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

90 — The Minister of Defence to General Freyberg (London)

The Minister of Defence to General Freyberg (London)

10 September 1940

The New Zealand Government is disturbed by information received as to the present deficiencies of the New Zealand brigade group now moving into an operational theatre in the Western Desert—see the telegram from the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in Wellington, dated 7 September (No. 89). It would appear that the brigade group probably has 18 2-inch mortars instead of 36, 23 anti-tank rifles instead of 95, 182 light machine guns instead of 215, 19 machine guns instead of 36, 6 light tanks instead of 28, 21 Bren carriers instead of 30, no 25-pounders instead of 24.

I should be glad, (1) if you could ascertain, or else instruct Puttick to inform me, what actual supplies of equipment have been issued to the New Zealand brigade; (2) whether it is sufficient for the task allotted; and (3) if possible, how soon are the deficiencies likely to be made good. Your personal opinion on the equipment position would be appreciated.