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

373 — The Hon. W. Nash (London) to the Prime Minister

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

23 February 1944

I saw Cranborne again this morning, and subsequently General Ismay came in to say that whilst the Chiefs of Staff had given much thought to our manpower position and the present location of troops, they cannot make a definite recommendation until they have consulted the United States Chiefs of Staff at Washington; they have done this but up to the present there has been no reply. It is my conjecture that their present view is along the line that the two brigades in the Pacific might return until there is something more definite in Italy, when you could determine the next step. I also have the impression that the Chiefs of Staff feel just now that the presence of our Division in Italy is almost imperative until there is a favourable change in the position there. In any case, if you are to maintain production of the food so urgently required, you must have some men back by August. I am satisfied that this view will be supported by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.