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155 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, and to Sir Frederic Eggleston, Minister to China

Cablegram 369/1041/30 CANBERRA, 3 December 1941


1. A few days ago the Far Eastern Situation was almost out of
hand. Hull [1] seemed to have almost given up hope. Even now of
course it is very bad.

Throughout the affair and despite discouragement, the Commonwealth
Government and its representatives abroad have struggled hard-
(a) to prevent breakdown of talks, especially during period before
ships' arrival at Singapore.

(b) to encourage U.S. to retain diplomatic initiative on behalf of
democratic powers.

(c) to have determined in advance what plans should be adopted in
event of various types of Japanese aggression, and
(d) to encourage and persuade United States to follow her
diplomatic leadership and initiative by armed resistance to
aggression when it takes a crucial form.

2. It is now obvious that our efforts have not been without some
measure of success. I desire to thank you for your assistance. I
am sure that you will continue your efforts remembering that
Australia will feel the first impact of a war against Japan in the
Pacific and therefore she does not wish to become a pawn in the
game. Our object is to struggle hard for peace in the Pacific so
long as that does not mean that Japanese aggression will merely be
turned from one important democratic bastion against another, and
so long as the democratic powers can be persuaded to preserve a
solid front. Failing peace, our object is to have the same
solidarity in armed resistance to Japanese aggression.

I have sent similar message to Casey

Chungking only:

Reference your 21. [2] We appreciate point of view contained
therein. Views and decisions of War Cabinet on whole question are
contained in telegrams 763 and 765 to United Kingdom Government
[3], which I am repeating to you.


1 U.S. Secretary of State.

2 Document 154.

3 Documents 143 and 153.

[AA : A981, JAPAN 178]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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