Mr A. Eden, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Circular Cablegram D100 LONDON, 24 November 1939, 8.12 a.m.


Following for Prime Minister:-

My Circular D.67 of 9th November [1]:-

War Aims. Draft of proposed communication to the French Government has been further considered in the light of views expressed by His Majesty’s Governments in the Dominions and the matter has also been discussed with Dominions Ministers now in England. It is now proposed that the following amendments should be made to the proposed communication:-

Paragraph 6. For ‘may not be a sufficient remedy’ substitute ‘will not of itself be a sufficient remedy’.

Paragraph 6. After ‘to disrupt German unity’ insert ‘whatever arguments may be adduced on one side or the other in any discussions of these matters’.

With regard to the views expressed by His Majesty’s Government in the Commonwealth of Australia as to paragraph 4 [2], it should be explained that the phrase ‘unless a German Government can be found which is willing and able to voluntarily accept our terms’ was inserted with the specific object of indicating that a change of Government in Germany might make it easier to bring war to a satisfactory conclusion without fighting it out to a bitter end.

It is felt that we could hardly maintain the position that we should refuse to treat if a new Government with an entirely different outlook came into power in Germany as a result of an internal revolution.

It will be of course appreciated that the communication to the French Government is intended to be secret and that it is not proposed to issue it as a public statement of policy.

It is accordingly now proposed to send a reply to the French Government amended as indicated above, and I should be glad to learn as soon as possible whether you concur.

As indicated in my telegram Circular D.67 the reply to the French Government is of an interim nature only with a view to subsequent oral and private discussion with the French Minister. [3] I should like to repeat here that the views which the Dominion Governments have expressed on the general question of war aims and which have been amplified by Dominion Ministers in London will of course be fully borne in mind in any such discussion.


1 Document 339.

2 See Document 359.

3 Charles Corbin.


[AA: A981, WAR 45B, ii]