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

Cablegram 187 LONDON, 21 June 1940, 6.34 p.m.

IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

Commonwealth Govt.'s telegram of 18th June No. 303. [1] Please inform the Prime Minister [2] that we entirely appreciate the Commonwealth Government's concern regarding the danger that in some way Japan might acquire or attempt to acquire French Pacific possessions. We had foreseen this possibility and have asked the United States Government to make a declaration to the effect that the United States would not tolerate any alteration of the status quo in the Far East and the Pacific. We have emphasized the necessity for such a declaration being made at the earliest possible moment in order to influence the situation before, if possible, the issue of German terms to France. We agree that if we were to occupy these territories in order to forestall Japan, we should provide them with a dangerous pretext for similar action on their part against the Dutch East Indies. In this connection see the last paragraphs of my telegrams of June 19th, Circ. Z.127, and June 20th, Circ. Z.134. [3]

1 Document 400.

2 R. G. Menzies.

3 Documents 406 and 413.

[AA: A981, WAR 45, iv]