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

444 — The acting Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Prime Minister (Cairo)

The acting Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Prime Minister (Cairo)

5 June 1941

The following telegram has been sent today to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs:

In a secret session on Tuesday next, 10 June, His Majesty's Government in New Zealand will be called upon to give to Parliament the fullest information possible concerning, the recent events in the Middle East in which their forces have been engaged. So that they can prepare a comprehensive and accurate statement for use on this occasion, they are most anxious to obtain a full appreciation of the question of air support in relation to the campaigns in Greece and Crete, and particularly the reasons why it was not possible to afford more adequate air support for the protection of their forces and more anti-aircraft defences for the protection of aerodromes. If such information, together with any further facts with regard to the relation of Crete to the strategical plan for the Middle East and the necessity for holding the island by the Imperial Forces, could be received on or before 9 June it would be most helpful.

The full details as set out in cables relative to Crete are in my possession, but there is already a considerable volume of criticism concerning the lack of air support, and I am of the opinion that it is essential that the Government is in a position to explain fully its own attitude before and during the campaign, and to explain, in as full detail as possible, the facts concerning air support. In this connection I shall be greatly obliged for your comments.