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

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 9 April 1940, 5.57 p.m.

SECRET PERSONAL HIMSELF

Lothian [1] and Foreign Office anxious to arrange improved publicity in the United States, and, in particular, more effective method for keeping American public opinion informed of reasons for Allied Governments' actions. Their proposal is to appoint an additional First Secretary at the Washington Embassy and to arrange for a suitable person with American experience to act as liaison for Embassy with the various British Departments concerned, i.e., Foreign Office, Service Departments, Ministries of Information and Economic Warfare. Liaison job would only be part time and I have been approached with the request that Keith Officer [2], who is regarded as specially suitable, could be made available. I agree as to desirability of objectives and suitability of Keith Officer. Casey [3] has telegraphed me that he concurs.

If you approve of the proposal, I suggest that Officer should be transferred London with such title as you consider desirable possibly as additional Assistant Secretary at Australia House dealing with foreign affairs which would be approximately equivalent to his present rank as Counsellor. I could then make him available to carry out functions proposed by Lothian and Foreign Office.

This arrangement could be made whether Stirling [4] remains in London or not but it would enable you to transfer Stirling to Washington or elsewhere provided some less senior person appointed to carry out with Oldham [5] the heavy routine work.

BRUCE

1 U.K. Ambassador to the United States.

2 Counsellor at the Legation in Washington.

3 Minister to the United States.

4 External Affairs Officer in London.

5 Second Secretary at the External Affairs Office in London.

[AA: CP290/6, 39]