50 Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Sir Ronald Cross, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia
Circular cablegram Z267 LONDON, 24 August 1941, 4.35 p.m.
MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET
My telegram of 6th August, Circular Z.256.  Following most
secret and personal information for Prime Minister from Mr.
You will wish to have full account of my meeting with President
Roosevelt. The President was clearly much gratified that meeting
should have been held. The greatest cordiality prevailed and
United States representatives missed no opportunity of identifying
themselves with our cause. While I had discussions with President
on political matters very useful discussions between staffs
proceeded simultaneously. Some of results of meeting have already
been communicated to you It may however be helpful if I supplement
what you already know.
(a) Convoys. By 1st September the United States Navy will have a
convoy system in full operation between American coast and Iceland
affording great relief to our naval vessels engaged on convoy
duties and presenting the enemy with acute decisive dilemma.
Either he can attack convoys in which case his submarines would in
turn be attacked by United States naval forces or he can refrain
from attack which will be equivalent to giving us victory in
battle of the Atlantic.
(b) joint Declaration. Details of proposal and text as agreed were
communicated to you at the time (my telegrams Z.257, 259 and 263
2). You will no doubt agree as to special significance of 6th and
8th pointS3 which contrast with attitude of 1917-18 in that we now
do not simply assume that there will be no more war but aim at
adequate precautions to prevent it by effectively disarming our
enemies. Further, instead of trying to ruin German trade we now
take the view that it is not to interest of the world that any
large nation should be unprosperous. It is also in my view of
great importance that the President should have agreed to a
declaration which refers to 'final destruction of Nazi tyranny'.
(c) Japan. You have already been informed that the United States
design to secure a breathing space of a month or so during which
we can improve our position in Singapore area while the Japanese
will be obliged to hold their hand (my telegram Z.258 of 12th
August ). The President has since carried out his intention to
convey a strong warning to the Japanese as to action which the
United States would take irrespective of its consequences if Japan
encroaches further in the south-west Pacific. I hope very shortly
that it will be possible to give you the President's exact words
to the Japanese Ambassador  and to let you know what we propose
to do by way of matching this warning by the United States. In the
meantime I mean to make it clear in my broadcast that we will
stand by the United States if they are attacked by Japan. This, I
know, represents your views.
(d) Russia. The joint message to Stalin on which the President and
I agreed was also communicated to you at the time (my telegram
Z.261 of 13th August ). I think that the United States will
send Harriman  to represent them and I am proposing that
Beaverbrook  should go for us. We do not wish the conference in
Russia to start before the latter part of September when I hope
that we shall know where the Russian front will be for the winter.
(e) Supply. These questions were not discussed in detail but were
left for Beaverbrook and Harriman to take up together. The
additional Russian requirements and need of a large supplementary
programme both for our own and the United States forces makes a
review and expansion of United States production imperative. I am
afraid that broad picture at present is that United States
production is somewhat disappointing. It is all on the way but it
is late. Measures difficult to enforce on a nation not at war will
have to be taken involving drastic restrictions on civil
consumption. Meanwhile however the United States are sending us
150,000 more rifies at once and I look for improved allocations of
merchant shipping, bombers and tanks. I have just heard from Mr.
Hopkins  of an important improvement in bombers. I hope also
that it may be possible to arrange for the Americans to take over
ferry service and delivery of aircraft both here and in West
Africa by United States pilots many of whom may stay for war
training with us. They will set up establishments in West Coast
both at Bathurst and in Liberia.
President sent two United States destroyers with us on our return
journey not officially as escort but with orders to join in if
trouble occurred. As you know I took the opportunity on my way
home to pay a short visit to Iceland, where I was enthusiastically
received and reviewed large number of British, Australian  and
United States troops. (Ends).