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

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 30 October 1939


Washington. Had long personal and confidential talk with Kennedy [1], American Ambassador, to ascertain privately probable reaction of United States Government to my going to Washington to establish Legation. His view was, provided it was made absolutely clear that the sole purpose of the visit was to establish the Legation, effect would be admirable, but he was most emphatic that if there were any suggestion of any other purpose or that I was going to remain, as United States regarded me as outstanding Dominions representative in London, and knew there had been suggestions that I should go into the United Kingdom Cabinet (their interpretation being as representative of Dominions), my appointment as Minister at Washington would not be regarded as to represent Australia but the whole British Empire-another example of the cunning of the British in attempting to drag the United States into war. He emphasised that the above was only his own opinion and might exaggerate the danger. He is ascertaining for me privately the views of the State Department.

In any event the above reinforces decision against my being appointed.


1 Joseph P. Kennedy. For Bruce’s record of this conversation see AA: M100, October 1939.

[AA: CP 290/6, ITEM I]