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

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 23 April 1940, 8.27 p.m.

PERSONAL AND SECRET

Your telegram 12th April Sale of Barley and Flour to Japan. [1] Eden has written to me today [2] in reply to the advice conveyed to the Dominions Office as desired in your telegram. He says that he is informed that the evidence available indicates that the firm in question are constantly engaged in entrepot trade with Germany through Japan and North Pacific ports. The Minister for Economic Warfare [3] is Most anxious that no facilities whatsoever should be given to this firm and for this reason views the sale with some concern. Eden suggests consideration might be given to the possibility of directing the transaction into British or French channels in North China thus safeguarding the ultimate destination without prejudicing Australian exports. I assume however from the terms of your telegram that deal has already been completed.

BRUCE

1 Document 138.

2 See letter from S. L. Holmes to Bruce on file AA: A2910, 437/5/124, iii.

3 Ronald Cross.

[AA: A981, TRADE 68, iv]