17 Mr J.S. Duncan, Acting High Commissioner in London, to Mr J.A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Cablegram 35 LONDON, 9 February 1939

SECRET FOR HIMSELF

GENERAL ACT. Dominions Office are sending you message tonight. [1] At C.I.D. meeting today decision reached by United Kingdom Ministers was that some action should be taken before 15th February. [2] Prime Minister [3] is being asked to decide between two alternative courses which will be mentioned in Dominions Office message to you. His decision will no doubt be conveyed to you.

Service Department Ministers very strong for complete denunciation.

Dominions had expressed following views by telegram: (1) Canada. No objection to notice being given of denunciation by United Kingdom Government but desired consider matter further so far as action by Canada was concerned. (2) New Zealand. Unable concur and felt compelled allow their acceptance of obligations of General Act to be continued for further period of five years.

(3) India. No observations to offer but were prepared to proceed on same lines as United Kingdom Government.

Similar communication to that being sent to you is going forward tonight by telegram to other Dominions. Your decision upon views now being submitted to you should reach London by Monday next if parallel action by Commonwealth is decided upon.

DUNCAN

1 Document 18.

2 The minutes of this meeting were dispatched by sea mail and arrived in Australia on or about 20 March 1939 (On file AA: A981, Disarmament 46).

3 Neville Chamberlain.

[FA: A2937, PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES]