167 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 526 [10 October 1940] [1],


(Repeated to Prime Minister of New Zealand. [2] No. 35, and Aust.

Min. Washington [3] 8).

Cablegrams Nos. 333 and Z. 290 [4] have been read with much interest. With reference to Z. 291 and No. 334 [5], His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia is in full agreement with the proposed private staff talks between the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Dominion Governments concerned, and the Dutch authorities, on common action for defence, and is prepared to send Service representatives to Washington.

We also heartily concur in proposed invitation to United States of America representative to attend Singapore Conference and replied on 8th October [6] to your cablegram No. 384 [7], relative to our participation therein.

In regard to Z. 292 [8], relative possibility that the United States might find itself at war with Japan, as result of discussions with United Kingdom Government to secure some form of concerted reaction to Japanese-Axis Pact and the conclusion of the United Kingdom Government that should the question arise, it would declare war on Japan, the Commonwealth Government would, in such circumstances, take similar action. It is assumed, of course, in regard to your earlier cablegrams Nos. 262, 263, 267 and Z. 214 [9] on strategical position in Far East and assurances therein relative to naval dispositions designed to secure Commonwealth against major aggression that dispositions of combined Anglo- American naval strength would be such as to achieve the same end.


1 Inserted from the Prime Minister's Dept outward cablegram register (AA:A3643, 1).

2 Peter Fraser.

3 R. G. Casey.

4 Dispatched 7 and 9 October respectively. See file AA: A981, Far East 26A.

5 Documents 162 and 165.

6 See Document 165, note 5.

7 See Document 165, note 5.

8 Document 163.

9 Documents 64, 65, 61 and 66.

[AA:A3196, 1940, 0.7551]