13 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr N. Chamberlain, U.K. Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered 12 January 1940,


In view of the importance and possible repercussions of any

decision to take action in Norwegian territorial waters to cut off

German supplies of iron ore I earnestly request that no decision

should be taken by the United Kingdom Cabinet until the Dominions

have had an opportunity to express their views.

To enable these views to be formed I suggest that we should be

fully informed of the arguments in favour of and against the

proposed action and that we should be supplied with a summary of

any appreciation by the General Staff of the assistance that could

be rendered to Norway and Sweden in the event of the proposed

action leading to an attack by Germany on one or both of these


While I realise the significance of the iron ore export to Germany

my present disposition is to think that the suggested action would

have a bad effect in neutral countries and might present arguments

to Germany which she would not otherwise have. [1]

1 This cablegram was repeated to S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in

London, on 12 January 1940 with the preamble 'Following on your

telegrams No. 27 and 28. Telegram in following terms has been sent

to Prime Minister'. (See copy on file AA: M100, January 1940.)

[AA: A981, WAR 45B, ii]