Mr N. Chamberlain, U.K. Prime Minister, to Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 29 June 1939


Your Secret and Personal telegram of 24th June. [1] Since you make no mention of my Personal and Most Secret telegram to your predecessor dated 20th March, 1939 [2], it is possible that you have not seen it.

The relevant passages are as follows:

‘In the event of war with Germany and Italy, should Japan join in against us it would still be His Majesty’s Government’s full intention to despatch a fleet to Singapore. If we were fighting against such a combination never envisaged in our earlier plans, the size of that fleet would necessarily be dependent on (a) the moment when Japan entered the war and (b) what losses if any our opponents or ourselves had previously sustained.

It would, however, be our intention to achieve three main objects:-

(i) The prevention of any major operation against Australia, New Zealand or India;

(ii) To keep open our sea communications;

(iii) To prevent the fall of Singapore.’ The above assurance holds good, and, I hope, provides the necessary basis for Australian Defence policy referred to in the second paragraph of your telegram of the 24th June.



1 Document 111.

2 Document 46.


[PRO: CAB 21/893]