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

Cablegram 153 LONDON, 29 February 1940, 7.40 p.m.

MOST SECRET FOR THE PRIME MINISTER

War Cabinet this morning decided proposals for action in Norwegian territorial waters and transit [sic] [1] contemplated statement should not be proceeded with. [2]

1 Bruce's file copy (on AA: M100, February 1940) read 'issue of'.

2 The reasons for this decision were set out in the U.K. Dominions Secretary's cablegram Z22 of 2 March 1940 to Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia (on file AA: A1608, H41/1/2). The U.K. Govt feared that action in Norwegian territorial waters might alienate Norway, Sweden and other neutral countries, thereby prejudicing not only assistance to Finland but also the supply of raw materials and ships vital to the United Kingdom. On 3 March Whiskard sent a copy of the cablegram to Menzies with a letter (on file AA: A1608, H41/1/2) conveying Eden's thanks for the full and prompt expression of the Commonwealth Govt's views, which were fully taken into account by the U.K. War Cabinet.

[AA: A981, EUROPE 30, ii]