310 Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London
Cablegram unnumbered 28 October 1938,
PERSONAL AND SECRET
There have been recent confidential exchanges between Chief of Naval Staff  and Fourth Sea Lord  regarding capital ship for Royal Australian Navy, and Government will be glad if you will fully explore possibilities with Admiralty and submit a review as early as possible.
If new ship were to be obtained, it would not be available until 1943. It is considered, however, that the case for justification to Australian people depends on early presence of vessel in these waters. You might therefore ascertain position in regard to delivery of ship already constructed.
If the Admiralty are unwilling to lose control of an existing ship, discuss possibility of one being based on Singapore and spending large part of year in Australian waters. If this arrangement is possible, ascertain what quid pro quo would be expected of Australian Government. The best form this could take would be some local effort such as provision of dock and increased strength which would be a contribution to Empire and Australian naval security.