303 Dr R. Asmis, German Consul-General in Sydney, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Letter (copy) SYDNEY, 24 October 1938

PRIVATE AND PERSONAL

Referring to the talk we had at the Wentworth Hotel some months ago regarding public statements made by the Right Honourable Minister of External Affairs [1] vis-a-vis Germany, I beg to enclose herewith a cutting from the 'Sydney Morning Herald' of the 24th inst. which contains a summary of an address broadcasted by the Right Honourable Minister of External Affairs on the Commonwealth's policy regarding the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. [2]

Since I have the intention of forwarding this address to my Government I should feel much obliged if you would kindly inform me whether the statements made therein represent the official attitude of the Commonwealth Government.

R. ASMIS

1 W. M. Hughes.

2 Hughes had said that to hand over New Guinea to Germany would be both 'suicidal' and 'craven', because its strategic importance was of the first magnitude. Australia had efficiently administered the Mandate over New Guinea, which represented the only compensation she had received for her human and monetary losses in the First World War.

[AA : A981, GERMANY 22, iii]