345 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 111 [1] WASHINGTON, 6 June 1940

SECRET

My telegram No. 107 to Canberra, 31 to London. [2]

I saw the Secretary of State [3] today to make sure that he was under no illusions as to the seriousness of the situation. He is fully aware of it. Now for the first time supplies of aircraft, small arms, ammunition and other urgently needed munitions are moving from this country in appreciable quantities.

The Secretary of State told me that old story about how essential it was that the Administration did not move ahead of public opinion which was moving fast. I said that although very advanced views were being expressed in the press by leader writers and columnists I believed that the American people accepted such views with reserve and that until the President [4] made a forthright statement how directly both short and long range American interests were affected I did not believe that the American public would really respond. He replied that much harm could be done by any premature presidential statement.

Remainder of the conversation was on lines of my last talk with Welles reported in my telegram No. 106 to Canberra, No. 29 to London. [5]

CASEY

1 This cablegram was repeated as no. 32 to S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London.

2 Document 328.

3 Cordell Hull.

4 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5 Document 319.

[FA: A3195, 1.3985]