109 Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of Department of External Affairs, to Mr A. T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London

Cablegram 140 8 September 1940,

PERSONAL FOR STIRLING IMMEDIATE

You have no doubt seen and examined point of view of Commonwealth Government on situation in New Caledonia expressed in cablegram to High Commissioner of 31st August. [1]

Telegram from Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs dated 6th September [2] on this subject is completely inexplicable to us, is opposed to our views, and not based on existing facts. For example, paragraph 2 is quite incorrect. We have already signed agreement for 5400 tons nickel per annum three weeks ago and are now negotiating for another 1200 tons.

Would be glad if you could ascertain what is in mind of United Kingdom authorities. At the moment position in New Caledonia is satisfactory from our point of view, and to stage a de Gaulle [3] revolution on lines indicated is just playing into hands of Japanese without benefiting Allied cause.

HODGSON

1 Document 89.

2 Document 105.

3 Leader of the Free French movement.

[AA:A981, TRADE 87B, i]