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

Cablegram 405 LONDON, 4 September 1939, 6.48 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE FOR PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

War Cabinet while too big and will doubtless be reduced later by the elimination of those not pulling weight is quite the best selection from the material available and in my view distinctly good. It will, I believe, immediately face up to wide questions of policy and strategy and I am hopeful now of being able to give you some information on these points in the near future. The most immediate question that must be faced and which the War Cabinet already considering is the position of Italy. The Ambassador at Rome [1] has been asked for his views urgently. The Prime Minister [1] has accorded Eden [3] the right to attend the War Cabinet whenever he desires. In my view, arrangement satisfactory unless and until War Cabinet with Dominion representatives included is formed. Short of Imperial War Cabinet, position has in fact to be met by contacts with individual Ministers, particularly the Prime Minister and other Ministers having the greatest amount of weight in the War Cabinet, from whom information can be obtained and through whom views can be conveyed.

BRUCE

1 Sir Percy Loraine.

2 Neville Chamberlain.

3 Anthony Eden, who had become U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs on 3 September 1939.

[AA:A981, GERMANY 83B, iii]