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

Cablegram unnumbered 1 September 1939,

Your cablegram regarding German proposals. [1] We all agree that these are surprisingly reasonable and there is earnest hope that provided adequate guarantees are forthcoming the Poles will not adopt impossible attitude. At the same time proper to point out to you that Ministers here while of above opinion and therefore anxious that all reasonable pressure should be exercised in the direction of settlement are apprehensive that any undue pressure might result in another subsequent story similar to that of Czechoslovakia. In any conversation you have with Chamberlain [2] this aspect should be stressed as representing view of Australian Government. Agree with you that both the German offer and the continued passage of time when time is so important to Germany are indications of some insecurity in Hitler's [3] mind and afford justification for seeing that not all the pressure is on Warsaw but that substantial amount is exercised in Berlin. Have also cabled Chamberlain direct. [4] Regards. [5]

MENZIES

1 Document 175.

2 Neville Chamberlain, U.K. Prime Minister.

3 Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor.

4 Document 174.

5 The version of this cablegram received by Bruce (See AA: M100, September 1939) contained a number of mutilations. It read: 'Your telegram regarding German proposals. We all agree that these are surprisingly reasonable and there is earnest hope provided that adequate guarantees are forthcoming the Poles will not adopt impossible attitude. (Indication?) proper to point out to you that Ministers here while of above opinion and therefore anxious all reasonable (?) should be exercised in direction of settlement are apprehensive that any undue pressure might result in another subsequent story similar to that of Czecho-Slovakia. In any conversation you have with Chamberlain this (?) aspect should be stressed as representing view of Australian Government. Agree with you that both uncertainty of offer and (?) of passage of time when time is so important to Germany are indications of some insincerity in Hitler's mind and afford justification just before outnumbered not slow pressure is on Warsaw but that substantial amount is exercised in Berlin. Have also cabled Chamberlain direct. Regards'.

[AA: A1608, A41/1/1, iv]