93 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Sir Harry Luke, U.K. High Commissioner for the Western Pacific (at Vila)

Cablegram unnumbered 2 September 1940,


You have no doubt seen cablegram from the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs dated 30th August [1], suggesting that the Commonwealth Government should send cruiser ADELAIDE to New Hebrides embark the French Resident Commissioner [2] and proceed to Noumea with view to bringing about return of DUMONT D'URVILLE to Papeete and stabilizing position without any overt intervention.

Commonwealth Government has acted on first part of suggestion and ADELAIDE will arrive in Vila on, Saturday 3, there to await further instructions.

In meantime desired you telegraph your views urgently and direct to the Commonwealth Government on situation as you saw it in Noumea and on the further suggestions of the United Kingdom Government.

Since you left Noumea, Ballard [4] has reported that though position is still unstable it is little different from Pelicier [5] regime.

Colonel Denis, new Governor, informed Ballard on 1st September that he desired to continue policy of economic collaboration with Australia. Our messages to Ballard have been delivered and acknowledged and information Acting Resident Commissioner, Vila [6], that messages being detained not confirmed. [7]


1 Document 88.

2 Henri Sautot.

3 7 September.

4 Official Representative in New Caledonia.

5 Governor of New Caledonia until 30 August.

6 R. H. Garvey.

7 This cablegram was repeated to Peter Fraser, N.Z. Prime Minister, and to Luke's office in Suva. On 3 September a copy was dispatched to Lord Caldecote, U.K. Dominions Secretary, as no. 465 (see file AA: A1608, D41/9, ii).