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

Cablegram [245] [1] LONDON, 15 April 1940, 8.15 [? p.m.]


Your telegram of 14th April. [2] In my long conversation with the Prime Minister-my telegram NO. 207 of 27th March [3]-I stressed the necessity for more resolute and imaginative diplomacy and propaganda both in Scandinavia and South-East Europe and brought out all points in my telegram No. 205 of 27th March. [4] As I indicated in my telegram No. 207 at first the Prime Minister was resentful of criticism but subsequently fully discussed in friendly atmosphere various points I had raised and I believe that the Prime Minister appreciated without admitting it that there was some justification for criticism.

I feel that this leaven which was provided unofficially is working and we may hope for results.

If, however, I now convey your message officially which covered the same points raised by me in my conversation I fear it will create considerable resentment resulting in a long cable of justification of the United Kingdom Government policy past and present and put the Prime Minister on the defensive.

For these reasons and in view of immediate vital questions that now face the Prime Minister-my telegram No. 244 [5]-I feel that the present moment is not opportune for the communication of your message and I would earnestly plead that you permit me to withhold delivery of it. [6]


1 The number has been taken from Bruce's file copy on AA: M100, April 1940.

2 Document 142.

3 Document 117.

4 Document 116.

5 Document 146.

6 Menzies replied on 16 April 1940: 'Thanks your telegram 15th April. Am quite satisfied to leave matter to your discretion.' (See unnumbered cablegram on file AA: A1608, A41/1/1, viii.)

[FA: A3195, 1.2483]