75 Sir Thomas Inskip, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner to Australia

Cablegram 97 LONDON, 29 April 1939, 11 p.m.

SECRET

Telegram from Commonwealth Government of 30th March, No. 34. [1] Secret.

We were on point of replying to the telegram under reference on lines of draft contained in my immediately following telegram but in view of announcement of intentions of Commonwealth Government as regards diplomatic representation reported in the Press [2], it is obviously impossible for us to do so now. We feel, however, that it is desirable that you should communicate the text of our draft reply informally to the Commonwealth authorities, although it is appreciated that at this stage much of what we had intended to say is now out of date. It would have been in accordance with protocol for no announcement of intentions of Commonwealth Government to be made before concurrence of foreign Government had been obtained as in (c) of my immediately following telegram but we are more surprised at publication in view of position of the King in relation to the matter though we realise that discourtesy was far from intention of Commonwealth Government. You need not however stress this aspect of the matter as we gather privately that question is being taken up through other channels. As regards text of notification which is normally addressed to the foreign Government concerned, referred to at (c) of my immediately following telegram [3] please see enclosure 3 to No. 88 in Dominions print No. 114. [4]

His Majesty's Ambassador at Tokyo [5], in addition to his comments which have been embodied in my immediately following telegram stated that if, notwithstanding those objections, the appointment of an Australian Minister were decided on, he felt that a man of Longfield Lloyd's [6] experience of Japanese methods would be better able to cope with difficulties of the situation than would a new man (in this connexion, see correspondence ending in Liesching's letter of 25th November, 1936, (No. 245)). [7] In view of statement included in Press Report here that His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia did not wish to appoint career diplomats, this suggestion of His Majesty's Ambassador at Tokyo would appear unlikely to commend itself to His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia, but unless you see strong objection, we think that you should let the Commonwealth authorities know Craigie's opinion.

1 Document 63.

2 See Document 73.

3 Document 76.

4 Not printed.

5 Sir Robert Craigie.

6 Australian Government Commissioner in Japan.

7 Not printed.

[PRO:FO 372/3319]