91 Mr B. C. Ballard, Official Representative in New Caledonia, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 10 NOUMEA, 2 September 1940

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

I have secured willing acceptance policy envisaged by your telegram No. 5 [1] by leaders of representative assembly movement and some councillors. Resignation not yet conveyed and they will try to restrain extremists. No further developments.

Your telegram No. 6. [2] Governor [3] informed me verbally he had no confirmation of reported order and that if an order came which he would be forced to obey he would exercise discretion as to manner of application-in other words would avoid surprise. He referred to his instructions ordering him to continue Colony's commerce by seaborne transport.

My telegram No. 8. [4] High Commissioner for Western Pacific [5] has asked to be kept advised of evolution of situation.

I assure you that I am reporting developments with all urgency.

Much time necessarily spent during and after High Commissioner's visit ascertaining sentiments of all parties.

MOST SECRET I am informed this morning from a source that I at present consider reliable that Vichy Government has instructed local Government to give preference to Japan as regards export of nickel.

BALLARD

1 Document 83.

2 Dispatched 30 August. See file AA: A981, New Caledonia 37. It requested clarification of a report that ships entering French ports would only be permitted to sail again if they possessed an authorisation from Germany issued through the French Admiralty.

3 Lt Col M. E. Denis.

4 Document 90.

5 Sir Harry Luke.

[AA:A981, NEW CALEDONIA 37]