Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
276 — The Prime Minister to the New Zealand Minister, Washington
The Prime Minister to the New Zealand Minister, Washington
We have little information regarding Army troops which the Americans are sending to Tongatabu, but we understand that a substantial task force under a Brigadier-General will arrive there shortly.
Lieutenant-Colonel McLeod,1 now in command of New Zealand troops and the Tonga Defence Force, has been ordered to place himself under the operational command of the American general and to render him all possible assistance.
Please take up with the United States authorities the question of American troops assuming complete responsibility for the defence of Tonga, including the relief of our artillery unit and New Zealand personnel with the Tonga Defence Force, all of which we advocate.
There will be minor difficulties to be overcome with regard to the Defence Force, which as you know consists of local troops with a cadre of New Zealand officers and non-commissioned officers and has British weapons. Complete relief in this case will therefore take time.
Brigadier Williams has full details of the present defences at Tonga.