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

Cablegram 450 LONDON, 20 June 1940

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

JAPAN. My telegram No. 147. [1]

After signature of Tientsin agreement yesterday Craigie [2] spoke privately to Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs [3] re present message Director of Military Intelligence. [4]

Arita said that he hoped that the Ambassador would not take the message seriously. He also said he would shortly be discussing with the Ambassador three points mentioned in the message but form and substance of his communication would be entirely different.

Craigie commented that the Minister for Foreign Affairs' reply was satisfactory so far as it went but the possibility of independent action by Japanese Army could not be excluded owing to the collapse of French resistance and for the time being it would be necessary to be very much on the qui vive.

Halifax [5] has instructed Lothian [6] to discuss message of the Director of Military Intelligence with the State Department.

He also instructed him to urge that the U.S.A. Government should issue as soon as possible a declaration regarding the attempt to change status quo in the Far East or Pacific similar to that issued re Netherlands East Indies but in even stronger terms. The announcement should if possible be wide enough to deter Japanese from any action against French possessions in the Far East or South Pacific and also any transfer of Indo-China to Wang Ching Wei's Government. [7]

Meanwhile the Foreign Office have told Craigie to point out to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (a) that recent move by the Army shows German influence at work to endeavour to embroil Japan and United States and (b) if all supplies are cut off from Chiang Kai Shek [8] on south he will be thrown completely into the arms of Russia who will exploit the situation to the detriment of Japan.

BRUCE

1 This is an incorrect reference to cablegram 447 (Document 408).

2 U.K. Ambassador to Japan.

3 Hachiro, Arita.

4 See Document 408.

5 U.K. Foreign Secretary.

6 U.K. Ambassador to the United States.

7 The Japanese-sponsored government established at Nanking on 30 March 1940.

8 Commander-in-Chief of Chinese armed forces and member of Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang.

[AA: A981, FAR EAST 31, ii]