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

Cablegram 2648 29 May 1941,

Reference your cable 363 [1], I am sending a message through you to Churchill. [2]

I agree with your general approach subject to one criticism: I cannot believe that the occupation of Crete and Cyrenaica by Germany would not result in creating another problem like that of the Sicilian Narrows in the waters between Crete and Africa.

Further, unless we can push Germany back westward from Sollum, I anticipate such an air reinforcement of German Forces in Libya that Alexandria may be seriously threatened.

Nothing in our knowledge of the tank position in the Middle East suggests that mechanised forces could be diverted from Sollum to Syria, and I have therefore thought fit to emphasise to Churchill the paramount importance of air reinforcements so that the occupation of Syria by carrier planes may be defeated.

MENZIES

1 Document 470.

2 Document 475.

[AA: A3196, 1941, 0.7141]