25 APRIL 1941, Page 2

Mr. Menzies and the Australian People

The message sent by Mr. Menzies, the Australian Prime Minister, to his people at home, was in the same vein as Mr. Churchill's replies in the House of Commons when there were requests for more information about the campaigns in the Near and Middle East. It is inevitable that when an expedi- tionary force is sent overseas there should be strict secrecy about the military movements. That was the case when we sent the B.E.F. to France, and again recently when forces were despatched to Greece. The news that Australian and New Zealand troops were taking a highly important part in the hazardous operations in Greece has not unnaturally caused demands for more information from some members of the Federal Parliament, and the suggestion was made that the Advisory War Council should have been taken into the Govern- ment's confidence when it was decided to send Austr,lians to Greece. Mr. Menzies' reply is that in Britain none but members of the inner War Cabinet were consulted in regard to this military decision involving strategy of the highest order of secrecy, and similarly only members of the Australian Cabinet could be consulted. Mr. Menzies, speaking in this country, and Mr. Fraser, the New Zealand Prime Minister, speaking in New Zealand, both emphasise the fact that the British Empire, however difficult the military position, was bound in honour to go to the assistance of the Greeks. It is inconceivable that Australia should dissent from that. The latest messages suggest that there will in fact be no recrimination when Parliament meets.