Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
170 — The Prime Minister of Australia to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Prime Minister of Australia to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
Your cablegram of 24 March.
1. I appreciate your desire for further discussions in view of subsequent developments and the appointment of General MacArthur as Supreme Commander.
2. We are awaiting advice from London regarding the President's recent proposals and our observations on them which were repeated to you.1 I feel that discussions between Australian and New Zealand representatives should be held when this information is available. Until it is received and we have both had an opportunity of studying it, I think that there would be no advantage in resuming the recent conversations.
3. There are also many urgent and important matters of command and organisation affecting Australian forces still to be worked out, and these are engaging the close attention of ourselves and our service advisers. Our service advisers consider that further discussion between Australian and New Zealand service representatives cannot be carried on profitably until the area of General MacArthur's command is defined and proposals have been made by the Supreme Commander for the organisation of the area.
4. In view of these considerations I feel that it would be better if the visit of the New Zealand representatives were postponed for a short period. I understand and share your anxiety to have these important matters promptly adjusted, and I shall be happy to agree to further discussions between Australian and New Zealand representatives at the earliest opportune moment.
1 No. 163.