Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
17 — The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs1 to the Prime Minister of New Zealand2 — DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST FINLAND, HUNGARY, AND ROUMANIA
DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST FINLAND, HUNGARY, AND ROUMANIA
Please ask the United States Government to instruct the United States Ministers at Helsingfors,4 Budapest,5 and Bucharest6 to convey the following message to the Finnish, Hungarian, and Roumanian Governments:
On (Finland only, 28 November; remainder, 29 November) His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom conveyed to the Finnish (Hungarian, Roumanian) Government through the United States Minister at Helsingfors (Budapest, Bucharest) a message to the effect that unless by 5 December the Finnish (Hungarian, Roumanian) Government had ceased military operations and had in practice withdrawn from all active participation in hostilities against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, His Majesty's Government would have no choice but to declare the existence of a state of war between the two countries.
(Finland only). Since the Finnish Government's reply makes it clear that they have not complied with the above conditions and do not intend immediately to do so a state of war will exist between the two countries as from 12.1 a.m. GMT on 7 December.
1 Viscount Cranborne had succeeded Viscount Caldecote at the Dominions Office in Oct 1940.
2 The Hon. P. Fraser had been Prime Minister of New Zealand since the death of the Rt. Hon. M. J. Savage in Mar 1940.
4 H. F. Arthur Schoenfeld.
5 Herbert C. Pell.
6 Franklin Mott Gunther.
(Hungary and Roumania only). Since the Hungarian (Roumanian) Government have returned no reply to this communication, and since information at the disposal of His Majesty's Government affords no indication that they intend to comply with the above conditions, a state of war will exist between the two countries as from 12.1 a.m. GMT on 7 December.
It is essential that these messages should be delivered before the time specified above and I should be grateful if the time of delivery could be reported.
The Governments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa have been informed of these instructions. You will be informed if the New Zealand Government wish you to request the United States Government to inform the Finnish, Hungarian, and Roumanian Governments that a state of war will similarly exist between New Zealand and those countries. Canada's1 and Australia's2 Ministers may receive instructions to concert action with you if time permits, but you should not on this account delay your action on behalf of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. So far as (South Africa ?) are concerned, we understand that owing to necessary preliminaries concerted action will not be possible.
1 Hon. Leighton G. McCarthy, KC.