451 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr W. A. Johnston, U.K. Consul in Noumea

Cablegram unnumbered 27 June 1940,

MOST SECRET MOST IMMEDIATE

Your message 24th June received. [1] Decision of Council New Caledonia to support French National Committee has been communicated to London.

The future relationship between British Commonwealth and Bordeaux Governments has not yet been decided. French National Committee in London has been recognized and it is probable new French Government based on principles of Committee will be set up to deal with French Colonial territories.

In meantime policy of Commonwealth Government will be one of co- operation in war effort and assistance in overcoming economic difficulties as far as possible.

To latter end, arrangements have been made for representative of a commercial firm to proceed Noumea to assist regarding disposal nickel and chrome.

This information is to be treated as confidential and emphasis laid on point it is not a governmental but a commercial representative.

Representations regarding four ships held Newcastle have received favourable consideration and these are being permitted to sail.

[2]

PRIME MINISTER

1 Document 428.

2 This message was sent through the Naval Board in Melbourne.

[AA: A816, 19/311/74, i]