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

Circular cablegram D553 LONDON, 1 November 1940, 10.27 p.m.


Following for the Prime Minister- We are considering holding during the course of the next ten days a meeting in London of representatives of Allied Governments which could be described as a revival of the Supreme War Council.

2. The Governments of Poland, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium, and the provisional Czechoslovak Government, would be represented by their Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. Greece would be represented by the Greek Minister; the Free French Forces by an observer. We hope that the Dominion Governments would agree to be represented at such a meeting; it would appear to us that the High Commissioner in London could appropriately do this if so authorized by these Governments.

3. It is proposed that the Agenda should consist of a statement by the Prime Minister [1], any questions raised by a representative arising out of the Prime Minister's statement, and the adoption of a resolution and a press communique. The meeting would not be called upon to take decisions, but to provide a manifestation of Allied solidarity. Military plans and operations would not be discussed and the meeting would have an informal character.

4. The resolution, which it is proposed would be adopted, is as follows, and subject to any comments which Dominion Governments may wish to make, would be submitted to the Allied representatives for their agreement.

Resolution begins:-

'The representatives of the Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, Union of South Africa, Belgium, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, and Poland, and the Czechoslovak Provisional Government, allied together in the fight against aggression are resolved:-

(1) That they will continue the struggle for the liberation of Europe from German and Italian oppression until victory is won, and will mutually assist each other in the struggle to the utmost of their respective capacities.

(2) That there can be no settled peace and prosperity so long as free peoples are coerced by violence into submission to German or Italian domination or live under threat of such coercion.

(3) That the only true basis for a new order in Europe is willing co-operation of free peoples in a system of military, economic and social security, and that it is their intention to work together both in war and peace to this end.' (Resolution ends).

considerations in mind. In the first place we have to take account of the fact that none of the Allied Governments except Greece is at war with Italy, and that Greece is not at war with Germany.

Secondly, account has to be taken of the position of overseas possessions of Belgium and the Netherlands, and, for this reason, the resolution has not been limited entirely to Europe. Thirdly, an endeavour has been made to steer a course between a resolution drafted in precise terms and involving substantial commitments which might give rise to difficulties in securing agreement, and a resolution of too general and vague a character which might afford an opening for enemy propaganda.

We should be grateful for a very early expression of your views.

[AA:A1608, C41/1/1]

1 Winston S. Churchill.

[5]. This draft resolution has been compiled with the following