193 Mr V. G. Bowden, Official Representative in Singapore, to Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Cablegram M52 SINGAPORE, 14 December 1941, 8.20 p.m.
MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET
For Minister for External Affairs.
This morning I saw Wynne, Chief of the Special Branch of the Singapore Police, whom I consider a most reliable informant. He has received indications from different sources that heavy air attacks on Singapore 14th December and December 15th are likely.
Another report that some 140 Japanese transports have been sighted moving south suggests possibility of attack from sea.
Wynne is very concerned about the internal security, describes the situation as 'slipping hourly'  and believes that the imposition of martial law urgently necessary. He despairs of impressing the Administration with the seriousness of the situation and criticizes the Governor , as the highest authority here, for preoccupation with formalities of procedure and unwillingness to authorise urgent drastic security measures and if necessary abdicate his powers (i.e. if martial law imposed).
Indications are that Singapore will shortly be in virtual state of siege and I feel appropriate control measures should be introduced immediately while facilities for organisation are still intact. I have accordingly placed before Governor and also discussed with Duff Cooper certain representations and recommendations submitted to me by Tebbutt  which include early application of martial law. Duff Cooper had received similar representations from his military adviser  and appears to be in full agreement.
Governor's general attitude was that the civil Administration's handling of security matter is adequate and that measures recommended are unnecessary but nevertheless under pressure from me undertook to submit them to Defence Council tomorrow. Am convinced Duff Cooper will strongly support.