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

Cablegram [373] [1] LONDON, 1 June 1940, 8.44 p.m.


Your telegram of today's date. [2] United Kingdom Government now recognises that if maximum is to be achieved with United States [President's] [3] anxiety relevant possible disposition British fleet most important factor and Lothian [4] is following up effect of your cable to the President and Casey's interview with Welles.


Present position is: the public appeal to the President by Heads of States has been discarded and considered suggestion at the end of my memorandum goes too far. The proposal by Lothian is now under consideration i.e. open letter by Prime Ministers of last remaining democratic States of Western Europe and Dominions addressed to United States putting position and certain requests soberly before them. Statement to be in two parts. First part would refer to (a) fact mankind confronted by most formidable aggression against liberty in its history, (b) already eight free peoples have been annihilated, (c) with every success both appetite and power for aggression increase, (d) now beyond doubt Nazi and associated systems cannot now stop until last element of effective resistance to its domination is isolated or destroyed.

In these circumstances defenders of remaining free democracies all of whom are determined to continue to fight to the end ask United States to consider what contribution it can make to strengthen collective resistance to aggression and prospects of ultimate victory before Nazis destroy more of the foci of resistance and [chance disappears] [6] of effective opposition to their domination in their world through overwhelming preponderance in land, air and sea power and action of Fifth Columns. What if anything it can do is of course for United States itself to decide.

Second part would contain practical suggestions for action which United States might take, set out in order of importance. This would be presented to the President alone, for publication only if he thinks advisable:

(1) any strong action which United States can take which will deter other nations from joining Nazi side or encourage freedom- loving nations to refuse submission to Germany.

(2) any pressure on Germany and her Allies by way of economic action or blockade.

(3) sale to Allies immediately of any available implements of war, aeroplanes, guns etc. which may make difference between their success and failure in next few critical months.

(4) building up of long-distance sources of supply of munitions foodstuffs etc. in United States if possible by credits as proposed when Allied resources are exhausted.

(5) immediate help with appalling problem of refugee relief.

Dominions Office cabling you result Prime Minister's visit to Paris.


1 The number has been inserted from Bruce's file copy on AA: M100, June 1940.

2 Document 325.

3 Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Canberra copy read 'the large'. It has been corrected from Bruce's file copy.

4 U.K. Ambassador to the United States.

5 See Documents 280 and 319.

6 The Canberra copy read 'chances of disappearance'.

[FA: A3195, 1.3799]