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

Cablegram [391] [1] LONDON, 7 June 1940, 7.58 p.m.

MOST SECRET FOR THE PRIME MINISTER

Practically no details of fighting received from French. British division[s] on left of the line are being very hard pressed. Broad picture in the Prime Minister's [2] words: 'French bearing up but weight heavy', and from Spears, the Prime Minister's representative in Paris: 'French fighting much better'. My own impression is that the line too long and too thinly held and that German pressure so great will be forced back either slowly taking heavy toll or rapidly if serious break through at any point. If the Germans reach Paris I have grave apprehensions of French collapse but the Prime Minister hopes that even in such an event the French will continue to resist.

Dropping of Daladier [3] has been expected for some days as apparently nerve gone under strain and constituted an element of weakness. He may however be a certain danger outside the Cabinet.

Italy. No development. First ships (my telegram No. 376) [4] have been stopped.

BRUCE

1 The number has been taken from Bruce's file copy on AA: M100, June 1940. The copy circulated in Canberra was incorrectly numbered 390.

2 Winston S. Churchill.

3 Formerly French Foreign Minister.

4 Document 329.

[FA: A3195, 1.4003]