39 Prime Minister's Department to High Commissioner's Office, London

Cablegram unnumbered 30 July 1940,

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Meat. Essential that we know what United Kingdom Government have in mind. Gordon as representative [U.K.] Ministry of Shipping has instructions regarding quantities and the Meat Board meets tomorrow to consider position. It is quite clear that proposed United Kingdom action is not due to shipping shortage. We must ask therefore that they define their attitude clearly.

We are pressed on all sides to increase production of foodstuffs for United Kingdom. We are still without any indication at all of United Kingdom policy or desires as to increased food supplies but we must soon publish a full statement for general information and to protect ourselves against charges of indifference.

You can imagine the effect of announcement that meat supplies are to be restricted by United Kingdom Government while wool and wheat are carried from Australia in refrigerated space, and increased neutral tonnage is being secured by United Kingdom Government.

Very anxious to receive some advice from you tomorrow if possible as we wish avoid Meat Board discussing what they consider to be United Kingdom restriction their supplies with consequent danger leakage to press.

[AA:A3196, 1940, 0.5280]