33 Mr. R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Lord Caldecote, 33 U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 384 24 July 1940,

MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

Reference My No. 280 of 11th June.[1] It is proposed to send to Palestine by convoy sailing late August further Contingent of 6,000 A.I.F. Troops including 3,800 Reinforcements and certain Auxiliary Units to complete organisation of Forces already there.

Early advice would be appreciated as to whether passage to Suez can be guaranteed.

In regard to original intention to send about 31,000 troops late September you will recall from cablegram No. 346 [2] in reply to your 228 [3] relative to request for Division for Malaya that a conclusion on the despatch of further formations from Australia is affected by the new appreciation on the Far East which is awaited.

Until this is received it would appear impossible to discuss dates and consequential shipping arrangements. Finally an essential condition for the despatch of additional troops abroad is an assurance that, if such a decision should be reached, the necessary equipment would be ready for them on arrival.

MENZIES

1 AA:A3196, 1940,[0.].3704.

2 Document 5.

3 Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. III, Document 459.

[AA:A3196, 1940, 0.5091]