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

Cablegram unnumbered 26 June 1940,

SECRET

Reference your 472. [1] New Caledonia.

Question of New Caledonia discussed by Cabinet yesterday and again today [2] in light of resolution passed yesterday by Council of New Caledonia that support will be given to National Committee in London. Copy of this and resolution passed in Sydney by meeting of French representatives have been sent to the United Kingdom Government.

We are suggesting to Casey [3] on grounds of direct American interest in establishment of landing ground at Noumea in trans- Pacific air line to New Zealand, that United States Government might be prepared to make a public declaration that the maintenance of the status quo in respect of New Caledonia and other French islands in Pacific must be respected.

In meantime, we are arranging for private interests as distinct from direct Government interference, the political significance of which you will appreciate, to endeavour without interference with normal Japanese supplies to secure [sic] output of chrome and nickel does not go to destinations where it can fall into enemy hands.

Your suggestion relative despatch of representative to New Caledonia has received consideration and we are arranging for an official representative.

MENZIES

1 Document 438.

2 See Document 435.

3 See Document 443.

[FA: A3196, 0.4168]