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

Cablegram 836 LONDON, 24 September 1940, 7.10 p.m.

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER MOST SECRET

MIDDLE EAST. Have just heard, though not yet confirmed, that air reinforcements which were being steadily sent to Middle East have been stopped. This due to the Prime Minister's [1] obsession with problem of defence of these islands.

While appreciating the importance of this, do not consider that the retention of Middle Eastern air reinforcements could have marked effect here, while may be decisive in that theatre.

Am pressing strongly that flow to the Middle East should not be stopped. [2]

BRUCE

1 Winston S. Churchill.

2 On 27 September Bruce reported: 'War Cabinet this morning decided scheduled reinforcements for October should be despatched notwithstanding strenuous efforts of Beaverbrook [U.K. Minister for Aircraft Production] that they should be retained here.' See cablegram 855 on file AA:A1608, A41/1/1, xiii.

[AA:A3195, 1940, 1.8313]