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

Circular cablegram D282 (extract) LONDON, 23 June 1940, 10 p.m.

MOST SECRET FOLLOWING FOR PRIME MINISTER

U.S.A.-FAR EAST 1. United States Under Secretary of State [1] has told His Majesty's Ambassador at Washington [2] that, while he considers there exists risk of move by Japanese Army on Indo-China, he does not think attack on British territory likely. As means of using United States influence to stabilise position in Far East, he feels United States Government cannot at present go beyond declaration made by Secretary of State [3] some time ago in connexion with Netherlands East Indies, but suggests better results might be obtained from immediate United States diplomatic activity in Tokyo.

2. In reply to enquiry Under Secretary of State stated that question of transferring American fleet from Pacific to Atlantic was necessarily under consideration but no immediate action was likely. He has assured His Majesty's Ambassador on the authority of the President [4] that we would certainly be consulted before any decision to remove the fleet was taken by the United States Government.

1 Sumner Welles.

2 Lord Lothian.

3 Cordell Hull.

4 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

[PRO: FO 371/25218]