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

Cablegram unnumbered 6 February 1940,


I continue to be most disturbed about the failure of the authorities in Great Britain to give to our Wool Committee any satisfaction in relation to sales to neutrals, particularly Japan.

I would be glad if you could convey a personal message to Anthony Eden [1] from myself to the effect that there is a very strong impression here that our interests are being overlooked, that a course is being pursued which will gravely impair post-war trade between Australia and neutral countries, and that in particular the whole matter is creating a feeling that the British authorities are indifferent to the problems of the Far East and in particular to our own vital concern to maintain friendly relations with Japan.

I have seen all cables passing to and fro. My own personal impression is that Bradford [2] interests are predominant at the British end. We made a moderate and fair bargain in relation to wool and are, I think, entitled to some recognition of the fact that under normal circumstances large neutral buyers are essential to our wool and therefore to our national economy. If Eden would himself see the various cables he would, I am sure, use his influence in the direction of securing some finality for a discussion that has now gone on for months.


1 U.K. Dominions Secretary.

2 Headquarters of U.K. Wool Control.

[FA: A3196, 0.714]