154 Department of External Affairs to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States

Cablegram 40 [17 April 1940, 6.10 p.m.] [1]

MOST SECRET

Information has been received from Bruce indicating that attack on Netherlands by Germany is believed in many quarters to be imminent [2], in which case position of Netherlands East Indies has to be considered in light of possible Japanese intervention there on ostensible ground of protecting her interests. It is probable British Ambassador, Washington [3], will receive instructions to discuss question with United States authorities view to ascertaining their attitude and possible action.

As question is vital to Australia, desire that you consult with Ambassador and associate yourself with any representations he makes. In this respect see views of President and principal advisers in May, 1939, vide cablegram 20 from Officer. [4]

1 Information on dispatch and receipt has been taken from the Washington file copy on AA: A3300, 16. The copy circulated in Canberra was dated ?18 April 1940.

2 See Document 146.

3 Lord Lothian.

4 Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. II, Document 82 and Attachments.

[FA: A3196, 0.2342]