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

Circular cablegram Z292 LONDON, 7 October 1940, 11.40 p.m.

IMPORTANT MOST SECRET AND PERSONAL

Please give the following message to the Prime Minister.

BEGINS.

As will be seen from the message in my telegram Circular Z.291 of today [2]' the question of further action in relation to Japan by the United States in conjunction with us is being discussed with United States authorities. We gather, in this connection, that there is an impression in certain quarters that if, as a result of any such action, the United States were to find themselves at war with Japan, we might stand aside. The War Cabinet has considered this aspect and there is no doubt in their mind that should the question arise we should certainly declare war on Japan. May we assume that in the circumstances the attitude of your Government would be similar? We are proposing to let our Ambassadors at Washington [3] and Tokyo [4] know what our attitude would be in case the question should arise and we should be grateful therefore for your views at the earliest possible moment. ENDS.

1 R. G. Menzies.

2 Document 162.

3 Lord Lothian.

4 Sir Robert Craigie.

[AA:A1608, A41/1/5, ii]