In an earlier telegram I told you that Australia supports the proposed plans of the USA and UK to act against Japan if Japan ignores warnings to stop its current expansion.
We are very heartened by the news that the British have more battleships than the Japanese and are planning to send some of them to the Indian Ocean. We are grateful for your reassurance and support in the event that we are threatened. You will understand that people here are worried about the threat to their home. The lack of any British or American fleet near Singapore has caused unease. This had affected our ability to recruit men to fight overseas.
4 In an earlier telegram I have expressed the Commonwealth Government’s concurrence in the line of action proposed by the United Kingdom Government to support the United States Government if its warning to Japan is disregarded by the continuance of its expansion policy.
5 Your statement on the growth of British battleship strength and the improved position vis-a-vis the enemy, together with the possibility in the near future of placing capital ships in the Indian Ocean is extremely heartening. We are deeply sensible of your assurance of support if danger should threaten us. No one will understand more fully than yourself that, when a threat comes closely home, local security is the predominant thought in the minds of most people. The southward move by Japan and the absence of a British or American fleet at or near Singapore has aroused a feeling of uneasiness in the minds of many people here, and these factors have undoubtedly had an adverse effect on recruiting for service overseas. FADDEN. Ends.
This source was a coded telegram from the Australian Prime Minister to the British Prime Minister in September 1941.
By September 1941 relations between Britain and the USA and Japan had deteriorated. Japan had consolidated its empire in China. It was also building up its armed forces, particularly its navy. At the same time Britain was facing a direct threat a result of Hitler’s victories in Europe. Hitler had effectively conquered all of Western Europe apart from Britain and he had a pact of neutrality in the East. At this point the USA was not involved in the war although it was sending huge amounts of aid to Britain. Fadden had only been Prime Minister of Australia for a week when he sent this telegram to Churchill: at the time Australians were not pleased that the British Government had used Australian forces in the Middle East and Greece.
Britain and the US were concerned about Japan’s expansion and had warned Japan to end its policy of building up an empire and building up its armed forces. They imposed severe economic sanctions, banning exports of steel, oil and coal to Japan in an attempt to cripple Japan’s economy. However, by September 1941 it was very clear that Japan did not intend to back down and most observers expected some kind of war, particularly since Japan and Germany had made an alliance back in 1938.
Remember we are hoping that this source can be useful to us in investigating the significance of Pearl Harbor. Sources usually help historians in two ways:
Which of the inferences below can be made from this source?
|On a scale of 1-5 how far do you agree that this source supports this inference?||Which extract(s) from the source support your argument?|
|Australia is feeling threatened by Japan|| || |
|Japan has grown more aggressive since 1939|| || |
|British forces are stretched|| || |
|Australia feels well supported by the British Government.|| || |
|Australia feels that its forces are needed for its own self-defence.|| || |
Explore the guide to interpreting telegrams
➜ Source 4