January 24, 1942
Today is the anniversary of our departure from Edmonton just two years ago. It seems much longer than that, but you slowly lose touch with your home ties which is really a blessing in some respects. I find myself wondering when it’s all going to end and how. I feel very sorry for the poor Australians who are really in grave danger of an invasion for the first time. The thing that burns me up is that the cream of their fighting men have been sent to scattered spots to take part in hopeless situations and, now that they themselves are menaced, they get very little sympathy and practical or material help form the Mother Country. The Englishman is much too self-satisfied and complacent, and I find myself fast losing patience with him. They are much too fond of speaking of far-reaching strategy, which one must consider before sending help to any particular quarter of the Empire. The thing they just can’t seem to get through their thick skulls is that, to Australians, Australia is much more important than even England herself. Some of them even have the gall to say that “Oh well, we will get it all back in the end,” entirely overlooking the feelings of the people who would have to live under those little slant-eyed devils in the meantime.
I think Mr. Churchill is a fine man and one of the world’s finest orators, but I do think he has a fine collection of “nincompoops” around him. Australia doesn’t mince matters in the least and every day fresh comments are forthcoming which should jar this country if nothing else will. They make the claim, and not without cause, that when Mr. Churchill speaks, he gives only the British viewpoint and not the Empire’s.
I know one thing and that is, if Australia is invaded and conquered, I will be very much against conscription for overseas service at home.
Another thing that galls me, is the way we were led to believe that our valuable possessions in the Far East, namely the Strait Settlements and Malay States were well fortified against any possible invasion, only to find, when the test comes, that we have nothing of the kind. I was amused and horrified to read an article on the chances of Singapore holding out and to learn that their chances were greatly reduced by the fact that the chief water supply could easily be cut off on the mainland and the secondary supply was inadequate, due to the fact that the reservoirs had been allowed to fall into almost complete disrepair. Well, I suppose it won’t help a bad situation to sit here and moan about it, so I will say no more. I hope you don’t mind me relieving my feelings at your expense, but I just have to let go now and then. I just wish it were possible for us to go to Australia’s aid and leave England to the Englishman.