Churchill to Curtin

Cablegram 154 LONDON, 8 May 1945, 3.40 p.m.


Today, we celebrate the final defeat of the first of our two chief enemies. On this occasion on behalf of the Government and people of the United Kingdom, I convey to our brothers in Australia our cordial congratulations on their part in this great achievement.


The people of these Islands now, after five years and eight months relieved from imminent danger, remember with gratitude the steadfast support which throughout their ordeal has come from Australia and are resolved to persevere to the end in all measures needed to destroy our second enemy. We do not forget the contributions which the armed forces of Australia have made nor the immense exertions with which, despite the close approach of the war to their shores, the people of Australia have continued to produce the supplies of munitions and food necessary to maintain our joint effort.

We can look forward with confidence to the day not far distant when once again we can turn all our energies to the arts of peace and to the building of a new prosperity founded on freedom and security.


1 The general instrument of surrender was signed by Colonel General Alfred Jodl at Eisenhower’s headquarters at Rheims on 7 May. To mollify the Russians, who had not been present, a second instrument of surrender was signed by the chiefs of the armed services, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Admiral Hans von Friedeburg and General Hans Jurgen Stumpff, in Berlin the following day.


[AA : A5954, BOX 577]