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

Cablegram 539? [1] LONDON, 9 October 1939

FOR PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

Lake George lead and zinc. Following is reply to point (c) your telegram 5th October. [2]

United Kingdom Government at the moment examining whole question of British Commonwealth trade with Japan but have not yet arrived at decision. In Foreign Office view desirable Japan's anxieties over supply of her essential raw materials likely to be curtailed by war should be exploited in order to gain advantages from her.

Foreign Office suggest that in this particular case and any other transactions that arise Commonwealth Government should refrain for the present from entering into any long term commitments to Japanese. Suggest attitude should be: 'We can only let you have limited quantity at present. Perhaps later on we may be able to let you have more' and make transaction appear as special favour.

BRUCE

1 The draft carried the hand-written minute 'Final telegram was sent by High Commissioner. See C.I.D. box', but no other copy has been found. The draft was numbered 539, but this appears to have been incorrect as the same number was given to another cablegram sent by Bruce on the same day (see Document 272).

2 Document 262.

[FA: A2937, JAPAN-LAKE GEORGE COMPANY]