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

Cablegram 727 LONDON, 27 August 1940, 8.10 p.m.

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

Your telegram 118. [1]

I doubt desirability of member of the Foreign Office staff actually in the External Affairs Department at Canberra as would probably be embarrassing if he were aware even in a general way of exchanges which from time to time are necessary between you and myself possibly involving frank criticisms of the United Kingdom Government and which no doubt in future will take place with Washington and Tokyo.

If action decided on probably preferable that he should be attached to the staff of the United Kingdom High Commissioner, possibly with an office in the Prime Minister's Department so that he could maintain direct and frequent contact with the External Affairs Department while not actually in it. This would be parallel to the position here.

With regard to Foreign Office reaction, in my view probably not enthusiastic. The experiment was tried of a liaison officer in Wellington but dropped after two years, I believe because it was not considered to have worked satisfactorily.

BRUCE

1 Document 80.

[AA:A981, EA DEPT 153]