10 Sir Robert Craigie, U.K. Ambassador to Japan, to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram unnumbered TOKYO, 4 July 1940, 8 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

Following from Hard [1]

I was present at an Embassy Conference at which information was

given that the Young Army group are getting out of hand and will

precipitate direct action on the least pretext. Decided change was

thought to be imminent on Manchukuo Emperor's [2] departure over

the week-end, new Cabinet probably containing Shiratori as Foreign

Minister and involving extreme likelihood of Axis link up and

giving the militant party an impetus to carry on pre-arranged

plan. If an unfavourable proposal is submitted regarding the

Burmese Road, direct action will result, particularly in view of

the publicity given to the American announcement of inability to

prevent Japanese aggression in the Pacific. The Ambassador

suggests that I submit that Australia's influence on home [i.e.

U.K.] Government would be appreciated to enable conciliation

measures for the removal of this pretext for aggression. Though

unwilling to commit herself on behalf of the general British

interests is there any likelihood of America rendering assistance

to Australia.

1 Assistant Australian Government Commissioner in Japan.

2 P'u-yi.

[AA: A981, FAR FAST 31, ii]