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

Cablegram unnumbered 12 April 1940,


You will remember that some months ago we executed a large deal in wheat on credit terms with Japanese importers. At present time we are engaged in negotiations with Mitsui Bussan Kaisha acting on behalf of the Japanese Government for sale to them of 56,000 tons of barley and 200,000 tons of flour for Japan and North China. We are negotiating through the Barley Board and Wheat Board respectively and have authorised them to discuss the deals on the basis of 50 per cent cash and 50 per cent credit.

We note that the Japanese firm in question are on the suspect list but in this instance we are assured that they are acting as the agents of the Japanese Government and we will receive all assurances required that the supplies will not reach enemy destinations.

You will realise the very great value of large sales such as this to the industries concerned in view of existing marketing and shipping difficulties in other regions.

Please advise Dominions Office and Ministry of Economic Warfare for their information. [1]

1 J. S. Duncan, Official Secretary at the High Commission in London, conveyed this information to the U.K. Ministry of Economic Warfare in a letter dispatched on 15 April 1940 (on file AA:

A2910, 437/5/124, iii).

[AA: A981, TRADE 68, iv]