Note by Mr S.M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, of Conversation on 4 November 1939 with Sir Alexander Cadogan, U.K. Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

LONDON, 6 November 1939

I went to see Cadogan and discussed with him the Procedure in connection with our notification to the Americans of our intention to establish a legation and of my visit to Washington to give effect to this intention.

The upshot of the conversation was that we agreed upon the procedure set out in my letter to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, dated 6th November. [1]

After we had dealt with this matter we got on to the question of the necessity of replying to the French Despatch in connection with war aims.

The main point I made to him was that it was essential there should be time to fully discuss the question and get agreement with the Dominions. I pointed out that in regard to the reply to Hitler [2] we could probably have had agreement if there had been more time, and thus avoided the somewhat unfortunate result that the whole 4 Dominions had expressed views contrary to the form in which the reply was actually delivered.

I also went over with him some of the questions involved, but the main point I put to him was that you can get absolute agreement upon the necessity of first winning the war, then on the necessity of seeing that there is no further aggression after the war is over. Agreement on these two points would be the main thing and then having satisfied the French, satisfied the extremists that there was going to be no leaving Germany in a position to carry out subsequent aggression, it would probably be possible to obtain agreement as to our objectives which without committing ourself [sic] too far would ensure our keeping our own people resolute and the good will of the neutral countries, particularly in the United States.

Cadogan told me that the Foreign Office had been working on a draft which is now with the Prime Minister [3] for his consideration.


1 Document 328.

2 Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor.

3 Neville Chamberlain.


[AA: M100, NOVEMBER 1939]