336 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr A. W. Fadden, Acting Prime Minister
Cablegram M3 LONDON, 5 March 1941, 1.33 p.m.
IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET
Notice in press cables that Beasley  thinks that I have minimised the seriousness of the Pacific situation. Do not know how this impression arises. In reality my speech was primarily addressed to the Foreign Office which, though I am not to be quoted on this, seems to me to have adopted a fatalistic attitude towards our relations with Japan.  If a realistic attitude means that we are to drift inevitably into war with Japan, I cannot accept it. I am not suggesting a policy of retreat or appeasement but I do say that we must have a positive policy of thrashing out our differences and if necessary telling Japan just where the limits of tolerance are. In brief friendliness but firmness on everything that is really vital.