Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
352 — The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Chief of the Imperial General Staff and I, in consultation with the three Commanders-in-Chief, have re-examined the question this afternoon. We are unanimously agreed that despite the heavy commitments and grave risks which are undoubtedly involved, especially in view of our limited naval and air resources, the right decision was taken in Athens. [Palairet's] telegrams to Cairo showed the position from the Greek angle. This is merely to indicate to you how our minds are working while awaiting the Cabinet view which was foreshadowed in your telegram2.
The following telegram was sent today from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to Mr. Eden:
The project was considered by Cabinet this morning in the light of your telegrams from Athens and Cairo and of my two telegrams to you. The Chiefs of Staff advise that in view of the steadfastly expressed opinion of the Commanders-in-Chief on the spot, of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and the Commanders of the forces to be employed, it would be right to proceed. Cabinet decided to authorise you to carry on with the operation and in doing so accepts for itself the fullest responsibility. The Australian and New Zealand Governments will be communicated with accordingly.