333 Sir John Latham, Minister to Japan, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 116 TOKYO, 5 March 1941, 1 p.m.

I have received to-day letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs [1] requesting me to bring to your notice a report from Japanese Consulate General Sydney that 'on 26th February Minister for the Navy, Mr. W. M. Hughes in a national radio broadcast stated that the situation in the East is very critical but as long as we have the support of America it is an easy matter to cook (repeat cook) Japan'. [2]

This is accurate translation from Japanese of letter.

Letter proceeds 'It is not the first occasion that Mr. Hughes has made unfriendly speeches but the above broadcast speech shows not only an unfriendly attitude but it is provocative, aggressive and disparaging and Imperialists are aggrieved. I would bring to your notice that a speech from such a responsible Minister of his standing has a great influence on our good national relations and it is not to be desired.' [3]

LATHAM

1 Yosuke Matsuoka.

2 Hughes's speech was in fact made on 16 February (see note 3 below). The text is printed as Document 303.

3 On 7 March A. W. Fadden, Acting Prime Minister, replied that Hughes in his broadcast 'did not use language even remotely similar to that quoted by the Consul-General, Sydney [Masatoshi Akiyama]'. See cablegram 1 on file AA:A1608, A41/1/6, v.

On 10 March Latham requested the full text of Hughes's speech (see cablegram 128 on file AA:A981, Japan 101, iii) and it was sent to him in External Affairs Dept dispatch CT13/41 of 18 March, which also gave the correct date of the broadcast. See file AA:A981, Far East 14A.

[AA:A981, JAPAN 101, iii]