306 Mr S.M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Prime Minister's Department

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 24 October 1939, 5.43 p.m.

SECRET

Wool Sales to neutrals.

Authority to control such sales not yet appointed here. Wool Controller plus Advisory Committee appointed on the outbreak of war to control wool internally in the United Kingdom. Controller and Committee representative of wool manufacturing interests. Was contemplated extending control beyond wool for United Kingdom consumption to all wool purchased. This I have resisted on the grounds that control should not be solely in the hands of persons concerned with manufacturing and have pressed for an independent authority to control the whole scheme. This I am confident will be agreed to and I have no doubt that when appointed it will be possible to arrange for the closest co-operation with the Central Wool Committee and the present difficulty will disappear. Some further delay in obtaining decision inevitable, and, to overcome this, I suggest that after consultation with the Central Wool Committee you cable definite suggestion as to quantity to be made available and price to meet the immediate position in regard to Japan, America and Italy, and any other neutral if necessary. To definite proposal it should be possible to get agreement, even though it is impossible to induce them to initiate anything at this end pending the appointment of new controlling authority.

BRUCE

[AA: A1608, L37/1/5]