166 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, 166 to Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom

Cablegram 7727 CANBERRA, 7 December 1941


Your telegram 6th December No. 119. [1] In the circumstances alternative procedure suggested by Palace authorities is approved- (a) It will clearly express the unbroken chain of prerogative authority from His Majesty to the Governor-General [2] and (b) it will also make clear that His Majesty is acting exclusively on the advice of his Ministers in the Commonwealth.

You are therefore instructed, in accordance with your own suggestion, to submit the instrument as drafted to the King who will treat our telegrams to you as formal advice from the Commonwealth Government advising him to issue the instrument. The actual proclamation of war by the Governor-General, as His Majesty's representative, will issue after approval at meeting of Cabinet tomorrow (Monday) afternoon and subsequent Executive Council meeting. [3] We are obliged to you for your prompt co- operation. Please advise immediately after signature by King and forward instrument by airmail and duplicate by second airmail. In addition to airmailing of instrument please obtain permission of King to transmit picturegram of instrument after its signature by King. [4]


1 Document 165.

2 Lord Cowrie.

3 Gowrie issued a proclamation on 8 December formally declaring war on Finland, Hungary and Rumania as from that day. The Minister to the United States, R. G. Casey, was immediately instructed to request the U.S. Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, to convey the information to the governments concerned through the U.S.

Ministers in Helsinki, Budapest and Bucharest (cablegram 143). All documents are on file AA:A981, War 44 On 14 January the Commonwealth Govt announced that a state of,war had existed with Bulgaria since 6 January. See files AA:A981, War 47 and AA:A1608, 0.41/1/2.

4 Bruce reported on 8 December that the King had signed the instruments that after noon and that they would be dispatched by picturegram. See cablegram 122 on file AA: A1608, 0.41/1/2.

[AA:A981, WAR 69, ii]