Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
309 — Despatch from the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Governor-General of New Zealand
Despatch from the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Governor-General of New Zealand
With reference to the third paragraph of Mr MacDonald's secret despatch No. 54 of 25 February, I have the honour to state that the High Commissioner for the Western Pacific has now reported that Cable and Wireless, Limited, will co-operate in measures for the defence of Fanning Island. This co-operation will, it is understood, take the form of encouraging the Company's staff to volunteer for a short term of military training, mainly in the use and maintenance of automatic weapons. It is intended that the status of staff who volunteer should be regularised by their formation into a local defence force.
It has been ascertained that a member of the Company's staff will sail from Sydney for Fanning Island on 1 September and that two others will sail in April 1939. The High Commissioner for the Western Pacific1 will communicate with the Defence authorities of the Commonwealth of Australia with regard to their training.
I have, &c.,
2Duke of Devonshire, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, 1936–40.
for the Secretary of State
1 Sir Harry Luke succeeded Sir Arthur Richards in June 1938.