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251 Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered GENEVA, 12 September 1938


Although position at the moment shows little change and
negotiations are continuing between Sudetens and Czechs, Secretary
of State for Foreign Affairs in conference with Dominion
Representatives [1] pointed out in view of possibility of
immediate action being required necessity for greatest rapidity in
communication to Dominions in certain contingencies and speediest
decisions on their part. He envisaged certain circumstances
arising which might leave very limited time for consultation and
desired provide for fullest and at the same time speediest
exchange of information and views. As result arrangements have
been made by which High Commissioners will be fully and
progressively advised of situation and reasons leading to
decisions of United Kingdom Government. This will be in addition
to direct communication between United Kingdom Government and
Dominion Governments. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
stressed that this is all at the moment entirely precautionary.

Suggest you take similar precautionary measures in Australia to
ensure Cabinet will be available for decisions should necessity

At the moment I am in Geneva but I have made arrangements to fly
back to London immediately if necessary.


1 On 12 September 1938 Malcolm MacDonald, acting for the Dominions
Secretary (not Viscount Halifax, Foreign Secretary) met
representatives of the Dominions (See PRO : DO 114/94) Australia
was represented by J. S. Duncan, Official Secretary to the High
Commissioner's Office. Duncan subsequently informed Bruce in
Geneva of the substance of the discussion and suggested that Bruce
should send a message to Australia (See AA: AA1970/559, item 5).

[AA : AA1970/556, ITEM 6(2)]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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