141 Mr A.T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London, to Lt Col W.R. Hodgson, Secretary of Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 344 LONDON, 22 August 1939

CONFIDENTIAL PERSONAL FOR HODGSON

It has not been possible to send you any authoritative view. The High Commissioner [1] has been with Ministers continuously and will shortly be advising you.

In reply to your telegram No. 51 [2] and in case the position was not clear from our telephone conversation, I was not advised of arrival of your telegrams until nearly seven a.m. Tuesday [3] owing to delay in their being delivered at this office. This delay was due to circumstances over which we had absolutely no control and I have brought it to the notice of the authorities, so that there will be no recurrence. I endeavoured at once to contact the Foreign Office, but could get no information and then came as soon as possible to this office where I learned that your telephone call was coming through. When I left here at eight p.m. Monday evening after completing the round at the Foreign Office and elsewhere, there was no hint of this development. Press news came through in the middle of the night.

STIRLING

1 S.M. Bruce.

2 Document 140.

3 22 August 1939.

[AA: A981, GERMANY 72B, i]