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42 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 527 CANBERRA, 13 August 1941


His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia has had
under consideration for some time the question of some official
representation at Singapore. [1] As a centre of growing political
importance, as a focal point of Imperial communications, a
clearing house for political intelligence, and with growing
commercial contacts, Singapore has great significance for
Australia. The presence in Malaya of Australian Military Forces
and R.A.A.F. units also renders it essential there should be an
official representative to establish liaison with Imperial and
local authorities.

Consequently the Commonwealth Government has decided to appoint at
Singapore an official representative who would be called on to
exercise functions covering political, intelligence, information,
commercial and administrative matters. It is proposed to appoint
Mr. Bowden, the present Commonwealth Government Trade Commissioner
at Shanghai, to the position of official representative.

It is also proposed to appoint a commercial secretary and a
political officer to his staff.

Assuming that these proposals are concurred in by the United
Kingdom Government [2], I would be glad if the appropriate steps
could be taken to inform the Governor of the Straits Settlements
[3], along with a request for his assistance and co-operation in
the establishment of the mission. In this latter aspect, it would
facilitate matters if the Colonial Secretary [4] could be
authorized to communicate direct with the Commonwealth Government.



1 For consideration of this question by the Economic and
Industrial Committee of Cabinet see agendum E14 of 9 July and
minute E14 of 14 July in AA : A2708, vol. 3.

2 Cranborne's concurrence was received in cablegram 599 of 23
August (AA : A3195, 1941, 1.15810).

3 Sir Shenton Thomas.

4 Lord Moyne.

5 Bowden took up duty in Singapore on 29 September. He was
assisted by A. N. Wootton (Commercial Secretary) and J. P. Quinn
(Political Secretary).

[AA : A3196, 1941, 0.11734]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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