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

Cablegram 397 LONDON, 10 June 1940, 7.04 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE FOR THE PRIME MINISTER

Press report Mussolini in speech this afternoon stated declarations of war against the United Kingdom and France had been handed to the British and French Ambassadors. [1] No official confirmation yet received. [2]

BRUCE

1 Sir Percy Loraine and Andre Francois-Poncet.

2 This information was also received in U.K. Dominions Secretary's cablegram C37 dispatched at 7.05 p.m. on 10 June 1940 (on file AA:

A1608, M41/1/1). The Commonwealth Government had previously been warned that war was possible within 48 hours in U.K. Dominions Secretary's cablegram D241, dispatched at 4.20 a.m. on 9 June 1940 (on file AA: A1608, H41/1/4, ii).

[FA: A3195, 1.4081]