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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III

150 — The Prime Minister of Australia to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

page 160

The Prime Minister of Australia to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

4 March 1942

Reference No. 75.1

The Advisory War Council considered your reply at Canberra today immediately on its receipt. The Hon. D. G. Sullivan and the Rt. Hon. J. G. Coates, having remained in Melbourne, were unfortunately unable to be present. A copy was immediately furnished to them as requested.

2. We have accepted all the points you have raised and have amended the draft accordingly.

3. In view of the overriding urgency of the matter as mentioned in [No. 149], and with which Messrs Sullivan and Coates were in full agreement, we are despatching the cable only to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom as suggested by you, and would ask you to give it your fullest support.

4. In regard to the Supreme Commander to be appointed by the Council, we have informed the Prime Minister, in view of General Brett's experience as Deputy Supreme Commander of the ABDA area, the knowledge he has gathered of Australian and New Zealand requirements, the contacts he established in Government and Service spheres, that for our part we would welcome his appointment.

5. The cable as revised is being repeated to you and copies passed to your representatives here.

6. We have also decided to accept your suggestion that the approach to the President should be through Mr Churchill. We hope that you will exert your powerful influence accordingly.

7. We consider that the immediate adoption of the plan is essential to the security of our two countries, and we look forward to a period of the very closest co-operation.

1 Not published. Contained New Zealand's comments on the Australian draft.