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

Cablegram 132 (extract) LONDON, 20 February 1940, 7.04 p.m.

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET PERSONAL

(1) SCANDINAVIA. Proposed to inform Mannerheim [1] of proposals (Dominions Office cables to Whiskard) [2] and approach Sweden and Norway at an early date. Preparations being expedited here and in France with a view to despatching forces immediately after, if reaction satisfactory, but of this I have grave doubt.

1 Commander-in-Chief of Finnish Army.

2 A meeting of the Supreme War Council in Paris on 5 February 1940 decided that it was of the first importance to save Finland, which was unlikely to hold out after spring without substantial reinforcements. Because of the strategic difficulties involved in landing a large Anglo-French force at the Finnish port of Petsamo it was proposed to use a Norwegian port, provided that Norway and Sweden agreed to the force crossing their territory. This would also give the Allies control of the Swedish iron ore fields. (See the following cablegrams from the U.K. Dominions Office to Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia: Z2 of 3 February, Z4 of 8 February, Z5 of 14 February and Z[unnumbered] of 18 February. All cablegrams are on file AA: A1608, H41/1/2.)

[AA: A981, EUROPE 30, ii]