394 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Cablegram 125 WASHINGTON, 17 June 1940, 12.20 a.m.

MOST SECRET FOR THE PRIME MINISTER PERSONAL

On re-reading my telegram No. 124 [1] I think I should amplify to you arguments that accompanied draft statement that I left with Welles and which I put to him before showing him statement.

(begins) Somewhere or other there is a red line at which the United States must regard its interests as being affected by German and Italian aggression. Is it not fact at present time red line is at naval bases in the North East Atlantic: in the United Kingdom, France and Gibraltar? Is it not of vital interest to the United States whether these bases are in Allied or enemy hands? If the worst happens to France and later possibly to Britain and even assuming in these circumstances British and/or French fleets remained in existence elsewhere, the bases may not, probably will not remain in Allied hands. (ends) I arrived at the above in a desperate search for some argument that would appeal to the self-interest of the United States, as apparently all other forms of argument or appeal fall on deaf ears and are overlain by local party political arguments. [2]

CASEY

1 Document 387.

2 This cablegram was repeated as no. 37 to S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London.

[FA: A3195, 1.4347]