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

Cablegram 1357 26 November 1940,


Following for Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs [1]- Your Circular Z. 380. [2] We approve of your proposed action regarding China. We would like to emphasize- (a) That the danger of China abandoning the struggle if not given immediate assistance seems to us to be very real and that such an abandonment would involve the most disastrous consequences to the British position in the Far East and to the position of Australia and New Zealand in particular.

(b) That discussion and agreement with the United States is of urgent importance. In paragraph 9 of the circular you mention certain points and say that they 'will be discussed with the United States Government in due course'. We hope that this does not indicate that minor importance is attached to these matters.

In our opinion the greatest efforts should be made with all urgency to persuade the United States not only of the importance of helping China, but of the importance of helping her as quickly as possible. [3]


1 Lord Cranborne.

2 Document 203.

3 This cablegram was repeated to R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, as no. 26 with the additional sentence: 'I would be glad if you could do everything in your power to impress these views upon the United States Government because the estimate made by the British authorities of the possibilities of a collapse of Chinese resistance have given rise to the gravest apprehensions on our part.'

[AA:A3196, 1940, 0.9359]