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

Circular Cablegram D73 LONDON, 10 November 1939, 1.48 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

My circular D.66 8th November. [1]

Following for the Prime Minister:-

In view of the threatening situation on the German-Dutch frontier the question of His Majesty's [2] reply to the communication from the Queen of Holland and the King of the Belgians [3] is becoming matter of urgency. Draft reply is being considered by the War Cabinet this morning. Reply will of course indicate that it is sent on Ministerial advice and we naturally attach much importance to it being possibly stated that the Ministerial advice is that of His Majesty's Governments overseas as well as that of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the hope that this course will be generally acceptable the draft reply will be framed so as to indicate this and we should be grateful if it were possible for you to telegraph at the earliest possible moment after receipt of the draft that you agree to the procedure proposed and that you are in agreement with the text of the draft reply.

It would facilitate consultation if you would repeat your reply to this telegram to the other three overseas Prime Ministers.

1 Not printed. This cablegram reported information received from Hubert Pierlot, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the mediation offer was an attempt to save the situation by increasing odium on Germany who might hesitate to attack two countries which had offered their good offices. It also reported the intention of the U.K. Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, to refer to the offer in a speech on 9 November in the course of which he would state that the Dominions would be consulted before any reply could be given. See AA: A1608, A41/1/1, v.

2 King George VI.

3 See Document 333.

[AA: A981, WAR 45B, ii]