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Historical documents

139 Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Mr N. Chamberlain, U.K. Prime Minister

Repeated to High Commissioner in London
Cablegram unnumbered 17 March 1938


Referring to your cable regarding the proposed recognition of
inclusion of Austria in German Reich [1], my Government feels
doubts about so prompt a de jure recognition, having regard to a
sensitive public opinion, the fact that Plebiscite not yet taken,
and further fact that recognition so long refused to Italian
conquest of Abyssinia, with consequent deterioration of
British/Italian relations.

Fully appreciating the difficulties of discussing matters of this
kind by cable under circumstances of urgency, we would suggest
earnestly that in view of Australia's vital interests as a loyal
member of the British Commonwealth, determined to co-operate with
Great Britain but desirous of fully appreciating each move as it
occurs, Mr Bruce [2], as a former Prime Minister of Australia,
with extensive knowledge of international affairs, should be
admitted to full confidential consultation with yourself and the
Foreign Secretary [3] so that your views may be expressed to my
Government in Australia and our views may be conveyed to you
either directly or through Mr Bruce effectively during the actual
process of formation of British policy.

Such procedure would, of course, be supplementary to and not in
substitution for the present methods of communication.


1 Document 138.

2 High Commissioner in London.

3 Viscount Halifax.

[AA : A981, GREAT BRITAIN 8B, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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