361 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Lord Caldecote, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 281 11 June 1940,


In my telegram No. 208 of 8th May [1] it was suggested we would be glad of more information of the strength and disposition of our own and enemy forces. The effect of recent events on this suggestion is fully realised but War Cabinet would appreciate the earliest possible advice of the information sought together with the rate of output of material side of United Kingdom's war effort, with special reference to aircraft and the assistance that may be forthcoming from other quarters.

No doubt particular attention is being given in the review to the situation in relation to the Mediterranean and the Near East and the bearing it will have on the theatre of employment of the A.I.F. My cable 256 of 3rd June [2] bears on this and shows our ignorance of factors affecting the despatch and maintenance of A.I.F. As previously mentioned, we stress the importance of reconstituting the whole of the Expeditionary Force at the earliest possible date and your assurance that this will be done.

It is suggested that the channel for communication of all classes of information referred to in my cablegram 208 of 8th May be through your High Commissioner in Australia by usual safe means of transit. The High Commissioner can pass it to me personally and I shall decide its use after consideration of the fullest safeguards necessary.

A periodical strategical appreciation with supplementary statements on the strength and disposition of forces and statistical data on material production would, as previously stated, be most helpful in keeping us informed on the higher direction of the war and assist us in deciding how we can best co- operate.


1 Document 215.

2 Document 330.

[FA: A3196, 0.3703]