97 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
Cablegram 714  CANBERRA, 4 November 1941
MOST SECRET IMMEDIATE
Reference your cablegrams M.337, M.338  and M.342. 
1. While Japan's Policy will probably be determined more by the result of the German-Russian struggle than anything else, it would appear that great significance is to be attached to the proposed return to London of Mr. Shigemitsu  in view of the moderate elements he represents and their influence on the constitution of the new Government, vide your cablegram M.330. 
2. Having constantly before us the desirability of keeping Japan out of the war and reaching a general settlement with her, it is important that any measures to safeguard our defensive position in the war against the Axis Powers by deterring Japan from acts of aggression, which threaten our vital interests or Russia, should not close the door to an understanding while the possibility exists and so long as we do not sacrifice any vital interests during the course of any discussions. Accordingly it is our view that any warning issued to Japan on the lines contemplated should reiterate our willingness and desire to seek a general settlement in the Pacific which respects the rights of all parties.
3. We consider that the warning should then proceed to state that any attack by Japan on Russia will be resisted by force by the British Commonwealth irrespective of the attitude of the United States of America.
4. While the Commonwealth Government does not think that the notification should be conditional upon any reciprocal undertaking by United States, Netherlands or China, it considers every endeavour should be made to obtain the maximum collaboration of these countries in the event of a Japanese attack on Soviet Russia.
5. While the notification to Japan should not be conditional upon such assurance, a reciprocal guarantee should be sought from Russia that if Japan attacks in a southward direction Russia will declare war on Japan.
6. The foregoing view was unanimously endorsed by the Advisory War Council, which includes representatives of all Parties.