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

Cablegram [481] [1] LONDON, 26 June 1940, 8.42 p.m.

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

Dominions Office telegram No. 157. [2]

Definite decision taken to go to any lengths to obtain possession or prevent falling into enemy hands the Richelieu, Jean Bart and units at Oran. Prospects of success good as to the former but Oran forces doubtful. Understood that Duff Cooper [3] and Government arrived in Morocco but no information yet received.

Latest reports from French North African Colonies show hesitancy and divided counsels and my own impression is that there is little prospect of stimulating them to continued resistance.

Despite pressure promised appreciation of Mediterranean and Middle East not yet available.

BRUCE

1 The number has been inserted from Bruce's file copy on AA: M100, June 1940.

2 See cablegram Z157 of 26 June 1940 on file AA: CP290/6, 65. It gave the disposition of the larger French warships and commented on the attitude of the authorities at French naval bases.

3 U.K. Minister of Information. See Document 437.

[FA: A3195, 1.4753]