Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr R.G. Casey, Minister for Supply and Development (in London)

Cablegram unnumbered 14 November 1939,


Your cablegram of 5th November [1] has been studied with interest and preliminary report of Chiefs-of-Staff will shortly be considered. You will recall from paragraph 8 of letter of instructions [2] that request was made for review of Australian Defence in relation to general scheme of Empire in light of present outlook. It is noted that up-to-date appreciation of Japanese position is being obtained but it is an imperative preliminary to Government decision on despatch of 6th Division that review sought through you should be furnished by United Kingdom Government. It should indicate not only the probabilities of Japan’s attitude but also:-

(1) specific measures including in particular naval measures to be taken for Defence of British interests in Pacific and Australia in particular should Japan enter war against British Empire;

(2) measures, if any, contemplated by United Kingdom Government should Japan not declare war against British Empire but proceed to occupation of Dutch Territories in East Indies adjacent to Singapore and Australia.



1 Document 327.

2 Document 297.


[AA: CP 290/6, ITEM 35]