Letter

Scope and Content

Letter from Gen. Sir Alan Brooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, to Auchinleck, in reply to AUC/835 above, announcing that [Charles] Gairdner has been chosen to run the Middle East Higher Commanders' Course; giving his reasons for locating the Course in Palestine and not South Africa; agreeing with Auchinleck's proposal to re-form the forces guarding the northern front into one Army; expressing the opinion that, if rewards are required for [Maj.-Gen. Bernard] Freyberg and [Maj.-Gen. Leslie] Morshead, it would be better to give them decorations than to promote them to Lieutenant-Generals, of which there are already too many; assuring him that the danger to India has not been neglected but that it seems unlikely now that Japan will attempt to carry out a direct invasion of either India or Australia; stating that he is more concerned about the northern front of Middle East Command and the protection of the oilfields; expressing the hope that Auchinleck did not think that he did not appreciate the difficulties surrounding his recent decisions involving his western front, assuring him that he has done his best to ensure that his situation was understood by the Cabinet, but pointing out that some of his arguments have made it difficult to support his case and that the Prime Minister especially did not take kindly to arguments based on mathematical calculations of ratios of tank strengths; advising him to send telegrams in his own capacity and not under the aegis of the Middle East Defence Committee, a habit which annoys the PM; and expressing a wish to visit the Middle East theatre when Churchill allows him to do so. Typescript, signed.