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

Cablegram 571 [1] CANBERRA, 2, September 1941


Your M.273 [2] and 274. [3]

His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia concurs generally in the line of action proposed, but would prefer Formula (1) or in some way an indication that our action is being taken in concert with that of the United States. It is noted, however, that the terms of your proposed warning, especially the phrase 'even though these might lead to war between Great Britain and Japan' are much stronger and go beyond those of the United States, vide M.268. [4]

We find some difficulty in interpreting the term South West Pacific Area. In our view, the country most threatened by further aggression at the moment is Thailand, and it is not clear that the term does apply to Thailand. It may be that your intention is to leave this point deliberately obscure.

1 Repeated to the N.Z. [Acting] Prime Minister as no 336.

2 Document 52.

3 Dispatched 28 August. On file AA:A1608, A41/1/1 xxiv.

4 See Document 52, note 1.

[AA: A981, JAPAN 185B, ii]