Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner to Australia, to U.K. Dominions Office

Cablegram 86 (paraphrase) CANBERRA, 6 May 1939


My telegram No. 84 of the 5th May. [1] The draft of Gullett’s [2] speech was not completed when I saw the Prime Minister [3] last night. On Monday he will go through it with me.

It is proposed to say:-

(a) Commonwealth Government is satisfied that the conversations now proceeding can in no sense be regarded as leading to aggressive encirclement. They are, on the contrary, directed solely to defence against aggression.

(b) From the Munich Agreement onwards, Commonwealth Government has been in complete accord with the policy pursued by the United Kingdom Government, being assured that this policy has been directed solely by the desire to preserve world peace.

(c) Commonwealth Government hope and believe that faced by the determination of the United Kingdom (and) democratic State(s) to resist further impositions by force of changes which, if they should be brought about, should only be brought about by Conference and agreement, Hitler [4] and Mussolini [5] will hesitate to destroy the great benefits which they have conferred on their respective countries, by the outbreak of war.

I think that personal message of appreciation from the Prime Minister [6] to Menzies would be valued and valuable, if the debate follows the lines anticipated above and in my telegram No. 84.


1 Document 78.

2 Sir Henry Gullett, Minister for External Affairs.

3 R.G. Menzies.

4 Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor.

5 Benito Mussolini, Italian Head of State.

6 Neville Chamberlain. See Document 85.


[PRO:DO 114/98]