179 Commonwealth Government to Lord Cranborne, 179 U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 789 [1] CANBERRA, 11 December 1941


In our 714 of November 4th [2] in discussing the notification that we should resist Japanese attack on Russia we also suggested endeavour to obtain reciprocal guarantee from Russia that if Japan attacked southward Russia would declare war on Japan.

Subsequently on December 2nd (our telegram 768 [3]) we repeated suggestion of seeking such guarantee from Russia.

Only answer we have received to our suggestion is Sir Earle Page's [4] statement (December 4th) that, after discussion, your War Cabinet considered- (1) United States would need to be consulted.

(2) Eden [5] felt sure that Russia was not yet prepared to give such reciprocal aid.

We think time has now arrived to make earnest attempt to obtain Russia's intervention. Our Legation, Chungking, states (December 9th) [6] that Chinese Government proposes anti-aggression bloc and military alliance between U.S.A., Great Britain, China, British Dominions and Netherlands. This idea may be capable of at least partial application.

Our Ministers, Washington, Chungking, are receiving copy of this message and we earnestly request its prompt consideration by War Cabinet and United States Government.

1 Repeated to the Minister to the United States, R. G. Casey, (no.

149) and to the Minister to China, Sir Frederic Eggleston, (unnumbered).

2 Document 97.

3 This appears to be an incorrect reference to cablegram 765 (Document 153).

4 Special Representative in the United Kingdom. See Document 158.

5 U.K. Foreign Secretary.

6 See Document 176.