Transcript

It was proposed that the January convoy (re-numbered JW 52 ) would also sail in two parts. Arrangements had been completed for the first part, which would comprise 16 ships. The position in regard to the second part of the January convoy was that, whiles there were substantial quantities of low priority goods (foodstuffs, machine tools etc) available for loading, neither the War Office nor the Air Ministry saw their way to make any substantial quantities of tanks and aircraft available without interfering with allocations earmarked for overseas theatres of operation. A similar position would arise with future convoys, assuming the continuance of a monthly cycle of sailings.

For example, the War Cabinet were informed that, over and above 250 Hurricanes included in the first part of the January convoy, all available Hurricanes were now required in the Middle East.

As regards tanks, a rather difficult position had arisen inasmuch as the Russians had now raised objection to receiving 2-pdr Churchill tanks, and wished to receive only tanks mounting the 6-pdr gun. It had been possible to meet their requests so far as concerned the 20 2-pdr Churchills in the first part of the January convoy, but we could not meet their wishes thereafter without taking away 6-pdr tanks from troops in this country.