479 Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram 388 LONDON, 31 May 1941, 5.40 p.m.


Commonwealth of Australia telegram 313 of 23rd May [1] paragraph 3, and New Zealand telegram 192 of 21st May paragraph 2. [2]

The views of the American-Dutch-British Conference on strength of United States Pacific Fleet have been noted, though it might be observed that in making this recommendation the American-Dutch- British Conference went outside their terms of reference (see paragraph 4(b) of my telegram 11th April C. of A. 248, N.Z. 135 [3[).

Our view when considering the United States suggestion for the transfer of substantial proportion of their capital ships to the Atlantic was that such a move was likely to have political effect which would outweigh purely strategic considerations.

1 Document 465.

2 This paragraph is summarised in Document 465, note 8. The cablegram is on file AA: A816, 37/301/88.

3 On file AA: A2937, No. 1. The Pacific. 11th February up to Outbreak of War with Japan.

[AA: A3195, 1941, 1.9020]