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

Cablegram 147 LONDON, 27 February 1940, 5.30 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE FOR THE PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

Norwegian territorial waters. War Cabinet resuming consideration tomorrow night. Most desirable that your views available before the meeting. Am cabling communication to the United Kingdom Government from the Prime Minister of South Africa. [1]

BRUCE

1 See Bruce's cablegram 148 of 27 February 1940 on file AA: A981, Europe 30, ii. General Smuts argued that while there was a good case for anti-German action in Norwegian territorial waters it should not be allowed to prejudice the more important issue of assistance to Finland. The latter could be justified by the declaration of the U.S.S.R. as an aggressor under the League of Nations Covenant, so that if Norway and Sweden refused to grant passage to troops the Allies would be able to seize ports of transit.

[AA: A981, EUROPE 30, ii]