401 Lord Caldecote, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia

Circular cablegram Z124 LONDON, 18 June 1940, 12.05 a.m.

Prime Minister will be making statement in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon. [1] On the assumption that this statement would be broadcast we had hoped to suggest that the Dominion Prime Ministers should be invited to follow with personal and oral statements in the same broadcast. We are, however, advised that for technical reasons this procedure would have been unpracticable since anything approaching satisfactory reception in certain cases could not be guaranteed and moreover it is now doubtful whether the Prime Minister's statement will in fact be broadcast. [2] In these circumstances the best course would appear to be that, if, as we hope, the Dominion Prime Ministers feel able to, they should, as soon as possible after the receipt of Mr. Churchill's speech, issue locally public statements of their own. These would of course be received through press channels for publication here.

Full press reports of the Prime Minister's statement will no doubt be received. Please telegram if the Dominion Governments wish text to be sent officially en clair after delivery. [3]

1 For the text of Churchill's statement on 18 June 1940 see House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, fifth series, vol. 362, cols 51-61.

2 Churchill did in fact broadcast 'an address similar to his specch in Parliament' on the same day (see the Times, 19 June 1940, p. 6).

3 After consulting Menzies (who was in Melbourne) the Prime Minister's Dept asked the U.K. High Commission in Canberra for a copy of the official text of Churchill's statement at 1 p.m. on 18 June 1940 (see note on file AA: CP290/7, Z, i). No record has been found of a public statement by Menzies.