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

222 — General Freyberg (London) to the Prime Minister

General Freyberg (London) to the Prime Minister

30 July 1940

With reference to the telegram of 26 July (No. 220) from the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs and the Governor-General's telegram of 28 July (No. 221).

page 169

I understand that all questions of the route and risk of passage are answered by the Admiralty.

The highest authority here desires that the railway units be sent to the Middle East, an opinion with which I entirely agree.1 As more transport accommodation is now available, I understand that this will not prevent the Third Echelon from embarking.

In view of the last sentence of the fourth paragraph of the Secretary of State's No. 220 of 26 July, I suggest that the Third Echelon should be sent even if its equipment is on a reduced scale.

Regarding the question of accommodation raised in your reply, Maadi and Helwan camps will be adequate accommodation for all our three echelons. The railway troops will not be accommodated by us but by Army. If later reinforcements raise problems of accommodation we can move one or two brigades to the Western Desert for a tour of duty. Forgive the delay as we are out in bivouac in Sussex2 upon a full-scale exercise. The men are in great heart and all is well.