380 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States

Cablegram unnumbered 14 June 1940,

Please arrange for the presentation of the following message to the President of the United States [1] from me:-

'I recently had the honour to communicate with you on the subject of possible United States assistance to the Allied arms. [2]

Since then the position has become rapidly and progressively worse [3], and I do not exaggerate when I say that as a British and democratic country we are forced to contemplate the possibility of a beaten France, a Great Britain in danger of being overwhelmed not by superior courage or by a good cause, but by a villainous combination of international lawlessness and a long-prepared mechanical superiority. [4]

In certain events we in Australia may have to fight for our own lives, and I want to tell you that with all the defects of our equipment we will fight for them to the end.

At this moment the eyes of the whole liberty-loving world are turned to you and your great people.

I believe that even now, if the United States, by a magnificent and immortal gesture, could make available to the Allies the whole of her financial and material resources, Germany could be defeated. The effect upon the spirit of France would be transfiguring, while the whole of the English-speaking peoples of the world would, by one stroke, be welded into a brotherhood of world salvation.

On behalf of the people of Australia and the future of this land, I appeal to you for the fullest possible measure of co-operation and help.' [5]

1 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

2 See Document 280.

3 As deciphered in Washington this read:'. . . has become rapidly grave and, as it might well become worse . . .' (See Casey's file copy on AA: A3300, 46.) 4 Casey's copy read 'mechanism of superiority'.

5 This cablegram was repeated to the U.K., New Zealand, Canadian and South African Prime Ministers.

[FA: A3196, 0.3829]