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

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 31 October 1938, 11.32 p.m.

PERSONAL HIMSELF SECRET

Your telegram of28th October [1]: Matter has now been fully examined with the First Lord of the Admiralty [2] and the Board of the Admiralty.

Admiralty's attitude with regard to a capital ship for the Royal Australian Navy is the same as when the matter was discussed with Page and Menzies. [3] Difficulty is the method of provision.

The present number of capital ships in the Royal Navy is small and a proportion are undergoing refitting. In these circumstances and as a result of discussions I do not see any prospect of the transference of a capital ship from the Royal Navy to the Royal Australian Navy in the near future or at any date much in advance of the deliverance of a new ship.

With regard to the suggestion re Singapore, for the same reasons do not think that an arrangement to operate in the near future could be arrived at.

1 Document 310.

2 Earl Stanhope.

3 Sir Earle Page, Minister for Commerce, and R. G. Menzies, Attorney-General. See Documents 214, 215.

[AA : A1608, N51/1/6]