282 Lord Caldecote, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia

Circular cablegram Z76 LONDON, 26 May 1940, 11 p.m.

MOST SECRET AND PERSONAL DECIPHER YOURSELF

Please give following message to Prime Minister [1] for his most secret and personal information:-

Begins.-Discussion with French Prime Minister [2] took place in London to-day. In consequence of inability of the French to make any effective attack from the south, attack by British Expeditionary Force from the north would be useless. Decision has therefore been taken that British Expeditionary Force should be withdrawn forthwith to this country and move of the units north of the Somme is now beginning.

We have to face possibility that French are not going to carry on.

Question of our position on this hypothesis is being considered and I hope to be able to telegraph fully in course of to-morrow War Cabinet's preliminary views.

Vital importance of maintaining strictest secrecy as to contents of this telegram cannot be over-emphasized.-Ends.

1 R. G. Menzies.

2 Paul Reynaud.

[PRO: DO 114/113]