132 Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Mr N. Chamberlain, U.K. Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered 10 March 1938,

SECRET

Condensed reports of your speech on 8th March on Defence which have appeared in Australian press indicate that the protection of oversea possessions would be only the third objective of Britain's defence policy. The inference has been drawn by the press that in the event of war, Great Britain may not be able to defend her oversea possessions. This naturally has caused considerable misgiving in the minds of the Australian people and, without doubt, will be the subject of question in Parliament. As you know, we have had no official advice from your Government. I would be glad if you could forward some supplementary and reassuring statement for use here.

LYONS

[AA : A1608, 051/1/1]