Diary of a Labour Man: 1917 - 1945

Full text Prime Minister


"Australia's fighting forces, wherever you may be, whatever you may be experiencing, I give you this message on behalf of the Government and the people of your homeland.

“You are constantly in our thoughts, your struggles, battles, anxieties, dangers and discomforts are our chief pre-occupation. Our national economy, our way of life, our very existence are all wrapped up in the war you are waging.

"Sailors on the seven seas; soldiers in embattled Britain, in the deserts of the Middle East, in steaming, foetid New Guinea and Papua, in the guerrilla lairs of Timor, at battle stations in and around the Commonwealth; airmen in Britain, Canada, the Middle East, India, Rhodesia, Russia, Iceland, Malta, Iraq and Australia's front line; women's auxiliaries everywhere Australians stand to arms - you are our sword and buckler.

“We stand free, here in Australia, because of you. Your courage determination and peerless gallantry have kept this soil of ours, your soil, inviolate. You have carried the fight to the enemy, wherever you have met him. We, here at home, carry on the fight so that your strength will be maintained and so that you can go on - never back - until the last crushing blow has been struck at aggression.

"Australians approach this Christmas period, after three years of war, without knowing the horrors of physical contact with war. To you, our fighting men, and to the forces of the United States, holding the approaches to Australia in the South-west Pacific, we owe a debt of gratitude we feel incapable ever of discharging. You, our fighting men, with our allies of the United Nations, have a New Year's message to deliver to Tojo in 1943. It is this -

There are Australians and other British subjects locked up in Singapore. There are Americans in the Philippines. There are Dutch and Indonese in the Netherlands East Indies. There are Chinese in occupied China. They are going to be released. You cannot stop free men fighting in a free cause.

“Give Tojo that message in bullets and bombs and shells. We will keep the supplies coming to you! The Australian people have just subscribed £100,000,000 worth and there is more to come! Good luck to you all and may God's blessing be with you."