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

Cablegram unnumbered 9 July 1940,


Sir Geoffrey Whiskard [1] has conveyed to me a request from the British Government that, pending the termination of present discussion with Japanese Government, an approach to the Japanese on the question of the establishment of a Legation at Tokyo should be deferred. We have given this earnest consideration but we feel definitely that the Legation should be established. This is particularly so having regard to our vital and growing interest in the Far Eastern position. We therefore desire the necessary steps to be taken as indicated in my earlier cable. The Government has asked Chief Justice Latham to take leave as Chief justice and to act as Minister at Tokyo for initial period. He would like, in considering the proposal, to be assured, if possible, that his appointment would be acceptable to the Government in the United Kingdom and that His Majesty's Ambassador [2] would be desirous of co-operating with him upon a mutual basis. We suggest that announcement of appointment of person in position of Chief justice would be of real value at the time. It would show a definite desire for friendly relations with Japan. We would regard it as desirable from an points of view that the appointment should in due course be announced as having the cordial approval of the Government in the United Kingdom.


1 U.K. Hgh Commissioner in Australia. Whiskard's letter (dated 1 July)is on file AA:A461, A703/1/2.

2 Sir Robert Craigie.

3 The original was incorrectly lettered 'I'.

[AA: A3196, 1940[0.] [3] 4584]