Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II
214 — The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
Your telegram of 16 April (No. 211). I understand the necessity for you to honour your pledge by consulting your Parliament on the future employment of the New Zealand Division. The use of a division for HUSKY involves immediate withdrawal to Egypt for special training in amphibious operations. The decision as to which division shall go cannot wait until May. There would be no page 185 advantage, therefore, in calling your Parliament for an earlier date than the 19th.
I should like to know whether you feel we should be justified in acting on the assumption of a favourable response from your Parliament so that we can proceed with the withdrawal of the New Zealand Division from Tunisia and its special training. If, on the other hand, you felt serious doubts, we should have to select another division.
As you suggested, this matter has been discussed with Mr. Jones. He has already informed you of the proposal to relieve a proportion of the personnel with fresh troops from New Zealand, if they can be made available, in order to bring back those who have been overseas longest.1 We believe that the necessary arrangements could be made for, say, 20 per cent without impairing the efficiency of the Division.