328 Mr S.M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Mr A. Eden, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Letter LONDON, 6 November 1939

My Government has now advised me that they are desirous of establishing a Legation in Washington and accrediting a Minister to the United States at the earliest possible moment. I shall be obliged, therefore, if you will arrange for His Majesty's Ambassador [1] to take the matter up and ascertain from the United States Administration whether the appointment of an Australian Minister would be acceptable.

In the event of the answer being in the affirmative, the Commonwealth Government propose that I should proceed to the United States of America at the earliest practical moment on a special mission for the purpose of making the necessary arrangements for the establishment of the Legation and for the transference of Australia's political representation in the United States from the British Embassy to the Australian Legation.

It is not proposed that I should remain in Washington as the Australian Minister but should be accredited to the United States solely for the purpose of establishing the Legation and that when I have completed this task I would appoint a Charge d'Affaires to carry on until the arrival in Washington of the Australian Minister which it is hoped would be early in the New Year.

I shall be obliged if you will arrange also for His Majesty's Ambassador to ascertain whether the above procedure would be acceptable to the United States Government.

S.M. BRUCE

1 Lord Lothian.

[PRO: FO 372/3319]