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

367 — The Hon. W. Nash (London) to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

page 337

The Hon. W. Nash (London) to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

9 February 1944

I have just left the Prime Minister, who, while affirming he is well, did not look to me in the best of health. He said he was anxious to meet me but that he would like to postpone discussion of the subject of my visit until he sees me early next week. In the meantime, he stated that it would be preferable for the Corps now under Freyberg, which includes the New Zealand Division, to carry out a special assignment already planned.1 Mr. Churchill wants us to be in on the fall of Rome, for which plans are maturing. I stressed the urgency of examining New Zealand's position and he agreed to give further immediate study to the question. I am to lunch with him next Friday and may then complete arrangements for a full discussion and to receive his final opinion. During our conversation, which lasted twenty minutes, he mentioned all the possibilities we had discussed of rearrangement in the Mediterranean zone, but his main desire now is to complete the present plans even if you decide that the return of our men must take place at the conclusion of the operation now planned. I will communicate with you again tomorrow.