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

38 — The Minister of Defence to General Freyberg

page 29

The Minister of Defence to General Freyberg

12 October 1940

With reference to your telegram of 30 September (No. 35) and my reply of 3 October. Because of the growing tension in the Far East we have reconsidered the proposal to despatch to you forthwith the 2100 troops who have had three months' training, and are now considering sending them to Fiji at the earliest possible moment. We fully realise, however, the urgent desirability of supplying you with the reinforcements that you need, and we suggest for your consideration the following alternatives:

That we should send by the convoy due to leave about the middle of November, an equivalent number of troops selected from those members of the 4th Reinforcements who have had previous Territorial training, and who will by then have been in camp for approximately one month, but including the following with at least four months' training:

  • 250 officers and NCOs

  • 100 Divisional Cavalry

  • 294 Maoris

  • 50 Medical

The second alternative is to hold for further training the 2100 mentioned above and despatch them with the normal 4th Reinforcements, due to leave early in December, which will then number 6500.

We would be grateful if you would send us your comments on these proposals immediately.