151 Mr S.M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, 151 to Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Cablegram 354 LONDON, 25 August 1939, 8.47 p.m.

SECRET FOR PRIME MINISTER

Most important development today Hitler [1] sent for Henderson.

[2] Object or result of interview not yet known. The Ambassador at Rome [3] in close touch with Ciano [4] and still exploring method for useful intervention by Mussolini [5] with Hitler.

Observations by Curtin [6] published here today will be used in German propaganda to maximum extent most desirable induce if possible during the present critical days refrain from similar statements.

BRUCE

1 Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor.

2 Sir Nevile Henderson, U.K. Ambassador to Germany.

3 Sir Percy Loraine.

4 Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian Foreign Minister.

5 Benito Mussolini, Italian Head of State.

6 For a report of the statement by John Curtin, Leader of the Labor Party Opposition, see Melbourne Argus, 25 August 1939, p.

11. He said, inter alia, 'He would be a bold mm who would commit the Commonwealth and the lives of Australians as a pawn in this matter. For my part, I say that the safety of the Australian people impels us to recognise our inability to send Australians overseas to participate in a European war'.

[AA: A981, GERMANY 83B, iii]