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

Cablegram 1260 CANBERRA, 11 February 1942

[Relations between Thailand and the British Empire deteriorated rapidly after the outbreak of war with Japan. Japanese forces were permitted to make use of Thai territory to attack Malaya and Burma, Thai troops entered Burma and Thai aircraft attacked Australian forces in Malaya. On 28 December the Thai diplomatic mission was ordered to leave London and on 25 January Thailand declared war on the United Kingdom and the United States.]

State of war with Thailand. Please submit to Palace authorities instrument to Governor-General [1] in similar terms to type already issued with respect to Japan [2], substituting Kingdom of Thailand for Japan.

His Majesty may take this telegram as representing the advice of His Ministers in the Commonwealth. Instrument will in due course be countersigned by myself. Please follow previous procedure. [3]


1 Lord Gowrie.

2 See Document 172.

3 On 2 March Curtin instructed Bruce (cablegram 1817) to ask the Swiss authorities to inform the Thai Govt that the Commonwealth Govt had declared the existence of a state of war with Thailand as from that day. On 1 April in cablegram B35, however, the External Affairs Officer in London, A. T. Stirling, reported that the Thai Govt had refused to take cognizance of the declaration because there had never been any cause for hostility between Thailand and Australia. All documents are on file AA:A981, War 64.

[AA:A981, WAR 64]