96 Sir Harry Luke, U. K. High Commissioner for the Western Pacific, to Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered VILA, 3 September 1940, 10 p.m.

Prime Minister Canberra, repeated to Secretary of State for the Colonies [1] September 3rd, my telegram touring No. 4, addressed to Secretary of State, repeated to you. [2]

As you are aware, New Hebrides have declared for De Gaulle [3] and now qualify for such economic assistance as it is in the power of His Majesty's Government to give them. In the circumstances would the Commonwealth Government co-operate in this assistance by placing French producers in the New Hebrides for the duration of the war on the same basis as British producers as regards privileges enjoyed by the latter in respect of their exports to Australia.

I commend this suggestion to your sympathetic consideration, particularly as it implements your own policy of friendship and co-operation with the French in the Pacific.

As the French in New Hebrides are suffering from acute monetary as well as economic crisis, I should appreciate early reply to me in Suva, which please repeat to British Resident Commissioner, New Hebrides. [4]

1 Lord Lloyd.

2 Dispatched 3 September. See file AA:A981, New Caledonia 37.

3 Leader of the Free French movement.

4 R. D. Blandy.

[AA: A1608, D41/1/9, ii]