50 Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Sir Ronald Cross, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia

Circular cablegram Z267 LONDON, 24 August 1941, 4.35 p.m.


My telegram of 6th August, Circular Z.256. [1] Following most secret and personal information for Prime Minister from Mr.

Churchill. (Begins).

You will wish to have full account of my meeting with President Roosevelt. The President was clearly much gratified that meeting should have been held. The greatest cordiality prevailed and United States representatives missed no opportunity of identifying themselves with our cause. While I had discussions with President on political matters very useful discussions between staffs proceeded simultaneously. Some of results of meeting have already been communicated to you It may however be helpful if I supplement what you already know.

(a) Convoys. By 1st September the United States Navy will have a convoy system in full operation between American coast and Iceland affording great relief to our naval vessels engaged on convoy duties and presenting the enemy with acute decisive dilemma.

Either he can attack convoys in which case his submarines would in turn be attacked by United States naval forces or he can refrain from attack which will be equivalent to giving us victory in battle of the Atlantic.

(b) joint Declaration. Details of proposal and text as agreed were communicated to you at the time (my telegrams Z.257, 259 and 263 2). You will no doubt agree as to special significance of 6th and 8th pointS3 which contrast with attitude of 1917-18 in that we now do not simply assume that there will be no more war but aim at adequate precautions to prevent it by effectively disarming our enemies. Further, instead of trying to ruin German trade we now take the view that it is not to interest of the world that any large nation should be unprosperous. It is also in my view of great importance that the President should have agreed to a declaration which refers to 'final destruction of Nazi tyranny'.

(c) Japan. You have already been informed that the United States design to secure a breathing space of a month or so during which we can improve our position in Singapore area while the Japanese will be obliged to hold their hand (my telegram Z.258 of 12th August [4]). The President has since carried out his intention to convey a strong warning to the Japanese as to action which the United States would take irrespective of its consequences if Japan encroaches further in the south-west Pacific. I hope very shortly that it will be possible to give you the President's exact words to the Japanese Ambassador [5] and to let you know what we propose to do by way of matching this warning by the United States. In the meantime I mean to make it clear in my broadcast that we will stand by the United States if they are attacked by Japan. This, I know, represents your views.

(d) Russia. The joint message to Stalin on which the President and I agreed was also communicated to you at the time (my telegram Z.261 of 13th August [6]). I think that the United States will send Harriman [7] to represent them and I am proposing that Beaverbrook [8] should go for us. We do not wish the conference in Russia to start before the latter part of September when I hope that we shall know where the Russian front will be for the winter.

(e) Supply. These questions were not discussed in detail but were left for Beaverbrook and Harriman to take up together. The additional Russian requirements and need of a large supplementary programme both for our own and the United States forces makes a review and expansion of United States production imperative. I am afraid that broad picture at present is that United States production is somewhat disappointing. It is all on the way but it is late. Measures difficult to enforce on a nation not at war will have to be taken involving drastic restrictions on civil consumption. Meanwhile however the United States are sending us 150,000 more rifies at once and I look for improved allocations of merchant shipping, bombers and tanks. I have just heard from Mr.

Hopkins [9] of an important improvement in bombers. I hope also that it may be possible to arrange for the Americans to take over ferry service and delivery of aircraft both here and in West Africa by United States pilots many of whom may stay for war training with us. They will set up establishments in West Coast both at Bathurst and in Liberia.

President sent two United States destroyers with us on our return journey not officially as escort but with orders to join in if trouble occurred. As you know I took the opportunity on my way home to pay a short visit to Iceland, where I was enthusiastically received and reviewed large number of British, Australian [10] and United States troops. (Ends).

1 On file AA:A1608, N41/1/1.

2 Dispatched 12, 13 and 14 August respectively. On the file cited in note 1.

3 The full text of the Atlantic Charter was included in circular cablegram Z259. The sixth point expressed the hope that after the final destruction of Nazi tyranny a peace would be established which would allow all nations to dwell in safety within their own boundaries and all men to live in freedom from fear and want. The eighth point expressed the belief that the world must abandon the use of force and that, pending the establishment of a permanent system of general security, nations which threatened aggression beyond their own frontiers must be disarmed.

4 Document 40.

5 Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura.

6 On file AA:MP1217, Box 575, Churchill-Roosevelt discussions, August 1941.

7 Roosevelt's war supplies representative in the United Kingdom.

He led the U.S. delegation to the Three-Power Conference on supplies in Moscow from 29 September to 1 October.

8 U.K. Minister of Supply.

9 Adviser to Roosevelt.

10 ? Canadian.

[AA:A1608, N41/1/1]