Curtin's Attitude Towards Australia Essay

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Tensions also existed at the political level. In their analysis of Curtin’s press briefings, Lloyd and Hall suggested that, with the exception of MacArthur, Ambassador Nelson Johnson and General Kenney, Curtin was mostly negative about American war leaders and their policies. They noted that, in his briefings, he made no mention of the PWC, quickly appreciating its token nature, but outlined his complaints at American attitudes towards Australia, his concerns with Lend-Lease, his strong opposition to Edward Flynn’s proposed appointment to replace Johnson as well as his frustrations at the lack of US military assistance. As Lloyd and Hall explained, his attitude “is hardly indicative of the veneration and gratitude of an Australian Prime Minister for a great and powerful friend. At best there is a sort of wearied resignation about what must be. At worst, there is a sardonic emphasis on motivations and outcomes that borders on contempt.” Despite his calls for American help, these were driven by need, not any desire for a realignment of Australia’s relationships. Curtin continued to maintain, “Australia is a British land of one race and one tongue.” This negative attitude towards America was shared within the Labor party and by the Opposition. America was seen as a necessary helper in Australia’s times of need. Johnson’s predecessor as US Minister to Australia, Clarence Gauss, reported Menzies…show more content…
There was considerable Anglo-Australian friction in 1942 in the face of the successful Japanese attacks which followed the British Mediterranean debacle and, in particular, the 1941 defeats in Greece and Crete. Curtin’s disputes with Churchill over the Malaya strategy, the return of Australia’s Middle East troops, Australian opposition to the London-based consultative machinery and the “Europe First” decision were perhaps the most striking manifestations of what Bell called a temporary rupture in their
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