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253 Mr P. Liesching, U.K. Acting High Commissioner to Australia, to Lord Stanley, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 17614 September 1938,


From long private conversation with Menzies [1] following Cabinet
Meeting last Monday [2] and from short interview with the Prime
Minister [3] this morning I am satisfied that the Commonwealth
Government remain strongly of the opinion that almost any
alternative is preferable to involvement in war with Germany in
the event of the latter forcibly intervening in Czechoslovakia.

Menzies is giving powerful support to the views of the Prime
Minister as outlined in my telegram No. 165. [4] Government have
received through Stirling [5] summary of information obtained
recently in Paris as to the improbability of any action by Russia
and also this morning a telegram recording appreciation of the
Nuremberg speech by His Majesty's Ambassador in Berlin [6] and the
latter's recommendations that extreme final pressure should be put
upon Benes. [7] With those recommendations the Prime Minister told
me he agreed entirely but the Commonwealth Government are unable
to telegraph pending the receipt of message referred to in the
Dominions Office telegram No. 195. [8] Lyons when I saw him had
already arranged to speak by telephone to Bruce at four
(Australian time) today. [9]

1 R. G. Menzies, Attorney-General.

2 12 September 1938.

3 J. A. Lyons.

4 Document 242.

5 A. T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London; see Document

6 Sir Nevile Henderson: the telegram is not printed. In his speech
at Nuremberg on 12 September 1938 Hitler said that he desired to
be at peace with his neighbours, but would not stand idly by while
fellow Germans were ill-treated.

7 Eduard Benes, President of Czechoslovakia.

8 Not found.

9 No record of this conversation has been found.

[PRO : DO 35/554]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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