Mr S.M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Cablegram 549 LONDON, 11 October 1939, 7.15 p.m.


Your telegram No. 133 [1] which arrived in time for consideration by War Cabinet this morning created deep impression and but for short time available would I believe have resulted in considerable recasting of reply. Prime Minister I understand cabling you tonight. [2] After discussion your cable War Cabinet view was not practicable at so late an hour alter draft. This view I have challenged but without success. I am hopeful however of having following, based on your telegram, included probably at the end of paragraph 13: ‘We seek no material advantage, we desire to inflict no punishment or humiliation upon peoples. We are not aiming only at victory but rather looking beyond it to laying of foundation of a better international system which will mean that war is not to be the inevitable lot of every succeeding generation’.

Suggest that in view of importance of your cable would be desirable to circulate it to other Empire Governments or in any event to Canada. [3]



1 Document 283.

2 Document 290.

3 The text of Menzies’s cablegram 133 was repeated to the Canadian Prime Minister, W.L. Mackenzie King, on 12 October 1939 (see file AA: CP 290/6, item 4). A copy was sent also to the South African Prime Minister, General J.C. Smuts (see Document 295).


[AA: A981, WAR 45B, i]