211 Mr S.M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Cablegram 428 LONDON, 7 September 1939, 8.59 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE

Personal for Prime Minister. Secret. Your telegram of yesterday's date re daily information. [1] In my view there are two sources from which you should be receiving confidential information.

(i) From United Kingdom Government, and (ii) From myself With regard to (i), I have had a long talk with Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs. [2] I have pointed out to him that Australia is now abandoned to a war in which she is associated with the United Kingdom and that there is an obligation upon the United Kingdom to keep you fully informed confidentially with every development of importance. This view0 he concurred in and arrangements have now been made by which one such communication at least will be sent to you daily embracing all political and diplomatic news of importance and also giving such information available as to military [sic] in its widest developments.

I have stressed it to Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs that these communications themselves, quite irrespective of anything I may send, should contain information that you could reasonably expect and that, if after a trial period an examination of communications show that they do not, further steps to amplify them must be taken. The first such communication will be sent today.

With regard to information as to military activities no authentic information is being provided even to Cabinet Ministers, apart from War Cabinet, but arrangements have now been made for it to be made available for the communications referred to above.

With regard to (ii)-I will supplement the information supplied in official communications, leaving Stirling [3] to a great extent to cover diplomatic developments by careful perusal of diplomatic communications, all of which are made available to us.

In connection with military news, I will supplement it to as great an extent as I feel I justifiably can, bearing in mind that my sources of information are personal and private contacts with individual members of Cabinet, and that there is a vital necessity for secrecy in respect of much of what I learn, which is not even known to ordinary members of Cabinet.

With regard to the question of allied strategy, I am sending you a separate cable.

BRUCE

1 Not found, but see Document 200.

2 Anthony Eden.

3 A.T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London.

[AA:A981, WAR 45B, i]