213 Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr A. Eden, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 107 8 September 1939,

Your telegrams Circular B.328, confidential, 3rd September, Optional Clause [1], Circular B.51 of 11th February, 1939, General ACT. [2] Following are copies of telegrams sent to Secretary- General, League of Nations [3] on 7th September, 1939.

First begins: 'His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia has found it necessary to consider the problem in the existing circumstances of its acceptance of the Optional Clause of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International justice and in this connection has perused a letter which is being addressed to you on behalf of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom.

The considerations mentioned in that letter apply equally to the position of His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia and for similar reasons His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia now notifies you that it will not regard its acceptance of the Optional Clause as covering any disputes arising out of the events occurring during the present crisis.

Please communicate this notification to the Governments of all States which have accepted the Optional Clause and to the Registrar of the Permanent Court of International justice.' Ends.

Second begins. 'His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia has found it necessary to consider the problem in the existing circumstances of its accession to the General Act for Pacific Settlement of International Disputes.

Taking into account the considerations referred to in my telegram of even date concerning the Optional Clause of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice which apply with equal force in the case of the General Act, His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia now notifies you that it will not regard its accession to the General Act as covering or relating to any dispute arising out of the events occurring during the present crisis. Please inform all States parties to the General Act.' Ends.

Copies of these telegrams have been sent to Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.

PRIME MINISTER

1 Document 191.

2 Not printed. It reported that the French Government shared the U.K. Government's views on the General Act (on file AA:A981, Disarmament 46).

3 Joseph L.A. Avenel.

[AA:A981, DISARMAMENT 46]