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

Cablegram unnumbered 19 April 1940,

SECRET

Please ascertain and advise urgently if B.B.C. has during the past week broadcast news that 'Queen Mary' is in Sydney Harbour and advise most urgently.

Any B.B.C. references to these ships places Government here in extraordinary difficulty in and out of Parliament. People cannot understand why B.B.C. should mention these ships and speculate upon destinations while Australia enforces strictest censorship against distribution of such news within Commonwealth. If B.B.C.

persists in this policy it will become practically impossible to impose censorship as requested by Admiralty with respect to shipping. [1]

MENZIES

1 Bruce replied in an unnumbered cablegram dispatched on 20 April 1940 that the B.B.C. denied having made any reference during the present week to the arrival of the Queen Mary in Sydney. (See FA:

A3195, 1.2629.)

[FA: A3196, 0.2361]