22 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr A. Eden, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 17 17 January 1940,


Your telegram D.18. [1] Anglo-French declaration. His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia strongly agrees with consideration set out in paragraph 4 of telegram under reference and desires accordingly to be associated with Anglo-French declaration. At the same time it is felt that it would be unfortunate as regards demonstration of solidarity if some but not all Dominion Governments were associated with declaration. If there is not unanimity among Dominions, the Commonwealth Government would like to be advised of the position before you proceed further. [2]


1 Document 15.

2 Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of the External Affairs Dept, wrote a minute on the draft copy of this cablegram for Frank Strahan, Secretary of the Prime Minister's Dept, which read:

'App[rove]d by Minister after, I understand, consultation with P.M. W.R.H. 16.1.40.' (See copy on file AA: A1608, A41/1/1, vii.) At a meeting with Eden and the other Dominion High Commissioners on 19 January 1940 S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, said that he had considerable doubts about the wisdom of the proposed statement. Bruce argued that it was a natural and basic assumption that Britain and France would see the war through together and that to issue a statement on not concluding a separate peace suddenly and without any particular reason might suggest to people that them was some difference of view. (See Bruce's note of the meeting on file AA: M100, January 1940.)

[AA: A981, WAR 45B, ii]