2 Note by Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, of Meeting of Dominion High Commissioners
Extract LONDON, 2 January 1940
After we had dealt with the ordinary questions which arose, I
raised the question of the alteration in the instructions to
Lothian  with regard to his attitude towards the Zionists in
the United States of America. I pointed out that very definite
instructions had been sent to Lothian with which I was in full
accord, telling him that the British Government adhered entirely
to the White Paper, but that these instructions had been
countermanded by a cable dated Christmas Day which told him that a
decision as to the Government's policy would probably not be
arrived at for a period of a week.
I asked whether this portended a change in the Government's policy
and that if it meant any yielding to Jewish pressure to the
detriment of the Arabs, there would be the strongest objections
Anthony  was obviously slightly embarrassed that I had got on
to this point and gave a somewhat shuffling explanation to the
effect that when the matter had been discussed in the Cabinet some
members felt that the instructions sent to Lothian went rather
beyond the policy laid down in the White Paper. The point at issue
apparently being with regard to land sales. He told us that
Malcolm  had attended the War Cabinet and explained the
position and that the matter was still under consideration.
I reiterated my point that any selling of the Arabs under pressure
from the Jews would cause considerable trouble with Australia and
Anthony said that he would speak to the Foreign Office about the
I then raised the question of the Dominions Office letter 
dealing with the exchange of letters between Halifax  and
Benes.  I pointed out that what had been done appeared to me to
be a reversal of policy and that this was so was borne out by
O'Malley's  telegram from Hungary specifically stating that a
change of policy had taken place.
I pointed out that the press section of the Foreign Office had
been very insistent a few weeks ago that there should be no
reference to Czecho-Slovakia, but that we should talk about
Bohemian and Moravian protectorates.
The statement in Halifax's letter that His Majesty's Government
recognise that the Committee is qualified to represent the Czecho-
Slovak people appeared to be a reversal of the previous attitude.
Anthony clearly had little knowledge and no views on the matter
and it was left that he was to speak to the Foreign Office about
We then had a discussion as to what attitude should be adopted by
the Dominions with regard to the Benes request for recognition of
his Committee by the Dominions. We decided the best course would
be that Benes should be told that the Dominion High Commissioners
would be prepared to see him and discuss the matter.