226 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, and to Sir Frederick Stewart, Minister for External Affairs

Cablegram unnumbered WASHINGTON, 15 December 1940, 1.29 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE PERSONAL AND SECRET FOR THE PRIME MINISTER AND

I have excellent reasons to believe that there is a grave risk of Lloyd George [1] being made British Ambassador to U.S.A. [2] This is viewed with real alarm in high quarters here. I understand that the matter is one of urgency. Perhaps you may be able to do something about it. I have told the Australian High Commissioner in Canada [3] for the personal information of the Prime Minister of Canada [4] and similarly the Minister of South Africa [5] for the Prime Minister of South Africa. [6] Principal reason of my alarm is that Lloyd George regarded here, from his recent writings in newspapers, as favouring appeasement and negotiable peace; and his appointment would make the President's [7] task far more difficult. The British Ambassador at Washington has to believe passionately in the urgent necessity of victory by force of arms.

Preferable [8] to be positive force that will dissipate doubts and not negatively encourage them.

The President and leading Cabinet ministers are sound but the majority of the leading figures in the industrial and financial world here are drifting towards eventual peace, that we know would be no peace. Whilst I can naturally quote no names you can take it that the above is the best possible opinion here. Anyone of the following-Halifax [9], Eustace Percy [10] or Herbert Morrison [11] would be acceptable here.

CASEY

1 M.P. 1890-1945 and Prime Minister 1916-22.

2 Lord Lothian died on 12 December.

3 Sir William Glasgow.

4 W. L. Mackenzie King.

5 R. W. Close.

6 Lt Gen J. C. Smuts.

7 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

8 Mutilated in transmission.

9 U.K. Foreign Secretary.

10 Rector, Newcastle Division, University of Durham and formerly a member of the Bonar Law and Baldwin Govts in 1923-24, 1924-29 and 1935-36.

11 U.K. Minister of Supply.

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