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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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The discussion resolved itself into a discussion of how we thought the Japanese would go about attacking the British. It was assumed that at sometime they would go after the British and go after Singapore, which was at that time presumed to be the great stronghold, the great effective point for the control of the whole Asiatic and Pacific area. The British had done nothing to the Japanese, but they did hold Singapore which was the key to Asiatic strength and control.

Knox then piped up and said to the President, and whether he meant to say this for the information of the Cabinet or just for the President, or whether he was checking with the President, I don't know, but he said, “Well, you know, Mr. President, we know where the Japanese fleet is?”

The President said, “Yes, I know,” because the President had his map room already. In that interior room in the office wing of the White House he had developed this very secret and locked up room in which all kinds of secret information was brought to him by wires. There were always admirals and generals rushing in and out of it. The President was kept very closely informed about what was going on, as closely as the Secretaries of War and Navy, on some things.

The President looked up and looked around and said, “I think we ought to tell everybody how ticklish the situation is. We have information, as Knox just mentioned....Well,

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