193 War Cabinet Minute

Minute 257 CANBERRA, 1 May 1940

AGENDUM NO. 96/1940 [1]-STRATEGICAL APPRECIATION CONSEQUENT UPON ITALY'S POSSIBLE ENTRY INTO THE WAR

(Previous reference-War Cabinet Minute No. (256) [2]).

The War Cabinet noted the cablegram that had been despatched to the Dominions Office in reply to the United Kingdom Government's cablegram No. 129 and the appreciation submitted by the Chiefs of Staff on the destination of convoys U.S.2 and U.S.3.

As it is anticipated that the appreciation sought from the United Kingdom Government should be forthcoming within a short period, the following decisions were reached in regard to the Chiefs of Staffs view that the advice tendered by the Dominions Office should be conformed to unreservedly:-

(i) The embarkation of the third convoy is to proceed as arranged, but the convoy is not to go beyond Fremantle until a decision on the destination of the A.I.F. is reached by the Government. The time that will be taken for the vessels to reach Fremantle should afford ample margin for this.

(ii) The second convoy is to continue to Colombo, where it is due on Friday, 3rd May, and is not to proceed beyond this port until a decision on the destination of the A.I.F. is reached by the Government.

1 The Agendum included the cablegrams referred to below and printed as Documents 190 and 191 and the Chiefs of Staff appreciation printed as Document 192.

2 See Document 191, note 2.

[AA: A2673, VOL. 2]