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

Cablegram unnumbered 26 May 1940,


Your latest appreciation [1], in conjunction with D.W's [2], indicates the extreme gravity of the position as affecting the Belgian and British Armies. The operations of the mechanised divisions on flank and rear of our Forces have so affected the supply situation that it seems to us there is little hope of the position being retrieved. News of capitulation of the Allied Forces north of the gap will profoundly shock public opinion here, and we think it advisable in public interest we should have immediate warning of the likelihood of this in order to prepare public. Would be glad if you would ensure we have advice of any adverse or extreme development before it appears in press or over radio, and that you will send your reviews at most frequent intervals.


1 On 25 May 1940 Bruce reported that the German threat to the Channel ports had made the position of British and Belgian forces in the north extremely serious (see Bruce's cablegram 355 on file AA: M100, May 1940).

2 On file AA: A1608, G41/1/1, iii.

[FA: A3196, 0.3228]