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

Cablegram 9 LONDON, 3 January 1940, 8.08 p.m.

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

War Cabinet has today been considering the question of German iron

ore supplies from Sweden, only source still open. German stock

unquestionably short probably not more than three months. Supplies

are shipped from Narvik and Lulea but from the latter only in

summer. Narvik supply [sic], owing to their going through

Norwegian territorial waters, have to date not been intercepted.

Norwegian Government now being informed that owing to outrages by

Germany on merchant shipping in territorial waters United Kingdom

propose to treat such waters as open sea. Final decision will be

taken when Norwegian reaction is ascertained. Sweden has already

been approached but notwithstanding that iron ore concerned is

Swedish offered no objection and indicated that the matter was one

for Norway.

Question of probable action by Germany resulting against Norway

and for [sic] [1] Sweden was considered in conjunction with whole

Scandinavian position which is already under examination.

BRUCE

1 Bruce's file copy read 'and/or' (see AA: M100, January 1940).

[AA: A981, EUROPE 30, ii]