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

Cablegram 365 LONDON, 29 May 1940, 11.45 p.m.

FOR PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET PERSONAL HIMSELF

French have been urging desirability of appeal to Roosevelt for assistance to Allies by U.S.A. Smuts [1] last night I understand in cable I have not seen put forward view that appeal to Roosevelt should be down lines 'is America prepared to stand aside while civilisation is destroyed'.

As in my view anything in the nature of an appeal is doomed to failure as if made would create the impression the Allies regard their position as hopeless and would open the door for sections of American opinion to say that the Allies were trying to drag America in to save them from the position they had landed themselves in, I have strongly opposed the idea and have submitted to the United Kingdom Government a memorandum suggesting an alternative course copy of which sent in separate cable. [2]

I feel only consideration which will induce U.S.A. to act is self interest and only then if some alternative to merely entering the war on Allied side is offered to them.

Repeated to Australian Minister Washington. [3]

BRUCE

1 South African Prime Minister.

2 Document 309.

3 R. G. Casey. See also Document 310.

[AA: M100, MAY 1940]