The commanders in the Middle East had been very pleased with having a cabinet-level minister stationed in the the theater. However, Oliver Lyttleton, the previous minister was moved to Minister of Production. That left the post of Minister of State in the Middle East vacant. The commander protested, and at length, the Australian Minister, Mr. R. G. Casey, who was stationed in Washington, was appointed to succeed Mr. Lyttleton, who left the Middle East at the end of February 1942. The commanders were concerned that they might lose their communications line with the Government in Britain, and that they might not receive the support that they felt that they needed. Mr. Casey did not arrive in the Middle East until 5 May, so until he arrived, Mr. Walter Monckton functioned as the Minister of State. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.