Diary of a Labour Man: 1917 - 1945

Full text Prime Minister


"I have to inform the House that the following communiqué was issued at 1 o'clock this afternoon, Australian time -

“The President of the United States of America (President Roosevelt) and the Prime Minister of Great Britain (Mr. Churchill) have been in conference near Casablanca since 14th January, 1943. They were accompanied by the Combined Chiefs of Staff of the two countries, namely, for the United States of America, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army (General George C. Marshall), the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Navy (Admiral E. J. King), the officer commanding the United States Army Air Force (Lieutenant-General H. H. Arnold), and for Great Britain, the First Sea Lord (Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound), the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (General Sir Alan Brooke) and the Chief of the Air Staff (Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Portal).

"These were assisted by the Commanding General of Services of Supply, United States Army (Lieutenant-General B. B. Somervell), the Head of the British Joint Staff Mission in Washington (Field-Marshal Sir John Dill), the Commander of Combined Operations (Vice-Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten), the Chief Staff Officer to the Minister for Defence (Lieutenant-General Sir Hastings Ismay), together with a number of staff officers from both countries.

"They have received visits from Mr. Murphy and Mr. MacMillan; from the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Force in North Africa (General Eisenhower); from the Naval Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in North Africa (Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham); from the Air Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in North Africa (General Spaatz); from General Clark of the United States Army and from Middle East Head-quarters, from General Sir Harold Alexander, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, and Lieutenant-General F. M. Andrews, United States Army.

“The President was accompanied by Mr. Harry Hopkins and was joined by Mr. Averel Harriman. With the Prime Minister was the British Minister for War Transport (Lord Leathers).

“For ten days, the Combined Staffs have been in constant session, meeting two or three times a day and recording progress at intervals to the President and the Prime Minister.

“The entire field of the war was surveyed, theatre by theatre, throughout the world, and all resources were marshalled for the more intense direction of the war by sea, land and air. Nothing like this prolonged discussion between the two Allies has ever taken place before. Complete agreement was reached between the leaders of the two countries and their respective staffs upon war plans and enterprises to be undertaken during the campaign of 1943 against Germany, Italy and Japan with a view to drawing the utmost advantage from the markedly favorable turn of events at the close of 1942.

“Premier Stalin was cordially invited to meet the President and the Prime Minister, in which case the meeting would have been held very much farther to the East. He is, however, unable to leave Russia at this tIMe on account of the great offensive which he himself, as commander-in-chief, is directing. The President and the Prime Minister realise to the full the enormous weight of the war which Russia is successfully bearing along her whole land front and their prime object has been to draw as much of the weight as possible off the Russian armies by engaging the enemy as heavily as possible at the best-selected point. Premier Stalin has been fully informed of military proposals.

“The President and the Prime Minister have been in communication with Generalissimo Chiang-Kai-Shek. They have apprised him of the measures which they are undertaking to assist him in China's magnificent and unrelaxing struggle for the common cause.

“The occasion of the meeting between the President and the Prime Minister made it imperative to invite General Giraud to the conference of Combined Chiefs of Staff and to arrange for a meeting between him and General do Gaulle. The two generals have been in close consultation.

"The President and the Prime Minister and the Combined Staff, having completed their plans for the offensive campaign of 1943, have now separated in order to put them into active and concerted execution."

“In regard to the consultations between General de Gaulle and General Giraud, the two generals have jointly made the following statement:-

“`We have met. We have talked. We have registered our entire agreement on the end to be achieved, which is the liberation of France and triumph of human liberties by total defeat of the enemy. This end will be attained by union in war of all French men fighting aide by side with all their allies'."