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Historical documents

166 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, 166 to Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom

Cablegram 7727 CANBERRA, 7 December 1941


Your telegram 6th December No. 119. [1] In the circumstances
alternative procedure suggested by Palace authorities is approved-
(a) It will clearly express the unbroken chain of prerogative
authority from His Majesty to the Governor-General [2] and (b) it
will also make clear that His Majesty is acting exclusively on the
advice of his Ministers in the Commonwealth.

You are therefore instructed, in accordance with your own
suggestion, to submit the instrument as drafted to the King who
will treat our telegrams to you as formal advice from the
Commonwealth Government advising him to issue the instrument. The
actual proclamation of war by the Governor-General, as His
Majesty's representative, will issue after approval at meeting of
Cabinet tomorrow (Monday) afternoon and subsequent Executive
Council meeting. [3] We are obliged to you for your prompt co-
operation. Please advise immediately after signature by King and
forward instrument by airmail and duplicate by second airmail. In
addition to airmailing of instrument please obtain permission of
King to transmit picturegram of instrument after its signature by
King. [4]


1 Document 165.

2 Lord Cowrie.

3 Gowrie issued a proclamation on 8 December formally declaring
war on Finland, Hungary and Rumania as from that day. The Minister
to the United States, R. G. Casey, was immediately instructed to
request the U.S. Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, to convey the
information to the governments concerned through the U.S.

Ministers in Helsinki, Budapest and Bucharest (cablegram 143). All
documents are on file AA:A981, War 44
On 14 January the Commonwealth Govt announced that a state of,war
had existed with Bulgaria since 6 January. See files AA:A981, War
47 and AA:A1608, 0.41/1/2.

4 Bruce reported on 8 December that the King had signed the
instruments that after noon and that they would be dispatched by
picturegram. See cablegram 122 on file AA: A1608, 0.41/1/2.

[AA:A981, WAR 69, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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