36 Note by Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, of Meeting of Dominion High Commissioners

Extract LONDON, 30 January 1940

We had some conversation with regard to the French suggestion about Petsamo [1], but solely from the point of view as to whether it was desirable to give the Dominion Governments some warning of the possibility of developments. The question was brought up by Waterson [2], as a result of a conversation I had with him on the telephone in the morning, when I advised him to communicate with Smuts. [3] He, apparently, however, wanted to get Eden's agreement and when the matter was brought up Eden [4] rather suggested that any communication should be delayed for the moment.

I indicated that I thought this delay was unnecessary and that there was much to be said for giving Dominion Prime Ministers early advice privately of developments which might possibly take place.

Nothing definite emerged out of the conversation but for my part I do not propose to adopt Waterson's practice on the present occasion of bringing up matters which I propose to communicate to the Prime Minister. [5]

1 See Document 25, note 1.

2 South African High Commissioner in London.

3 South African Prime Minister.

4 U.K. Dominions Secretary.

5 R. G. Menzies.

[AA: M100, JANUARY 1940]