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283 Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of Department of External Affairs, to Mr F. K. Officer, Australian Counsellor at British Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 40 27 September 1938,

Your 58. [1] Personal for Officer. Since Parliament met last week
Commonwealth Government after closest consultation with United
Kingdom Government and Bruce [2] have not made any statement
whatever so as to preclude discussion which might aggravate
present delicate situation. All parties have loyally conformed
with this view.

Commonwealth Government has notified United Kingdom Government of
its whole hearted support in present efforts for peace and
concurrence in policy laid down speech Prime Minister March 24 [3]
and reaffirmed speech Simon [4] on 27th August but has not gone
beyond public statement to this effect.

Statement mainly narrative and factual will probably be made
tomorrow after further consultation Bruce to-night following on
return Wilson [5] from Germany. You will appreciate to-morrow will
be probably decisive. I should venture that opinion here still
divided though definitely hardening in favour stand against


1 Document 282.

2 S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London.

3 Neville Chamberlain's speech; see Documents 154, 156, 158, 159,

4 Sir John Simon, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

5 Sir Horace Wilson, special adviser to Neville Chamberlain, was
sent on 26 September to present Hitler with a memorandum
requesting an orderly settlement of the Czechoslovakian question.

He was also charged with delivering an oral message, that 'if, in
pursuit of her Treaty obligations, France became actively engaged
in hostilities against Germany, the United Kingdom would feel
obliged to support her'. This oral message was not delivered until
27 September.

[AA : A981, CZECHOSLOVAKIA 18, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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