86 Commonwealth Government to Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 6851 CANBERRA, 16 October 1941


Your telegrams M.319, M.320 and M.321 of 11th October, 1941. [2] Commonwealth Government has considered the measures outlined for expediting the machinery of intergovernmental consultation in the event of a move by Japan necessitating active military counter measures. [3] We are taking steps to ensure that immediate consideration is given to any telegram sent to us in accordance with the special arrangements adopted and that our views are communicated to the United Kingdom and Dominion Governments without delay.

2. We propose to issue instructions to the Australian Ministers at Washington, Tokyo and Chungking to submit information to us regarding any move by the Japanese which is considered to necessitate immediate military counter measures. [4] Any information of this kind received by the Commonwealth Government will be telegraphed to London, to Dominion Governments and to the other authorities referred to in paragraph 7 of your telegram M.319 and the procedure outlined in your M.320 will be observed.

1 Repeated to the Canadian, N.Z. and South African Prime Ministers as nos 11, 418 and 80.

2 Cablegrams M319 and M320 are on file AA : A981, Far East 26A, and M321 is on file AA : A981, Japan 184.

3 See War Cabinet minute 1402 of 15 October in AA : A2673, vol.8.

4 R. G. Casey, F. K. Officer (Charge d'Affaires in Japan) and Sir Frederic Eggleston were so directed in cablegrams 898, 278 and 7 of 19 October (on file AA : A981, Japan 184). Similar cablegrams were sent to the Official Representative in New Caledonia (B. C.

Ballard), and to the Administrators at Rabaul (Brig Gen Sir Walter McNicoll), Port Moresby (H. L. Murray) and Nauru (Lt Col F. R.

Chalmers). See cablegrams 513 of 3 November to Ballard and 240 and unnumbered of 7 November to the Administrators (on file AA :

A2671, 337/1941).

On 1 December the Legations in Washington, Tokyo and Chungking were instructed (cablegrams 1030, 306 and 29 on file AA : A3300, 100) that information of the nature described in paragraph 2 should, in the future, be communicated also to the Netherlands representatives in the countries to which they were accredited.

[AA : A3196, 1941, 0.16538]