Mr N. Chamberlain, U.K. Prime Minister, to Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 17 November 1939, 2.26 p.m.


I am very grateful for your telegram regarding the proposed Australian Legation at Washington and the position of Mr Bruce in relation to this. [1]

We have thought the matter over again in the light of your message but still feel strongly that it would be best from our point of view that Mr Bruce should not leave London even for the minimum period which would be necessary for the establishment of the Legation in Washington. In the circumstances we are, as suggested in the last paragraph of your telegram, arranging to seek the King’s’ approval for the establishment of an Australian Legation at Washington and, subject to His Majesty’s approval to the request, His Majesty’s Ambassador at Washington [3] to make the necessary approach to the United States Government for the establishment, such a Legation to be filled by the appointment of a Charge d’Affaires for a short period pending the appointment of a Minister.

I will telegraph further as soon as we hear the result of the approach to the United States Government.

Please accept my cordial thanks for having met our wishes in this way.

I warmly reciprocate your kind regards.


1 Document 358 2 King George VI.

3 Lord Lothian.


[AA: CP 290/6, ITEM 1]