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

476 — 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

1 September 1945

Your telegram of 30 August.

I regret that it has not been possible earlier to give you details of our plans for the repatriation of your forces, but I am sure you will realise that the rapidly changing situation has involved a complete review of all the available shipping and the drawing up of new plans. The Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington are now undertaking this review for the period October 1945 to June 1946, and I can at once assure you that New Zealand claims to shipping space will be considered alongside those of the United Kingdom and page 442 other parts of the British Commonwealth. It will not be possible to let you know how many New Zealanders can be moved from October onwards until this review is completed.

However, I am able to tell you that the Strathaird1 is now on its way to you from Egypt carrying 3700 of your people (this includes some families), and the Dominion Monarch2, with another 750, from the United Kingdom. In addition, the Strathmore3 is due to sail from Egypt in September with 4000 men, and the Stirling Castle4 from the United Kingdom with 4500.

1 Peninsular and Oriental Line, 22,281 tons.

2 Shaw Savill and Albion Company, 27,155 tons.

3 Peninsular and Oriental Line, 23,428 tons.

4 Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company, Ltd., 25,550 tons.