212 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram S118 LONDON, 4 June 1943, 8.40 p.m.

IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET PERSONAL

EXCHANGE WITH JAPAN

Dominions Office telegram 127 of 4th June. [1]

I think that it is desirable that I should let you know that a great deal of feeling is being engendered here in regard to this question. I fully appreciate your feelings and your point of view, but unless in your opinion a separate approach to Japan by Australia is likely to lead to more satisfactory results in obtaining release of our people (Foreign Office and Dominions Office view is that the Japanese are not likely to respond to a separate approach by Australia on lines proposed), I suggest that you should very seriously consider whether we had not better agree to fall into line, at the same time insisting that in any future arrangements greater regard should be paid to Australia's point of view and interests of Australian nationals in Japanese hands. [2]

BRUCE

1 Document 211.

2 Curtin replied on 10 June: 'We have perused Dominions Office telegram 127 but are unable to see the difficulties confronting the United Kingdom in regard to our requests. In the light of all the circumstances and previous exchange, they appear to us reasonable and were concurred in by the military and security authorities.' Bruce then sent a summary of the Dominions Office's response to the Commonwealth Govt's objections and stressed that time was the 'over-riding factor' in the negotiations. See Curtin's cablegram 88 and Bruce's cablegram S123 of 12 June on file AA:A989, 43/460/10/2, i.

[AA:A989, 43/460/10/2, i]