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

Cablegram 422 LONDON, 14 June 1940, 7.33 p.m.

MOST SECRET FOR PRIME MINISTER

Netherlands East Indies Following is letter received today from Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs. [1] (Begins) I think that you ought to know that we have heard from a reliable source that the Japanese Consul- General Sydney [2] has informed his Government that statement by Commonwealth Minister for External Affairs to the effect that Consul-General had 'given an assurance on behalf of Japanese Government that Japan will take no action inconsistent with status quo of Netherlands East Indies' was untrue. Consul-General has stated that he never employed such terminology. [3] (Ends.)

BRUCE

1 Lord Caldecote.

2 Masatoshi Akiyama.

3 Nothing has been found to suggest that Akiyama protested to Australian authorities over the terms of McEwen's statement of 24 May 1940 (see Document 277). He apparently asked Lt Col W. R.

Hodgson, Secretary of the External Affairs Dept, for copies of earlier statements by McEwen on the status of the Netherlands East Indies (see Hodgson to Akiyama, 28 May 1940, on file AA: A981, Netherlands 33). In acknowledging receipt of this letter Akiyama said only that 'this information is much appreciated' (see Akiyama to Hodgson, 29 May 1940, on file cited above).

[AA: A981, NETHERLANDS 33]