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

Cablegram 652 LONDON, 8 August 1940

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

Chinese Ambassador [1] saw me today for the purpose of making the following representations.

If, as the Chinese Government understood, Australia was contemplating the early appointment of a Minister at Tokyo simultaneously a Minister should be appointed to Chungking.

In the event of Australia feeling that a simultaneous appointment to China would have unfavourable repercussions in Japan and for that reason owing to the existing state of tension was hesitant about making appointment to Chungking China would ask for the postponement of both appointments so that they could be made simultaneously when conditions were more favourable.

I told the Ambassador that I could not give him any information as to your intentions as my position was probably very similar to the one in which he very often found himself, namely that when his Government took any action through him they informed him fully at an early date policy and intentions but when they did not require him to do anything they probably failed to supply him with information. The latter was my position in this matter and consequently I was not in a position to give him any information.

I undertook to convey his representations.

BRUCE

1 Dr Quo Tai-chi.

[AA:A3195, 1940, 1.6456]