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

Cablegram 511 LONDON, 29 September 1939, 8.02 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE FOR PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

Long meeting took place last night with sub-committee referred to in my telegram 505. [1] Discussion was with regard peace offensive which it appeared certain would be attempted in the near future.

Method and character of such offensive was exhaustively considered and nature and form of reply to be made was discussed without in my view any satisfactory conclusions being arrived at. I urged strongly that an appreciation of the political situation should be prepared similar to a chiefs of staff's appreciation military situation and it seems steps should be taken to draft the type of reply it would be necessary to give under varying circumstances visualised in appreciation, so that our answering message in reply to any proposals would be of a character to convince the world that our case was sound and enlist support of public opinion. This was agreed to but whole position has been altered by Soviet-German statement [2], and time I have been striving for past week to get for consideration and consultation of our reply to any peace offensive will not be available to us.

BRUCE

1 Document 250. Bruce's notes of the meeting are on file AA: M100, September 1939.

2 See Document 253, note 1.

[AA: A981, GERMANY 72B, i]