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

380 — General Puttick to General Freyberg

page 347

General Puttick to General Freyberg

5 April 1944

The Prime Minister has shown me your telegram of 2 April (No. 378). I forcibly expressed identical views a month ago.1 There is little chance of a brigade group being left if the Division withdraws. If some reduction other than complete withdrawal becomes imperative in order again to participate against the Japanese, I have suggested that consideration be given to converting the 2nd Division to an armoured division, which would reduce establishments by 5000 and which I stated as infinitely preferable to the brigade group idea. Present indications point to the probability of withdrawal of the whole Division rather than reduction, because of strong public sentiment and the desire to replace A grade men in industry by long-service soldiers. Furlough men are still refusing to embark on this account.

I am leaving for London separately on 12 April via Noumea, Honolulu, and Washington, arriving in London about 30 April, and I hope to visit you later. I would appreciate any views care Brigadier Park, London.

1 In a memorandum dated 29 Feb 1944, addressed to the Prime Minister, General Puttick wrote: ‘It is most unsatisfactory, in all respects, for forces of less than a complete division to be employed as part of the forces of another country Personally I should not care to command the brigade group in such circumstances…. I look with extreme disfavour on participation [in the war against Germany] with anything below the division.’