104 Department of External Affairs to Mr A. T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London

Cablegram 137 6 September 1940,

From the Prime Minister. [1]

Your telegram 763. [2] Please convey to Dominions Office that Commonwealth Government would be pleased for Sir A. Clark Kerr to inform Chinese Government unofficially on our behalf that appointment of Australian Minister to Tokyo denotes no change whatsoever in the policy of the Commonwealth Government in the Far East.

Chinese Government may be assured of our most friendly interest.

Question of appointment of Minister to Chungking has received consideration but questions of personnel and of staffing must determine rate and order in which diplomatic appointments can be made.

1 R. G. Menzies.

2 Dispatched 4 September. It mentioned that the U.K. Govt had assured its Ambassador to China, Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, that the appointment of an Australian minister to Japan denoted no change in the U.K. Govt's Far Eastern policy, nor that of the Commonwealth Govt. Following an approach from the U.K. Foreign Office, the U.K. Dominions Office then asked Stirling to inquire informally of the Commonwealth Govt whether there was anything they would like the Foreign Office to telegraph to Clark Kerr on the subject. Stirling commented:'I gathered that what they have in mind, for your consideration, is an endorsement by the Commonwealth Government of the Ambassador's assurance that appointment denotes no change in policy, and also a friendly message to the Chinese Government.' See file AA:A981, China 94, ii.

[AA:A981, CHINA 94, ii]