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

56 — The Prime Minister of Australia to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

page 46

The Prime Minister of Australia to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

28 November 1939
The advice contained in your telegram of 22 November (No. 54) is acknowledged with thanks. I fully appreciate that the course of action taken is entirely a matter for your Government. In view, however, of principles (1) and (5) proposed in your letter of 23 September 1938,1 and concurred in by one of my predecessors, that they ought to exchange decisions on defence policy and, for mutual advice, the fullest possible information in time of war, I regret that earlier consultation was not possible. My Government is of the view that further clarification of the situation in regard to Holland and possible repercussions on the Netherlands East Indies is necessary. Further local training of our forces affords a period for this without prejudicing our strength here or later co-operation when the forces are ready to take the field. I am announcing to the House tomorrow that our Special Division, which was raised for service at home or abroad as occasion might require or permit, will proceed overseas when it has reached a suitable stage in its training. It is anticipated that this will be early in the New Year. After further training overseas the Division should be able to take its place in a page 47 theatre of war in the European spring. It has been suggested to Casey1 that he consult with the United Kingdom Government and your representative on the co-ordination of our force's shipping requirements with New Zealand arrangements.

1 Rt. Hon. R. G. Casey, Australian delegate to the Ministerial Conference in London.