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

Cablegram 140 LONDON, 22 February 1940, 6.30 p.m.

MOST SECRET IMMEDIATE FOR THE PRIME MINISTER

My telegram of today. [1] Relations of major scheme to present proposals examined by the War Cabinet. Broad conclusion was that the prospect of obtaining the co-operation or acquiescence of Norway and Sweden so slight that major proposal practically dead and effect on it of present proposals can therefore be ignored.

Some members of the War Cabinet consider that even if major scheme still a possibility immediate action re Norwegian territorial waters would not prejudice it. This view I doubt.

Dominions Office cabling fully tonight. [2]

1 Document 73.

2 See cablegram Z8 of 22 February 1940 on file AA: A1608, H41/1/2.

It reported that it was improbable that Sweden and Norway would allow an Anglo-French force to traverse their territory en route to Finland, so that the chances of carrying out the plan referred to in Document 69, note 2, were extremely faint. In view of the Altmark incident and of German attacks on neutral shipping it was proposed instead to lay minefields off the Norwegian coast.

[AA: A981, EUROPE 30, ii]