270 Mr A. T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 352 LONDON, 24 May 1940, 12.20 p.m.

SECRET IMMEDIATE

Your telegram No. 52. [1]

Have checked report. So far as is known here it has no foundation.

Far Eastern Department consider it highly improbable, for the following reasons:

(1) Japanese unlikely to admit any Russian claim to interfere in Netherlands East Indies.

(2) There would be no need for Germans to go to Peking to discuss the situation with Japanese. They could of course do this in Tokyo. According to Japanese Foreign Office spokesman the German Ambassador at Tokyo [2] informed the Japanese Government that 'Germany does not intend any intervention in the question of the Netherlands East Indies'. They have thus given the Japanese a 'free hand'.

This time all information here is to the effect that Japanese are proceeding according to a policy of their own regarding the Netherlands East Indies, i.e., by way of demands of an economic character (telegrams Nos. 338 [3] and 348 [4]).

STIRLING

1 Document 269.

2 General Eugen Ott.

3 See Document 256, note 1.

4 This appears to be an incorrect reference to cablegram 349 on file AA: A1608, B41/1/9, i.

[AA: A981, NETHERLANDS 33]