MacArthur is out of Philippine Islands. Now Supreme Commander of “Southwest Pacific Area”. The newspapers acclaim the move -the public has built itself a hero out of its own imagination. I hope he can do the miracles expected and predicted; we could use a few now! Strange that no one sees the dangers. Some apply to MacArthur, who could be ruined by it! But this I minimize; I know him too well. The other danger is that we will move too heavily in the Southwest. Urging us in that direction now will be:
Our public (wanting support for the hero), and
If we tie up our shipping for the S.W. Pacific, we’ll lose this war!!!
Already committed are –
2 heavy bomber groups )
2 medium groups. )
3 pursuit groups. ) Australia
1 light group. )
4 pursuit squadrons – on island bases.
2 Divisions – Australia
1 Division — New Zealand
1 Division — New Caledonia
1 Division — among islands.
This is too much, but I agreed to one in Australia and one in New Zealand to get those people to leave equal numbers in Middle East, which must be saved. More than this will be terrible.