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

Cablegram 472 LONDON, 25 June 1940, 10.58 p.m.

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER SECRET

In view of collapse of France, United Kingdom Government is anxious with regard to supplies of nickel and chrome from New Caledonia. Imperative they should not become available to the enemy. To achieve this, attitude of local Government in New Caledonia of utmost importance. Only information on this point available here is an External Affairs Department telegram No. 468 [1], but as understood that a number of New Caledonian activities are controlled from Sydney, considered that you might be in a position to supplement it. Also suggested that it might be desirable for you unostentatiously to send a well qualified resolute [2] man to New Caledonia to keep you advised of attitude of the Government and to ensure its continuance in right direction.

BRUCE

1 On file AA: A981, France 32, i. Together with cablegram B102 (on the same file) it reported that an extraordinary session of the Council of New Caledonia had met on 24 June 1940 and resolved that New Caledonia refused to recognise the surrender of the Bordeaux Govt.

2 This word was queried in the copy of the cablegram circulated in Canberra. It did, however, appear in the London file copy (on AA:

A2937, New Caledonia (1937-45)).

[FA: A3195, 1.4711]