144 Mr N. Chamberlain, U.K. Prime Minister, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 18 March 1938

SECRET AND PERSONAL

Many thanks for your telegram of 16th March. [1] I am glad that the information which I gave has been of assistance and that the press are proving helpful in informing the minds of the public. I think the obscurity to which you refer must be due to an error in decyphering my telegram. [2] The passage in question reads :-

'The idea that in the event of war we may not be able to defend our overseas possessions is entirely false.' I trust this will clear up the difficulty.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN

1 Document 137.

2 A note attached to this cable in Canberra stated that Chamberlain's original message had been checked and that the error had occurred in ciphering in London.

[AA : A1608, 051/1/1]