Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II
219 — The Hon. F. Jones (London) to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Hon. F. Jones (London) to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
I received your telegram of 19 April1 and returned to London today from Oxford to read your personal message to Mr. Churchill.2 In view of your promise to Parliament I realise that it is not possible for you to give an assurance or enter into any commitments regarding the suggested employment of the Division.
As it is necessary that the specialised training of the required force be undertaken immediately, the United Kingdom Government cannot afford to risk the delay that would inevitably ensue to the projected plans if, after our troops commenced the course, it ultimately transpired that Parliament's decision was not favourable. Some other division would then have to be assigned to the task and the proposed plans would be unduly delayed. Therefore the United Kingdom Government have now advised General Alexander, who was pressing for an immediate decision in the matter, that our troops will not be available for the task suggested.
I am now awaiting transport to Africa, where I will discuss with General Freyberg and other officers concerned any further proposals concerning the Division. As soon as possible I will send you a report on these discussions.