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

Cablegram 124 LONDON, 13 December 1941, 6.10 p.m.


Page [1] and I feel considerable anxiety that the necessity for coordination on highest plane of the Allies' strategy both in the political and military spheres is not sufficiently recognised here. While close contacts between the United Kingdom and United States naval, military and air staffs and an immediate visit by Beaverbrook [2] to Washington to discuss questions of production and supply are contemplated, in our view neither the Chiefs of Staff nor Beaverbrook can carry out their tasks effectively without both immediate and long range strategy being laid down.

Our apprehension is that it will be felt that all that can be done is being done by the despatch of Beaverbrook and either the Chiefs of Staff or their representatives to Washington.

In our view leadership on the highest plane is necessary on the Allies' side and that leadership must come from the British War Cabinet. If this leadership is to be afforded the British War Cabinet must immediately lay down the line it considers should be followed with regard to our political and military strategy and try and get it accepted by Roosevelt. At the same time Eden's [3] presence in Russia should be used to obtain Stalin's agreement.

If this were done Beaverbrook and Chiefs of Staff and Eden and his advisers could then work to bring about the implementation of the policy agreed to concurrently with endeavours to obtain agreement upon broad principles of our political and military strategy.

Steps should be taken to lay down the basis and method of continuing consultation to co-ordinate the Allies' policy.

If you agree with the views set out above we feel that a direct cable from you to the Prime Minister [4] would be most effective in stimulating action or at all events in ensuring full consideration of the issues involved.

In an attempt to clarify our minds as to the wide questions that have to be considered I have run out a rough memorandum which I am sending in my immediately following telegram [5] as it may be of some use. [6]


1 Special Representative in the United Kingdom.

2 U.K. Minister of Supply.

3 U.K. Foreign Secretary.

4 Winston Churchill.

5 Cablegram 125 of 13 December is on file AA:M100, December 1941.

6 Page advised on 16 December (see cablegram P12 on file AA:M100, December 1941)that he had urged the U.K. War Cabinet the previous day to adopt the views set out in Bruce's cablegrams 124-5.He did not report any direct result of these representations and Curtin does not appear to have pressed this line of argument in any cablegram to the U.K. Govt.

[AA:A3195, 1941, 1.27999]