29 Mr A. Eden, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia
Cablegram 15 LONDON, 24 January 1940
Your telegram of 13th January No. 13 Exports to Russia.  As Commonwealth Government ask for our advice it is that it would be advisable to go slow in this matter. Our own policy here has been to withhold licences for exports to Russia but as will be appreciated Russia's corresponding demands on us are in the main for raw materials and it has therefore been possible to give as a reason for our restrictions that we could not afford to stock [sic] such commodities under present conditions.
Wheat is in a somewhat different category and it is admittedly doubtful whether there are equally strong reasons for withholding supplies from Russia in this case. On the other hand wheat sent to Eastern Siberia seems likely to set free a corresponding amount for use elsewhere in the Soviet Union.
As however you will have seen from today's press, the Canadian Government have just taken powers to prohibit all exports to countries contiguous to Germany except under permit and we understand that these powers will be used to prevent effect being given to a deal in Canadian wheat for Russia which has been arranged through commercial channels.
We feel that the Commonwealth Government will realise in the circumstances that complications are likely to arise if contrary action were to be taken by them in relation to the same commodity.