188 Commonwealth Government to Mr A. Eden, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 189 30 April 1940,

MOST SECRET

In view of deterioration of Italian situation and possibility of Australian and New Zealand convoys through the Red Sea becoming impracticable, Australian Government proposes that embarkation of Australian troops for third convoy due to sail from Sydney 5th May should be postponed until situation clarified. Owing to difficulty of accommodating New Zealand troops in Australia in the event of their convoy being delayed here have suggested similar action to New Zealand Government. Considered preferable to postpone embarkation instead of delaying convoy with troops on board at an intermediate port. Pending your advice present arrangements for embarkation Australian troops will be temporarily postponed.

Request urgent reply. [1]

1 A similar cablegram (on the file here cited) was sent to the New Zealand Govt on 30 April 1940.
[DEFENCE: SPECIAL COLLECTION 1, BOX 580, STRATEGICAL APPRECIATION CONSEQUENT UPON ITALY'S POSSIBLE ENTRY INTO THE WAR-ROUTE AND DESTINATION OF AIF CONVOYS]