124 Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 11 February 1938, 6 p.m.

MOST SECRET HIMSELF

My most secret letter of 16th December. [1] Rearmament expenditure now being considered by the United Kingdom Government in connection with the forthcoming Budget. Think that it would be most useful and helpful if you cable me a message to convey to the Prime Minister [2], down the following lines-

'The High Commissioner has advised me personally of his conversation with you in regard to rearmament. I desire to confirm his statement that Australia will be prepared to co-operate with the United Kingdom to the maximum extent of her power and financial resources in any further defence preparation your Government may decide is necessary for the defence of the Empire in face of the serious international situation.'

As the matter is urgent earliest possible reply is desirable.

BRUCE

1 Document 123.

2 Neville Chamberlain.

[AA : A463, 57/1535]