Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
176 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the New Zealand Minister, Washington
The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the New Zealand Minister, Washington
You will note in the message repeated below that we have informed Curtin that you will confer with Evatt on this matter, and that if you consider the whole question should be reopened on the lines suggested page 196 in my telegram [No. 172] and Curtin's telegram under reference, you should refer the matter back to us for further instructions.
To the Prime Minister, Canberra:
‘I am grateful for your telegram [No. 175] which has been considered by War Cabinet and the Chiefs of Staff. We definitely retain our viewpoint that Australia and New Zealand should remain under one command, and we fully endorse the considerations put forward by the Australian Chiefs of Staff, but it is felt that the matter cannot be argued indefinitely and that an agreed settlement is preferable to a continuation of the present uncertainties. As you will observe from our telegram to Nash [No. 174], repeated to you on 28 March, we have instructed him to record our views but not to insist on a reopening of the question if the Combined Chiefs of Staff and the United States Government have arrived at a definite decision and a plan of action on the basis of the proposed subdivision.
‘We are asking Mr Nash to confer with Evatt, and if as a result of their discussions it is considered that the whole question should be reopened on the lines suggested in your telegram, he should refer the matter back to us for further instructions.
‘Irrespective of whatever course is decided upon in Washington, it is our wish that the closest links should be maintained between Australia and New Zealand on matters of common defence policy and future offensive action, and that the machinery for the closest liaison should be made the subject of immediate consideration.’
3 Not published.