290 Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia

Circular cablegram Z44 LONDON, 12 February 1941, 9.20 p.m.

IMPORTANT MOST SECRET AND PERSONAL

My telegram Circular Z. 43. [1] Please give the following message to the Prime Minister [2] for his Most Secret and Personal information. BEGINS.

Following message has been sent by Chiefs of Staff to our Naval Commanders-in-Chief, our Commanders-in-Chief in the Far East, Middle East and India and to the Air Officer Commander-in-Chief, Middle East.

BEGINS.

There are a number of indications pointing to aggressive action by the Japanese in the near future which may involve us in war with them. This is not warning telegram and calls for no action beyond increased vigilance and unobtrusive precautions. ENDS.

1 Dispatched 11 February. It contained reports of various recent Japanese activities particularly near Hong Kong and in Indo-China.

See file AA:A981, Japan 185.

2 A. W. Fadden was Acting Prime Minister.

[AA:A1608, A41/1/6, iv]