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114 War Cabinet Minute

Minute 498 SYDNEY, 10 September 1940


(Previous reference-War Cabinet Minute No. (418) [1]).

(The Chief of the Naval Staff [2] was present for the discussion
of this subject).

The Minister for External Affairs [3] brought to the notice of War
Cabinet cablegram No. 182 of 9th September from the British
Resident Commissioner, New Hebrides [4], regarding the plans of M.

Sautot [5] for his 'coup de force' at Noumea. Reference was also
made to the comments of the High Commissioner for the Western
Pacific [6] in his cablegram No. 273 of 10th September to the
British Resident Commissioner on the latter's cablegram.

It was decided that the Commanding Officer of H.M.A.S. 'Adelaide'
[7] is to be informed that it is to be clearly understood that the
responsibility for proceeding to Noumea is a matter for M. Sautot
himself, and the Commanding Officer is not to convey him there
against his wishes.

1 See AA:A2673, vol. 3, 11 July 1940. It recorded the proposal to
appoint B. C. Ballard as Official Representative in New Caledonia.

2 Admiral Sir Ragnar Colvin.

3 John McEwen.

4 R. D. Blandy. The cablegram is on file AA:A981, New Caledonia

5 French Resident Commissioner in the New Hebrides.

6 Sir Harry Luke. Cablegram 273 (on file AA:A981, New Caledonia 1,
iii) included the advice: 'I appreciate Sautot's anxiety to make
as sure as possible of the success of his enterprise but I feel
that it would be wise for him to take advantage of the present
favourable combination of circumstances i.e. opportunity of
transport in S.S. NORDEN supported by H.M.A.S. ADELAIDE and
propitious atmosphere in New Caledonia.'
7 Captain H. A. Showers.

[AA:A2673, VOL. 3]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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