunion, as plans have been made for expedition against Diego Suarez [Madagascar]; expresses delight that "Magnet" [codename for the movement of United States troops to Northern Ireland] is going forward and hopes to send 4 British divisions; comments on latest situation in Singapore; expresses disappointment at Libyan setback; explains Cabinet objections to Lend-Lease. 08 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/150 Telegram from WSC to Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] regarding the creation of a separate command organisation for the ANZAC [Australian and New Zealand Army Corps] area: proposes the setting up in Eastern Australia of a combined staff under the American Naval Commander in Chief, to comprise representatives of New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Great Britain. 08 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/151 Telegram from the Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] to WSC expressing New Zealand's desire to be represented on the War Cabinet. 07 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/152 Telegram from Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] to WSC regarding the decision to order the New Zealand Division into a full operational role in the Western Desert: feels that recent "ill-informed" comments on the very large forces retained inactive in Britain, and the continued use of New Zealand forces in the Middle East, may add point to the demand that New Zealand forces should be returned to the Pacific area to meet the danger nearer home; requests statement of troops held in Britain in order to counter propaganda. [See CHAR 20/70/2-3 for WSC's reply]. 07 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/153 Telegram from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] to WSC requiring clarification of the message from the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] regarding personnel changes at ABDA [Australian, British, Dutch and Australasian] Command: states that Vice-Admiral Conrad Helfrich [Commander-in-Chief, Netherlands Naval Forces in the East] at present only commands the Dutch force. 08 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/154 Telegram from WSC to the President of the United States [Franklin Roosevelt] quoting a telegram from General Sir Archibald Wavell [Supreme Commander, South West Pacific] regarding clarification of the position of Vice-Admiral Conrad Helfrich [Commander-in-Chief, Netherlands Naval Forces in the East, see CHAR 20/69B/153], and asking whether WSC or Washington should inform Wavell that Helfrich is to be Acting Commander-in-Chief of all naval forces. 08 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/155 Telegram from WSC to Premier Joseph Stalin expressing admiration, gratitude and congratulation on successes of the Soviet Union's armies. 08 Feb 1942
CHAR 20/69B/156 Telegram from WSC to the Prime Minister of New Zealand [Peter Fraser] informing him of the first meeting of the Pacific Council on Tuesday 10 February, and of invitation to the High Commissioner for New Zealand in London [William Jordan] to attend. 09 Feb 1942