171 Commonwealth Government to Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 535 13 October 1940,

MOST SECRET

Repeated to Prime Minister of New Zealand [1], No. 40.

Australian Minister, Washington [2], No. 9.

High Commissioner, London [3], No. 625.

Your telegram No. 338 of 10th October. [4] Commonwealth Government are in agreement with proposed plan for conversations in London and Washington. We welcome opportunity of attendance of our Service representatives at talks in London and have telegraphed Australian High Commissioner, London, who will make necessary arrangements. [5] As regards discussions in Washington, Australian staff delegation is to consist of Commodore Boucher [6] and Air Commodore Goble [7], who is at present at Ottawa. Major General Northcott [8] is also included in the Delegation, but as he is attending the Singapore Conference which opens on 22nd October he could not reach Washington before middle of November. Glad to have information of arrangements for Washington as soon as possible.

1 Peter Fraser.

2 R. G. Casey.

3 S. M. Bruce.

4 Document 170.

5 Bruce was informed on 12 October that Air Commodore F. H.

McNamara and Colonel J. H. F. Pain would represent the Air Force and Army respectively. Pain in fact became seriously ill before the talks began and was replaced by Major J. K. Coffey. As there was no suitable Australian naval officer in London Bruce was asked to arrange with the Admiralty for a representative to hold a watching brief over Australian naval interests. The Commonwealth Govt stressed the importance the Australian naval authorities attached to the development of naval bases at Darwin and Port Moresby. See cablegram 624 of 12 October to Bruce and unnumbered cablegram of 16 October from Bruce on file AA:A1608, X27/1/1.

6 Second Naval Member, Commonwealth Naval Board.

7 Liaison Officer to the Empire Air Training Scheme in Canada.

8 Deputy Chief of the General Staff

[AA:A3196, 1940, 0.7640]