Copy report

Scope and Content

Copy of a report from Field Marshal Smuts, sent through Lord Harlech, UK High Commissioner in the Union of South Africa, to Winston Churchill, describing his visit to the Middle East; confirming his belief in Allied success in Libya and in the need for conclusive operations to drive the enemy out; expressing his high opinion of Auchinleck and his satisfaction with facilities, communications and services in the rear; stressing the importance of holding the Middle East, including Iran and Iraq, as well as India and Ceylon, together with the Indian Ocean; suggesting, therefore, that there should be a powerful Anglo-American naval reinforcement in the Indian Ocean to prevent the Japanese threat, and that it is a strategical mistake for the USA to send naval and land forces to Australia on the assumption that a major Japanese attack can be expected there, when the Indian Ocean, not the Pacific, needs all available defences. Typescript.