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

Cablegram 869 LONDON, 1 October 1940, 7 p.m.


JAPAN Have been endeavouring to obtain reactions of United Kingdom Government to German Japanese pact but even now difficult to obtain any definite view as to possible effect on Japanese actions. Pact regarded as far more favourable to Germany and Italy than to Japan unless containing some secret clause not disclosed and felt that the Japanese being a cautious people unlikely to take any immediate action. This view was confirmed by Lothian's [1] conversation with Hull [2] and opinions expressed by Lothian which Casey [3] will have reported to you.

Felt strongly however that the Soviet attitude of utmost importance and Cripps [4] has been asked to report whether he has any reason to suppose that the Soviet Government have contributed to the new combination by undertaking to cease their support to China and collaborate with Japan instead. He has also been authorised to sound the Soviet as to their views on the Far Eastern situation and the part they see themselves playing in it.

Final appreciation of the position by the United Kingdom Government is waiting on Cripps' reply.

Pending this, consideration is being given to advisability of immediate repudiation of Burma Road agreement which Craigie [5] now advocates instead of awaiting the expiry date of it.


1 U.K. Ambassador to the United States.

2 U.S. Secretary of State.

3 Minister to the United States. See Casey's cablegram 288 of 27 September on file AA:A981, Germany 57.

4 U.K. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R.

5 U.K. Ambassador to Japan.

[AA:A981, GERMANY 57]