Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
204 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Major-General Puttick has just shown me a personal telegram he has received from the New Zealand Liaison Officer in London from which it appears that the Joint Planning Committee in London, in considering the possible scale of attack on New Zealand, estimate it at ‘sporadic raids by enemy cruisers and aircraft carriers’ if Fiji and New Caledonia are held by us, and, if Fiji and New Caledonia are lost, at ‘one brigade group with naval and air support’.
Candidly I must tell you that my colleagues and I are appalled by this attempt to think in terms of the past, and if this line of thought is persisted in we must brace ourselves to meet the fate of Malaya and with infinitely less reason or excuse. To suggest, as we must assume is page 233 the case, that an attack by a brigade group is all that New Zealand should prepare to meet seems to us to be unreal and dangerous to the last degree, and we do beg you to ensure that if this kind of appreciation is to be laid before the Pacific War Council it be accompanied by our very strongest protest and our most pointed reference to the appreciation contained in my telegram of 17 February [No. 199], which was and is fully concurred in by the New Zealand Chiefs of Staff.
A telegram sent tonight by the Chief of the General Staff to the New Zealand Liaison Officer in London has our entire concurrence and I think it well worth repeating to you in full, as follows:
[Text of telegram No. 203]