84 Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner to Australia, to U.K. Dominions Office

Cablegram 94 (paraphrase) CANBERRA, 10 May 1939

SECRET

My telegram No. 80 of the 3rd May. [1] Yesterday the Prime Minister [2] told me that since my talk with him of the 2nd May he had received from the Department of External Affairs a memorandum [3] which had altered his views regarding representation at Tokio. In the debate on the international situation [4], categorical statement as to complete unanimity between the United Kingdom and Australia on foreign affairs would make it difficult for Japan to misrepresent the establishment of a legation. On the other hand it was vitally important, especially to Australia, to keep Japan out of war if war should come, and he felt that the creation, at Tokio, of an Australian Legation might be of some assistance in bringing this about.

Difficulty would be to find the right man but as soon as this has been done, or perhaps before, he will communicate further.

1 Document 77.

2 R. G. Menzies.

3 Not found.

4 See Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, vol. 159, statement by Sir Henry Gullett, Minister for External Affairs, pp. 193 ff., and speech by Menzies, PP. 231 ff., both on 9 May 1939.

[PRO: FO 372/3319]