Sir Thomas Inskip, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Circular Cablegram C9 LONDON, 23 August 1939, 12.02 a.m.


The international Situation has suddenly become exceedingly acute.

Cabinet have this afternoon decided to institute certain measures provided for in the precautionary stage of the War Book (in relation to Germany only), though without the formal institution of the precautionary stage. Detail of measures taken will follow in separate telegram later. [1]

Statement (which is being telegraphed in clear) is being issued tonight giving a summary of the situation as seen here. [2] The Prime Minister [3] is concurrently sending personal communication to Hitler [4] re-affirming intention to stand by their [sic] obligation to Poland, but also indicating our willingness to assist in calmer atmosphere in the discussion of questions arising between Poland and Germany.

Position with regard to the reported Soviet-German agreement is being dealt with in telegram Circular B. 281 paragraphs 5, 6 and 7. [5]


1 Circular cablegram C10, sent 23 August 1939, 7.22 p.m., not printed (on file AA: A981, Great Britain 8B, v).

2 Not printed. It was transmitted in circular cablegram C8, sent 23 August 1939, 12.02 p.m. (on file AA: A981, Great Britain 8B, v).

3 Neville Chamberlain.

4 Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor.

5 Not printed (on file AA: A981, Germany 67, i).