402 Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia, to Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Letter CANBERRA, 18 June 1940

MOST SECRET

I have received a telegram from my Government stating that they have had in preparation a review of the nature desired in the Commonwealth Government's telegram No. 281 of the 11th June [1], but that recent rapid changes in the situation have made the material collected unreliable and likely to convey a misleading picture as matters stand. In the circumstances, it seems to them that the best course is to defer an attempt to appreciate the position until the situation becomes clearer and a more reliable estimate can be given of the relevant factors.

My Government are, of course, most anxious to supply any information that can usefully be given to assist you in forming a clear picture of the general situation and, as you will be aware, they do as occasion offers send appreciations of particular aspects of the problem. They are, however, clear that in present circumstances detailed numerical calculations on the comparative basis suggested by you would not be sufficiently reliable to assist you in forming any conclusions. They full[y] appreciate the importance attached to the reconstitution of the Second A.I.F. and will keep this constantly in mind.

GEOFFREY WHISKARD

1 Document 361.

[DEFENCE: SPECIAL COLLECTION I, BOX 580, STRATEGICAL APPRECIATION IN RELATION TO EMPIRE CO-OPERATION AND LOCAL DEFENCE. REVIEW OF THE INTERNATIONAL AND MILITARY SITUATION CONSEQUENT UPON ITALY'S ENTRY INTO THE WAR]