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

235 — General Freyberg to the Prime Minister

General Freyberg to the Prime Minister

17 May 1943

Thank you very much for your cable and your congratulations. After my cable of 4 May (No. 224) to you, I received a message of congratulation from Mr. Churchill which led me to think he had acted on your cable concerning my employment. On 9 May, however, the position became clearer and I was able to advise Mr. Jones that the appointment was temporary only and that General Horrocks would take over 10th Corps again at the end of the campaign. Further, I understand I am to be offered an Army Corps in the Middle East later. I have since handed over the Corps and returned to the Division. I have been given no indication as to when the matter is likely to be raised again, and from my point of view the later the better. In any case, no action will be taken without referring the whole question to you. I am sorry this uncertainty should have been an added complication at this stage.

page 208

I would gladly make a flying visit to New Zealand if you so desire.1 If the decision of Parliament is that the force should remain here for the present, may I have the earliest notification so that arrangements for implementing the scheme for returning personnel can be put into operation before I leave. The time factor is the difficulty with regard to my proposed visit. After I have seen the Commander-in-Chief I shall know when I am required here for planning, &c., and I shall cable you later. In any case my stay would necessarily be short.

1 The Prime Minister replied on 18 May that it would be of the greatest help to the Government if General Freyberg could pay a short visit to the Dominion and offered assistance in obtaining passage by air.