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

Cablegram unnumbered 22 July 1940,


[On 12 July the U.K. Govt dispatched to the Commonwealth Govt cablegram D340 which outlined arguments that might be used in the public rejection of any peace conference proposed by Hitler. Bruce complained the same day (cablegram 548) that the arguments suggested were quite inadequate and urged that a more convincing way must be found of demonstrating that the economic and social well-being of all countries depended on an Allied victory. On 18 July Bruce repeated to Menzies (cablegram 573) a message from Lt Gen J. C. Smuts, South African Prime Minister, expressing the fear that Europe might accept a peace based on a German-dominated continental economic system. Smuts believed that such a peace would be a moral and political disaster and suggested immediate Anglo-American co-operation in the preparation of countermoves. On the same day Bruce requested an expression of Menzies's views (cablegram 575) and on 21 July he sent a further cablegram (583) which read: 'As War Cabinet probably considering points raised in Smuts' cable tomorrow I have stressed to Halifax [U.K. Foreign Secretary] that I believe you share Smuts' view as to the necessity of countering Hitler's economic propaganda, that I anticipate receiving a cable from you in the immediate future and that I am confident that your view will be that it is essential that the United Kingdom should formulate a positive and constructive policy. 'All cablegrams are on file AA: A1608, A41/1/1, xi.]

Referring to your recent telegrams you may inform Halifax that I share the views expressed by Smuts in his cable. Any proposals put forward by Hitler will need prompt and clear analysis in order to show that what he aims at is economic domination of Europe to prejudice of British Empire and America. Feel strongly also that analysis not enough and that we must be prepared, preferably in collaboration with U.S.A., to state in broad terms the nature of the world social and economic order which we want to see established after the war. Undoubtedly issues raised in your communications to me early this year must be faced. I should also add that these considerations strengthen belief which is rapidly growing in Australia that whole conduct of die war by British Empire requires early consideration by appropriate Empire body so that we may make our plans, intelligently and not merely day by day.


1 U.K. Ambassador to Japan.

2 Document 14.

3 Winston S. Churchill. See Document 36.

[AA: A3196, 1940, 0.5030]