519 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 462 WASHINGTON, 23 June 1941, 11.52 p.m.


Repeated to Tokyo No. 69. Repeated to London No. 27.

I saw the Soviet Ambassador here [1] today who greeted me: 'My dear Casey now we are allies.' I just avoided personal embrace.

His respect for me has increased as I told him on 1st May that Germany would attack Russia on 30th June. I apologized for the inaccuracy.

He is very pleased with Churchill's broadcast [2] but is much concerned that he has had no call to visit the State Department.

He asked me if I thought that the Lend-Lease legislation would be extended to include Russia and generally showed signs of anxiety.

As soon as I discovered that he had no recent advice from Moscow I confined myself to strong advocacy in Russian interests of extending military equipment aid to China.

The State Department say that the Japanese Ambassador at Moscow [3] told the American Ambassador at Moscow [4] that he believed that Japan would wait to see how the war progressed and would then pick up any pieces that looked easy.

Churchill's speech was timely in giving the necessary and acceptable direction to American press and radio comment.

The major reaction is that the necessity for American aid to Britain is undiminished, and her opportunity to give effective aid much increased. This reaction overshadows the small minority isolationist press attitude that Britain no longer endangered and all justification of United States intervention removed. Wide agreement with the idea that attack on Russia is convincing evidence of German programme of world domination.

Informed opinion here does not expect Russia to be capable of maintaining prolonged effective resistance but on the other hand it is believed Russia will be very difficult country to defeat.


1 M. M. Litvinov.

2 For the text of Churchill's broadcast declaration of support for the U.S.S.R. on 22 June see Dominions Office cablegram D368 on file AA: A981, Great Britain 8B, vi.

3 Yoshitsugu Tatekawa.

4 L. A. Steinhardt.

[AA: A3830, 1941, 1626]