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

Cablegram [138] [1] WASHINGTON, 26 June 1940, 7 p.m.


Wave of defeatism and pessimism is sweeping over this country regarding Britain's chance of withstanding German onslaught. This is doing harm here and is in danger of influencing President [2] and delaying delivery of needed weapons to Britain. I have suggested to the British Ambassador [3] that he cable Prime Minister [4] to send him cable message for the President on full [blooded] [5] but calmly confident lines as to ability to get through, admitting but not stressing certain deficiencies in weapons which grateful if could be filled, but maintaining every confidence to withstand German onslaught. I believe most useful if you would send me similar message for the President which the British Ambassador and I could deliver together in person and subsequently with the President's consent allow to be published.

Suggest short message in simple terms, tone being that the Empire is intact, powerful and determined to win through. I believe the British Ambassador is [suggesting] [6] similar message from the Prime Minister of Canada [7] who has personal friendship with the President. [8]

You should know that up to the present no dominion Minister at Washington other than myself has had any contacts with the United States Government or the British Ambassador on any important aspects of the war. I have heard from the British Ambassador that New Zealand is considering the question of sending a member [of New Zealand Government] [9] to Washington to make representations to the President regarding assistance. I believe this would defeat its object and would be misinterpreted and have so advised the British Ambassador whose opinion was sought and who agrees with me. [10]


1 The number has been inserted from the Washington file copy on AA: A3300, 67.

2 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

3 Lord Lothian.

4 Winston S. Churchill.

5 This word has been inserted from the Washington file copy.

6 This word was incorrectly deciphered as 'transmitting'. It has been corrected from the Washington file copy.

7 W. L. Mackenzie King.

8 See Lothian's cablegram 1135 of 26 June 1940 on file AA: A3300, 67.

9 These words have been inserted from the Washington file copy.

10 This cablegram was repeated as no. 46 to S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London.

[FA: A3195, 1.4763]